Black November needs your extra attention
November has two major annual events: Remembrance Day, and the increasingly popular Black Friday. Poppies have long been worn to honour and respect the service and sacrifice of men and women of Canada’s military. Black Friday, on the other hand, only recently migrated north and morphed into a full month of bargain hunting.
Both, we suggest, have something to do with road safety.
Remembrance Day Reminder
The poppy became quite controversial this year. But there should be no debate over the need for winter tires. Switch when temperatures drop to about 7 degrees (7°C), say safety and rubber experts. Handling, traction and stopping distances are all improved. And you need four, not just two, winter-rated on every type of vehicle.
Snow tires are key to safety in winter.
November is prime time to put on your snows. Do it. Cold weather can creep up on us. Some deny the inevitable is coming. When exactly winter hits gets more unpredictable, but Canadians must accept it’s coming. It can be a slow stealthy, or a blast before you even put away your summer sandals, as many Torontonians found out when the city received a record-setting early 20 cm snowfall on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2019.
Why not make it a habit to use the annual cue of Remembrance Day to make an appointment with your tire guy? Maybe you will even find some on sale during Black Friday season. Before you shop, read the APA 2019-2020 winter tire guide.
Safety is the new Black
Signs are everywhere: “Sale!”, “Deals” or “Free Shipping” notifications constantly slide across our screens, land in your inbox or mailbox. In the Retail Council of Canada’s 2019 Holiday Shopping Survey, Black Friday is now bigger than Boxing Day in Canada. Saving while shopping for holiday gifts is the reason 43 percent of Canadians plan to participate this year, ten percent more than those who plan to shop on Boxing Day.
Alas, we did not see tires as one of the top ten categories consumers plan to spend about C$792 this year. Guess what the #1 consideration was when choosing a retailer to shop? Free shipping.
Go ahead shop, but one thing you should not discount is road safety. Consider taking the path less traveled. Buy winter tires! Besides, tires are black and road safety concerns are never out of fashion.
If you shop before December 15, you can take advantage of the APA list of winter tire discounts available. Tell your skeptical friends and family when you are shopping for your new treads: Safety is the new Black! It’s a bargain at any price. Maybe you will even start a new trend with your new tire tracks.
Along with Black Friday sales comes an army of delivery trucks. They have a lot of miles to cover and same-day or next-day deadlines too. Expect more delivery truck traffic, especially around schools and residential streets. Large parked vehicles can make it difficult for children to see and be seen, and navigate around.
Every year after the clocks ‘fall back’, there is less daylight, and Black Friday frenzy is upon us. It is time to reset everyone’s road safety game. Up your attention at the wheel. Park legally. Pedestrians and cyclists: watch for delivery vehicles, and make yourself visible at night. Black November needs your extra attention on the road.
News of troubling data from the Toronto Police Service have us even more concerned for road safety this month.
Released in November, Toronto’s Chief of Police, Mark Saunders, issued an update on traffic statistics. The trend of fatal or serious injuries is going in the wrong direction. Pedestrians are most at risk.
We all have a role to play to turn this around. Learn from the awesome determination of our military forces who have shown again and again how every single person contributes to the success of a mission. Do not delay putting on your winter tires, or be distracted by Black Friday shopping. Whether you are a delivery driver looking for a delivery address, a pedestrian looking at your phone while crossing the street, or a shopper rushing to a early store opening. No deal is worth a collision or injury.
Rain, sleet, and snow will arrive, much to most Canadian’s dismay in November. Instead of a New Year’s Resolution – they usually fail anyway – why not make a November resolution to refresh your road safety habits? Drivers: get your vehicle ready. Cyclists and pedestrians: obey the traffic signals, make yourselves more visible. Can it really hurt to add some reflective patches to outerwear and backpacks so you can be seen better at night?
We urge everyone to think about prevention. When it comes to road safety, we can all help put those terrible numbers in reverse. Be Alert. Drive with care. Be seen. If your tire company, retailer or consumer advocacy group wants to get the word out about winter tires, get in touch. We have created our own Be Alert child-friendly products including reflective stickers and patches. We can also customize some for your own program.