It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week

I did not have an easy time learning to drive. Until I got my hand/eye coordination figured out, I was prone to drifting into an adjacent lane. Not good. My Driver’s Ed instructor, Coach Parker, used to keep his hand poised right above the steering wheel so he could guide the car back to its own lane if necessary.

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Still, even though it was tough when I learned to drive, I can’t imagine being a teen now and trying to figure it out, especially with advent of cell phones and the legalization of cannabis. Sure, we watched MADD videos and understood the importance of not driving while alcohol-impaired, but it seems that teens and new drivers have a lot more to worry about in 2019.

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That’s why programs like Parachute’s “Teen Driver Safety Week” are so important. They focus on the key issues that impact young drivers and their passengers and educate them on how to stay safe on the roads. These issues include:

  • Impairment from alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both
  • Distraction, including from cell phone use
  • Lack of skill and experience
  • Speeding

During “Teen Driver Safety Week”, Parachute encourages communities to raise issues around and engage in conversations with teen drivers, including activities such as “Positive Ticketing Blitzes” where student and local police work together to give out positive tickets to drivers who exhibit safe behaviour.

Parachute has also created videos like the one below to educate students about the impact of driving while impaired.

More information as well as downloadable resources are available on Parachute’s website. Have you participated in initiatives that promote safe driving in your community? Tell us about it in the comments!

~ Rose R.


A Checklist for Getting Your Vehicle Winter-Ready

Pumpkin spice latte season brings out conflicting feelings for me. On the one hand, it’s a pumpkin spice latte, guys! Plus, pumpkin spice muffins! (Yes, I am one of those nerds that love pumpkin spice – though I do draw the line at pumpkin spice lip-gloss). On the other hand, pumpkin spice heralds the arrival of fall, which is followed close by winter. Super close for places like Calgary and Winnipeg! And while I enjoy cruising the highways and byways of British Columbia in the summer, I could do without winter driving.

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But, as a Canadian, winter is in my blood and I know I need to do my part to keep the roads safe during the dark and snowy months. This is my “Getting My Car Winter-Ready Essentials Checklist” (I’m working on a snappier title – suggestions welcome in the comments). It’s not exhaustive, but it will start you and your car down the right road.

Tires
We know we need to switch to winter tires, but when? Our Ultra 94 tire expert, John Mahler, has the answer:

The weather is shifting, and not for the better … (there’s) less tire grip, so caution on the throttle. When the average temperature for the day gets to be about +7C, it is time to consider some winter rubber for your ride.

That +7C mark is about where your summer high performance tires grip levels have dropped to the point where a winter tire has just as much grip. Then, as the mercury drops, summer tires lose even more grip and the winter rubber gets more stick.  Notice I said winter tires, not snow tires. Long gone are the big chunky tires that couldn’t handle bare pavement. Now winter tires are available in speed ratings all the way to W, that’s 270 km/h.

You can read the full post from John over on our Ultra 94 Facebook page.

Battery
I’ll admit, my car battery isn’t something I regularly think about. But with elevated temperatures this summer, I probably should. According to the battery experts over at CAA-Quebec, those high temperatures could affect the chemical reactions in the battery and cause it to be even less responsive in those cold winter months. So swing by your favourite car repair shop and get your battery tested.

Winter-windshield-wipers

Wipers
Wipers are something I do think about a lot, especially in Vancouver. There was a time when my wipers weren’t clearing my windshield in a single sweep. The blades weren’t cracked or torn, but they just weren’t doing the job. I replaced them with a different size and my visibility improved dramatically. Make sure your wipers are up to snuff - clearing your windshield in a single sweep, aren’t cracked and aren’t bumping on your windshield. You can reasonably expect to replace the blades twice a year.

Windshield Washer Fluid
While we’re on the subject of windshields .. this is also the time of year where you want to make sure your windshield washer fluid can handle the cold. Some brands are specially formulated for use in winter – they won’t freeze and are tough on winter gunk like rock salt.

Emergency Kit
Finally, pull out your car’s emergency kit and give it a once-over, replacing or updating any items as necessary.

And that’s my Winter-Ready Essentials checklist! There are definitely other items to inspect on your car as we get deeper into the snowy season, but this is a good start. Are there any winter-ready maintenance essentials that you do in the fall? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

~ Rose R.


Ten Years Later and Still Going Strong

Earlier this year we celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the Petro-Canada and Suncor merger and the creation of Canada’s leading energy company. Over the years there have been a number of achievements that we’re proud of as an organization. Our colleagues over at Suncor’s Together blog compiled a broad selection of achievements that we’ve accomplished through the combining of our strengths. Here on PumpTalk, we wanted to highlight a few that are likely to be of interest to our readers.

Supporting the Olympic and Paralympic Movement:
Since 1988, through the Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence (FACETM) program, we have supported more than 3,000 Canadian athletes and coaches by providing more than $11 million in financial support. And we’re continuing our support as a National Partner of the Canadian Olympic Committee and a premier partner of the Canadian Paralympic Committee through the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Petro-Canada EV FlagBuilding Canada’s Electric Highway™:
Our planned coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle charging stations that will span more than 50 Petro-Canada locations along the Trans-Canada highway helps Canadians get where they want to go. Each station, nine of which are already up and running, will be equipped with DC fast chargers featuring dual CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE connectors, which can provide up to a 200kW charge – enough to provide a full charge to most electric vehicles in less than 30 minutes.

Partnering with Indigenous Businesses:
Petro-Canada is proud that our partnerships with Indigenous businesses have continued and grown since the merger with Suncor. In 2017, Suncor purchased a 41 per cent equity interest in PetroNor, a petroleum products distributor across the James Bay and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions of Quebec for whom Petro-Canada is the exclusive supplier of fuel and distillate. And on the retail side of our business, as of September 2019, there are 35 Petro-Canada branded retail sites owned and operated by First Nations across Canada.

We’re really looking forward to the next 10 years and helping Canadians get to what matters most. Thank you for being part of our journey!

~ Braden H.