Avoid risky behaviour and prevent bad habits when learning how to drive, ICBC urges

Avoid risky behaviour and prevent bad habits when learning how to drive, ICBC urges

Now that summer’s in full swing, teenagers are taking advantage of the school break to learn how to drive. Summer is the busiest time at Driver Licensing Offices. In August alone, an average of 5,500 B.C. teens get their learner’s licence.

Although youth injuries and deaths from car crashes are declining in B.C., on average, 32 youth aged 16 to 21 are killed and 6,900 are injured every year. That’s why it’s important for teens to get a good start to their driving careers by building strong foundational skills that will make them safe and confident drivers for life.

When young drivers hit the road for the first time, they get a sense of newfound freedom and independence. But driver inexperience and overestimation of ability contribute to crashes.

ICBC’s top five tips for parents teaching their teen to drive

  1. Review the rules: Once your teen has their class 7 learner’s licence, they can hit the road with a qualified supervisor. Review your teen’s copy of ICBC’s Tuning Up for Drivers guide to brush up on the rules of the road and learn about the restrictions of each stage of the graduated licensing program so that you can make sure your teen follows them. This is also a great time to work on any of your own bad driving habits to set a good example for the new driver in your house.
  2. Gearing up: The type of car your teen learns to drive on can make a big difference. It’s best to learn on a vehicle that’s a manageable size, has good visibility, an automatic transmission and as many safety features as possible. Begin your driving lessons on roads with minimal traffic and avoid rush hour congestion to help build your teen’s confidence and ease their nerves. A driving lesson can be stressful for both teens and parents, so it’s a time to stay calm, focused on the road and avoid any distractions.
  3. Call in the experts: To help your teen gain as much driving experience as possible consider signing them up for lessons through a professional driving school, if you can. Instructors can be objective without the emotion that’s often involved in parent-teen relationships. If you do choose this route, stay involved and discuss what they’re learning. ICBC-approved driver training could take six months off a new driver’s time in graduated licensing.
  4. Test it out: To prepare for your teen’s road test, practice driving as much as possible at different times of the day, in different weather and road conditions and in unfamiliar neighbourhoods. That way they’ll be prepared for whatever conditions they encounter on the day of their road test. Teens can also take ICBC’s road ready quiz to help them avoid common driving mistakes.
  5. Keep them safe: Once your teen has passed their class 7 road test and can now drive without a supervisor, consider creating a family contract. It helps set out your expectations of your teen, the responsibilities you want them to show on the road and the consequences for breaking those rules.

If your teen will be driving your vehicle, review your insurance coverage. If your vehicle is rated in an experienced rate class (all drivers in a household with at least 10 years’ driving experience), you’ll need to change the rate class.

Teens can find the redesigned practice knowledge test, video driving tips and road signs practice test on icbc.com. The practice knowledge test can also be downloaded as an app free from the Apple Store.

Media contact:

Sam Corea

Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. APEAL Study

  • Abstract:

    This year, a total of 25 models receive an award for their overall appeal to consumers. Displayed in alphabetical order by make and model on the pages that follow are the models that rank highest in their respective segments.

    Conducted annually, the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM measures owner satisfaction with the design, performance, content, and layout of new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. The study is based on owner responses regarding 90 individual vehicle attributes, and more than 80,000 new car, truck, SUV, and van owners responded to the 2016 U.S. APEAL Study.

    This year, a total of 25 models receive an award for their overall appeal to consumers. Displayed in alphabetical order by make and model on the pages that follow are the models that rank highest in their respective segments.

  • 2016 Audi A6 photo

    2016 Audi A6

    In the Midsize Premium Car segment, the Audi A6 is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. While it looks mighty similar to the previous A6 model, the 2016 version receives subtle styling updates, more powerful engines, a new standard transmission, and more modern infotainment and subscription service technologies.

  • 2016 BMW M2 Coupe photo

    2016 BMW 2 Series

    In the Small Premium Car segment, the BMW 2 Series is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. This year, BMW introduced the high-performance M2 Coupe model and made numerous changes to standard and optional equipment for both the coupe and convertible variants.

  • 2016 BMW X1 photo

    2016 BMW X1

    In the Small Premium SUV segment, the BMW X1 is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Redesigned for 2016, the X1 supplies what BMW calls “best-in-class performance (and) cargo space.” A 228-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine powers the rear or all four wheels.

  • 2016 BMW X6 xDrive50i photo

    2016 BMW X6

    In the Midsize Premium SUV segment, the BMW X6 is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. More standard equipment and several changes to optional upgrades help to make BMW’s Sports Activity Coupe more appealing than ever.

  • 2016 Buick Cascada photo

    2016 Buick Cascada

    In the Compact Sporty Car segment, the Buick Cascada is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016 in its first year on the market. A 4-passenger convertible based on an older Opel model that was designed and engineered in Europe, the Cascada features a turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

  • 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible photo

    2016 Chevrolet Camaro

    In the Midsize Sporty Car segment, the Chevrolet Camaro is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. For the 2016 model year Chevy redesigned the Camaro, offering it with a choice between a turbocharged 4-cylinder, V-6, or a V-8 engine. Coupe and convertible body styles can be fitted with LT or SS trim.

  • 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel photo

    2016 Chevrolet Colorado

    In the Midsize Pickup segment, the Chevrolet Colorado is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. In addition to new appearance options, the 2016 Colorado now offers a 2.8-liter, Duramax turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine as an option. Updated versions of MyLink infotainment also arrive this year, and Chevy has reduced the truck’s powertrain warranty.

  • 2016 Chevrolet Sonic photo

    2016 Chevrolet Sonic

    In the Small Car segment, the Chevrolet Sonic is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Few changes are made for the 2016 model year, and a reduced powertrain warranty evidently hasn’t hurt the Sonic’s overall appeal.

  • 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 photo

    2016 Chevrolet Tahoe

    In the Large SUV segment, the Chevrolet Tahoe is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Improved infotainment and driver-assistance technologies debut for 2016, and though Chevrolet reduced the Tahoe’s powertrain warranty, owners still rate the Tahoe as the most appealing full-size SUV on the market.

  • 2016 GMC Sierra HD All Terrain photo

    2016 GMC Sierra HD

    In the Large Heavy Duty Pickup segment, the GMC Sierra HD is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Despite a powertrain warranty reduction and a new requirement to pay extra for metallic paint, the Sierra HD leads its segment in terms of appeal with new Digital Steering Assist technology, improved infotainment systems, and a factory gooseneck fifth-wheel trailering package.

  • 2016 Hyundai Tucson photo

    2016 Hyundai Tucson

    In the Small SUV segment, the Hyundai Tucson is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Hyundai redesigned the Tucson for 2016, improving it in every conceivable way. Highlights include attractive styling, more powerful and efficient engines, and next-generation infotainment and safety technologies.

  • 2016 Kia Optima photo

    2016 Kia Optima

    In the Midsize Car segment, the Kia Optima is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Redesigned for 2016, the Optima offers a choice between four drivetrains, including a more efficient hybrid version. The SX Limited trim returns, too, an entry-luxury variant in all respects but its name.

  • 2016 Kia Sedona photo

    2016 Kia Sedona

    In the Minivan segment, the Kia Sedona is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Looking more like a crossover SUV than a minivan, the Sedona follows up a 2015 redesign with added standard equipment and expanded availability of upscale options in an 8-passenger seating configuration.

  • 2016 Kia Sorento photo

    2016 Kia Sorento

    In the Midsize SUV segment, the Kia Sorento is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Kia completely redesigned the Sorento for 2016, adding a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine option and moving the swanky SX Limited version further upscale. Kia offers the SUV in both 5- and 7-passenger configurations.

  • 2016 Kia Soul photo

    2016 Kia Soul

    In the Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment, the Kia Soul is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. This year, the Soul is available with forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems, and Kia adds standard equipment and shuffles option package contents.

  • 2016 Land Rover Range Rover photo

    2016 Land Rover Range Rover

    In the Large Premium SUV segment, the Land Rover Range Rover is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. New SVAutobiography and special-order Sentinel variants debut for 2016, the latter a factory-prepped armored vehicle. Hands-free tailgate operation, expanded infotainment capabilities, and an upgraded surround-view camera system highlight additional changes.

  • 2016 Lexus RC 350 F Sport photo

    2016 Lexus RC

    In the Compact Premium Car segment, the Lexus RC is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Lexus adds a new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as the standard power plant and makes all-wheel drive an option with the 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Expanded infotainment capabilities and an optional limited-slip rear differential are also new for 2016.

  • 2016 Mini Cooper S Clubman photo

    2016 Mini Clubman

    In the Compact Car segment, the Mini Clubman is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Redesigned this year, the Clubman is the largest Mini model ever, with seating for up to 5 people. It retains its classic barn-door cargo access, but now comes with four full-sized side doors for greater ease of use. Standard and S versions can be customized through an extensive list of upgrades.

  • 2016 Nissan Maxima photo

    2016 Nissan Maxima

    In the Large Car segment, the Nissan Maxima is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Redesigned for 2016, the Maxima is wrapped in unusual styling that embodies Nissan’s latest design themes. More power, better fuel economy, improved handling, and a long list of technological advances headline the changes for the latest Maxima.

  • 2016 Nissan Titan XD photo

    2016 Nissan Titan

    In the Large Light Duty Pickup segment, the Nissan Titan is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Redesigned and offered in an XD model series that splits the difference between light-duty and heavy-duty trucks in terms of capability, the Titan XD offers an optional turbodiesel engine in addition to a standard crew cab body style. Nissan is expanding the Titan lineup for 2017.

  • 2016 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS photo

    2016 Porsche 911

    In the Midsize Premium Sporty Car segment, the Porsche 911 is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. A broad range of model series is available, in coupe, targa, and convertible body styles. New variants for the model year include the Targa 4 GTS, 911 GT3 RS, and the 911 R.

  • 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder photo

    2016 Porsche Boxster

    In the Compact Premium Sporty Car segment, the Porsche Boxster is the top-ranked model for overall appeal 2016. In its final year before a substantial freshening and name change to 718 Boxster, the Boxster is offered as a new lightweight Spyder variant equipped with the same 375-horsepower engine as the 911 Carrera.

  • 2016 Porsche Macan S photo

    2016 Porsche Macan

    In the Compact Premium SUV segment, the Porsche Macan is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Available in S and Turbo model series, the Macan adds a new, optional rear-seat entertainment system for 2016, complete with dual 10.1-in. displays, USB and HDMI connections, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

  • 2016 Smart Fortwo Cabrio photo

    2016 Smart Fortwo

    In the City Car segment, the Smart Fortwo is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Smart’s spry 2-seater is redesigned for 2016, equipped with a 0.9-liter, turbocharged 3-cylinder engine and available in Pure, Passion, Prime, and Proxy trim levels. An electric version continues, based on the previous-generation Smart design.

  • 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE photo

    2016 Toyota RAV4

    In the Compact SUV segment, the Toyota RAV4 is the top-ranked model for overall appeal in 2016. Toyota refreshes the RAV4 for 2016, updating the styling, upgrading the interior, and improving the infotainment and safety systems. A sporty SE trim debuts, as well as an all-wheel-drive RAV4 Hybrid that is EPA-rated to get 33 mpg in combined driving.

Auto industry vital to Canada

Auto industry vital to Canada

Press Release:

The auto industry is vital to Canada’s economic wellbeing, employing 125,400 people acrossCanada while contributing millions to taxes and local charities, new research from Unifor shows.

“The auto industry is important to the Canadian economy generally, and absolutely vital in the communities where assembly and parts plants are located,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

Across Canada, 125,400 people are employed directly in the auto industry, producing 2,268,996 cars and light trucks (or 6,216 per day) worth $93.5 billion in 2015, (or $256 million per day).

“That kind of output of manufacturing goods, and the good jobs that come with it, is not easily replaced,” Dias said. “That’s why we have made securing new investment the number one priority for this year’s auto talks.”

Negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers begin August 10 and 11 in Toronto. Unifor has made new investment in Canada, including new product allocations, the top priority of the talks.

Besides the production and economic output, Dias pointed to the taxes paid and charitable giving of autoworkers, and their importance to the communities in which they live. Across Canada, auto workers contributed $1.9 billion in income, payroll and sales taxes (or $5.2 million per day).

“That money goes to support services that we all depend upon, such as health care, education and social services – the sorts of things that make Canada such a great place to live,” Dias said, adding that auto workers are also active in their communities, volunteering their time and donating to charity.

To review Unifor’s research reports and for other background materials prepared for this year’s round of auto talks, go to unifor.org/AutoTalks16.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 40,000 in the auto industry, including 23,000 employed by the Detroit Three. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


Victoria: Uber rules coming early next year, says minister

By Rob Shaw, Vancouver Sun

VICTORIA — British Columbians will get their first glimpse at a possible future for ride-booking service Uber in September, when the government says it will unveil a discussion paper.


Peter Fassbender, the cabinet minister who is reviewing whether to allow Uber to operate in B.C., said Wednesday the government is almost finished gathering comment from the public, taxi industry, insurance industry and Uber.

“We will be putting out a discussion document that will highlight what we’ve heard and what we think we should be looking at in the province of British Columbia to have a made-in-B.C. solution,” said Fassbender. Public safety, fair treatment for the conventional taxi industry and insurance concerns will be addressed, he said.

The intent is to make the Liberal government’s plan clear before the May 2017 provincial election, said Fassbender.

Uber, and similar outfits such as Lyft, operate on-demand car services that connect passengers with private drivers, usually through apps on smartphones.

“We’ll be asking for further input, then minister (Todd) Stone, who is the minister responsible for the legislative framework and the regulations will then be bringing forward to cabinet and government where we should be going,” said Fassbender.

Uber has been strongly lobbying government to draft regulations that would allow its drivers to obtain special licences and be considered differently from traditional taxis. The government at first warned Uber from trying to circumvent the rules, but later softened its criticism and said it believes taxi and ride-booking services can coexist and that it’s inevitable new technology like Uber will eventually enter the province.

The Opposition NDP has pledged to back the taxi industry, which has warned about job losses and disruption in the traditional taxi industry.

Uber drivers in Ontario now insured automatically

TORONTO _ Uber drivers in Ontario are now insured from when the app is turned on to when passengers exit the vehicle.

Ontario’s insurance regulator has approved the policy from Intact for private vehicles transporting paying passengers through the ride-hailing service.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario says the  “blanket fleet coverage” addresses a “critical insurance gap” for the industry.

The new policy covers all Uber drivers, passengers and vehicle owners when Uber is in use, and when the app is off the vehicle owner’s personal auto insurance policy applies.

The Ontario government recently approved a regulatory change under the Insurance Act that allows insurance companies to develop commercial fleet insurance policies for ride-hailing companies.

FSCO’s CEO says in a bulletin posted to the regulator’s website that he anticipates new insurance policies that build on what has been approved for Intact will be filed in the future.

“Going forward, I want to emphasize that the sharing economy in general, and the automobile insurance implications in particular, will continue to evolve and will require innovative solutions and responses by all stakeholders, including FSCO, that respond to technological advances,” Brian Mills wrote.

“At the same time, I want to emphasize that approved solutions may also need to evolve and adapt as circumstances and legal requirements change. Therefore, any policy form or endorsement that I approve is also subject to ongoing review.”


Rental car insurance: Who’s got you covered?

Rental car insurance: Who’s got you covered?

Some car rental deals seem too good to be true.

Factor in the cost of insurance, up to $40 per day depending on the coverage, fees for additional drivers, fuel, extra mileage charges and roadside assistance expenses, and it can cost way more than double the advertised rental price.

As insurance alone can turn a $99 weekend getaway package into less of a sweet deal, it’s wise to look at your options before you hit the car rental counter.

Rental agency coverage

Check the extent of the coverage. Policies vary with lower rates carrying higher deductible costs, while premium plans may offer zero deductibles.

Rental car damage protection insurance (collision damage waiver) covers the value of the vehicle, but doesn’t carry personal coverage for injury or loss of property. Some agencies offer additional policies, with a range of fees, for liability, medical costs and coverage of personal effects.

There are also exclusions to the coverage, such as in the event of an accident or damage done due to driving on unpaved roads, if the car is taken out of the province, state or country not specified in the contract, or if the vehicle is overloaded or used to tow a trailer.

Your credit card may also be dinged a daily rental fee for the period the car is being repaired, and the policy likely won’t offer protection in the event of a lawsuit if you are found to be at fault in an accident. It’s all in the fine print.

Personal car insurance coverage

Most auto insurers offer a special rider (add-on) providing accident and liability coverage on car rentals, and while it can be valid across Canada it may have restrictions when driving in the U.S. Also, it very likely won’t extend to Mexico.

Coverage can cost from $15 to $50 extra per year, but be aware that if you are at fault in a rental car accident your insurance rate will increase. If you have a rental car accident on a trip and your own car is stolen at home while you are travelling the insurance may only cover one claim.

As the car must be rented in the name of the person insured on the personal policy, it may not cover another driver of the rental car as well.

Although your collision and comprehensive auto insurance coverage may extend to cars you rent, it’s likely limited to the value of your own car and not a higher end vehicle.

Your auto policy may only cover a rental car while on a vacation but not for commercial or business use, and it won’t include the loss of personal property. That’s usually covered on your homeowner/renter insurance plan. Review your contract or ask your insurance broker for details.

Credit card coverage

If your credit card provides insurance coverage on rental cars, that $99 weekend getaway deal may be a bargain after all, but once again; certain conditions apply.

Premium cards at “gold” or “platinum” levels, which come with an annual fee, generally provide rental car insurance coverage.

You have to rent it on that specific card and sometimes with specified rental firms — a good reason to have more than one credit card. A rental agency with your card info can charge the cost of repair to your account, leaving you to hash it out with the card company later.

Contact the credit card company and ask for coverage details and limitations before you rent and go with the one that offers the best protection.

Most credit cards won’t insure luxury or exotic vehicle rentals.

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