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“Tuning Up for Drivers”

We can expect that teenagers will be influenced by the driving behavior of their parents. And so ICBC has designed a publication, Tuning Up for Drivers, that it encourages beginning drivers to read and discuss with their supervising drivers, for the benefit of both. The book is divided into 20 “sessions”. Each session has two parts. Altogether the booklet is a review of every possible driving maneuver from “getting going” to driving straight; turning; changing lanes; driving on hills and curves; entering and leaving the highway, and parking.

Reminders for good drivers

Even experienced drivers with good driving records will benefit from time spent with Tuning Up. The following is a sample of the tips that we found well worth the reminder.

Blind Spots

If a vehicle has been parked for some time and has to be moved, the driver would do well to get out and check that the areas directly in front and directly behind, which are two of the blind spots, are clear.

To minimize blind spots adjust side mirrors so that you cannot see the side of your vehicle reflected in the mirror without tilting your head either to the driver’s side window or the centre of the vehicle. If you fine-tune this adjustment so that the side of your vehicle is just visible, this will increase your blind spot but help you judge the distance of the vehicles behind you more accurately, which may be preferable for highway driving.

Head rests help minimize neck injuries. Make sure the top of the headrest is at least level with the top of your ears.

Watch Out

To spot potential hazards in time to avoid them in city traffic, look 12 seconds ahead, scan the road from side to side and consciously think about watching for possible hazards such as parked cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. Check your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds.

Whenever you want to turn or change lanes or back up, check your mirrors, signal, and always shoulder check by glancing at least 45 degrees over your shoulder in the direction you are moving.

Right turns require special vigilance. Shoulder check over the right shoulder for oncoming traffic such as bicycles in cycling lanes or darting pedestrians.

Keep the Distance

Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front. Leave at least 2 seconds of space on city streets, 3 seconds on the highway, and 4 or more in poor road or weather conditions. If the vehicle in front is a motorcycle, which can stop quickly, or a big bus or truck with a big back blind spot, leave at least 4 seconds of space.


When parking on a hill, turn the wheels to the right (with one exception) so that if your vehicle rolls, it won’t roll into the street. The exception: Turn your wheels to the left when parking uphill beside a curb.

These are all obvious precautions, but we need to constantly remind ourselves about them.

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