Equipment

Information on specific vehicle equipment.

The Importance of a Trailer Pre-Trip Inspection

Boat TrailerOne of the more eye-opening exercises that I used to conduct at this time of the year was to park my police vehicle at the brake check and wave in vehicles pulling boat trailers for a mechanical inspection. I had learned that boat trailers were often the most poorly maintained of all recreational trailers and there were often serious safety defects to be found. A simple pre-trip inspection by the driver would have found them easily and made sure that the trip would be a safe one.

VIDEO - Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

video iconThis short video by the Tire Industry Association explains what your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) does and why it is important to know when any of your tires are underinflated. Aside from the safety benefits, the TPMS system can  decrease irregular tire wear, improve your vehicle’s handling, reduce braking distance and better your fuel economy.

How Many Tie Downs Do You Need?

Tie Down StrapThe load consisted of rough lumber, about 2x6 or 2x8 size 12 to 14 feet long and 3 feet high on a flat deck trailer pulled by a large pickup truck. Load security was provided by a single heavy strap wrapped once around the middle of the load. The combination was being pulled at highway speed which was 90 km/h. Do you think that this load was secured to the trailer sufficiently?

Reflectors Are Important

reflectorsAn important piece of safety equipment that is often overlooked on all variety of vehicles is the humble reflector. Why do I need reflectors? I've got lights! I heard this many times at the roadside after pointing out a lack of reflectors to a driver. True, but what happens if you park, break down or have to leave a disabled trailer at the roadside? What protects you and other road users at night? The reflectors.

Daytime Running Lights Turn 25

Daytime Running LightsDaytime running lights (DRLs) have been mandatory equipment on all vehicles in Canada since model year 1990. That means we're passing the quarter century mark of the introduction of this safety feature. The final version of Statistics Canada's Canadian Vehicle Survey was published in 2010 and at that point, vehicles older than model year 1991 make up less than 5.5% of the total number of light vehicles on our highways. We should not encounter many vehicles that don't have DRLs during our travels.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Bald Tires

cameraWhile this tire may have adequate traction on dry pavement, add a little bit of water and you have a recipe for disaster. This is a photo contributed by a police officer who found this vehicle during his patrols. It can only be described as neglect and it is likely that the driver failed to consider his own safety much less that of others on the roadway with him.

Caveat Vendor - Window Tinting

Black SquareThe Victoria Times Colonist is reporting on a crackdown with regard to tinted windows on vehicles by the local Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU). The article quotes a business owner who tells his customers that some window tinting is illegal and that the buyer should beware. What the article fails to touch on is that the vendor should also beware.

PHOTOS OF CONCERN - Snowmobile Decks

cameraThis snowmobile deck is missing lights and reflectors. Red clearance lamps on the back corners and yellow clearance lamps on the front corners are required as the deck is over 2.05 meters wide and the truck does not have lamps and reflectors in a position to fill this need. In addition to the lamps, a reflector is required on each corner matching the lamp colour.

Keep Your Hand on Your Wallet

Headlight GlareSylvania's full page ad for Silverstar Ultra headlight bulbs caught my attention. See farther, see wider, see better read the banner. Up to 50% brighter light, 50% increased peripheral visibility, 40% increased downroad visibility and as much as 50 - 100 feet more visibility at night was promised. That sounds pretty good to me, maybe I should buy a set!

Driving with Collision Damage

car being towedYou’ve been involved in a fender bender and now your vehicle is damaged. The headlight is pointing at the sky, the signal light is missing and the bumper had to be removed so that the tire has room to steer. The appointment with an insurance adjuster is pending, and you can’t even think about the body shop yet. Can you just keep driving until the vehicle is repaired?

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