News

Happy Earth Day!

This Earth Day, CAA wants to share ways drivers can contribute to a cleaner and safer environment while also saving money on gas.

“CAA offers a wide range of tools that help consumers calculate the environmental cost of their vehicle, learn about eco-friendly vehicles, and get tips on how to be an eco-driver,” says Jeff Walker, vice-president of public affairs, CAA National.

Consumers can visit CAA’s Driving Costs Calculator, located at CAA.ca/car_costs, to compare the financial and environmental costs of vehicles available in Canada. CAA’s easy-to-use eco-driving tips help motorists help the environment and save money. And, CAA’s Electric Vehicle (EV) portal, ElectricVehicles.caa.ca, offers a unique set of resources on electric and hybrid cars, such as the most comprehensive EV charging station map available in Canada.

Drivers can save hundreds of dollars at the pump each year, avoid costly speeding tickets, bumper repairs and insurance hikes and even prevent unnecessary wear on your vehicle, by following these five tips:

  • Accelerate Gently:

    The harder you accelerate the more fuel you consume. In the city, you can conserve fuel by easing onto the accelerator pedal gently and gradually. To maximize your fuel efficiency, take five seconds to accelerate your vehicle up to 20 kilometres per hour from a stop.
  • Coast to Decelerate:

    According to one study referenced by Natural Resources Canada, frequent “jackrabbit” starts and hard braking reduce travel time by only 4 per cent, but increase fuel consumption by 39 per cent. A lot of energy is used trying to get a vehicle up to cruising speed – energy which is lost when the vehicle is forced to slow down unnecessarily.
  • Anticipate Traffic:

    Plan your maneuvers well in advance to maintain your vehicle’s momentum. Read the road ahead, anticipate road disruptions, monitor the movements of pedestrians and other vehicles, and keep a comfortable distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. These driving techniques will enable you to keep your speed as steady as possible and avoid unnecessary fuel consumption and safety risks.
  • Avoid High Speeds:

    As you increase speed, more power is needed to push the car through the air. Driving at lower speeds can greatly reduce fuel consumption. In fact, tests have shown that most cars use about 20 per cent less fuel when they are driven at 90 km/h instead of 110 km/h. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and will also save gas (but be careful in slippery conditions, and consult your owner’s manual for proper instructions on the use of cruise control).
  • Maintain a Steady Speed:

    Be consistent. Unintentional dips in speed and sudden bursts of acceleration to keep pace take a toll on your tank—and your wallet. In fact, tests have shown that varying your speed up and down between 75 km/h and 85 km/h every 18 seconds can increase your fuel use by 20 per cent.

Have you made a pledge this year to be more eco conscious behind the wheel, at home, or at work? Share your Earth Day goals with us!

CAA sends School Safety Patrol volunteers to National We Day in Ottawa

Fifteen hard working student volunteers with the CAA School Safety Patrol program will get a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend National We Day, a star-studded celebration of youth volunteerism. The children, nominated by their teachers and peers, will join tens of thousands of youth in the Nation’s Capital to listen to inspiring speakers and see performances by award-winning artists. 

“We are proud to recognize our dedicated students who give countless hours to making sure their peers are safe at road crossing and on buses,” says Jeff Walker, Vice President of Public Affairs, Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). 

More than 70,000 enthusiastic kids give millions of hours of their time each year as part of the CAA School Safety Patrol program to ensure their peers remain safe while travelling to and from school. The program also teaches youth about leadership.

Jennifer Botterill, three-time Olympic Gold medalist in women’s hockey, will share her story on the We Day stage about her experience as a patroller and how the program helped develop her leadership skills.

We Day is an event that recognizes and celebrates youth volunteerism. CAA is a sponsor of We Day for the second year in a row. Last year, CAA patrollers experienced an outstanding lineup of speakers and performers, such as Martin Sheen, Shawn Desman and Kardinal Offishall. 

[embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fzSpD9n9JaQ[/embed]

To learn more about CAA’s School Safety Patrol program visit: caa.ca/school-safety

CAA Launches Senior Driving Tool

Almost half of Canadians worry about an aging loved one on the road

OTTAWA, ON – CAA launched today a multimedia web tool designed to help seniors stay safe behind the wheel.

CAA research shows that nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadians are concerned about the safety of an aging family member on the road. CAA’s new online portal helps seniors and their loved ones assess driving skills, learn about changing abilities, and, if needed, modify driving habits.

Two thirds of senior drivers see the need for online tools to help them stay safe on the road, CAA’s polling shows. CAA’s new web tool contains assessment tools to pinpoint areas of improvement, interactive infographics that show common physical changes that affect driving, and videos with tips and reminders for managing challenging driving conditions. The site, located at seniorsdriving.caa.ca, incorporates information from the Canadian Medical Association’s Driver’s Guide and advice from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. 

“CAA believes awareness of age-related changes that affect our driving is an important step in keeping ourselves and our families safe on the road,” says Jeff Walker, Vice-President of public affairs for CAA National.

The good news is that half of seniors have already taken at least one step to adjust their driving habits, such as reducing or eliminating driving at night, but CAA research shows there is need for more information related to age-related changes that affect driving.

For instance, only three per cent of seniors know that by age 60, the average person needs three times as much light to see as they did at age 20. CAA’s information on age-related changes includes an interactive light tool that demonstrates changes in vision as we age. In addition, the portal’s driving-at-night infographic and video offer tips and advice for dealing with this kind of physical change.

The CAA poll is based on a sample size of 1,133. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing 6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

For further information, please contact:

Kristine D’Arbelles                                                          
Manager, Public Affairs
Office: 613-247-0117 ext. 2006
Cell: 613-796-9404
kdarbelles@national.caa.ca  

Top 10 Canadian Driver Safety Concerns

CAA poll finds in-car technologies a new safety concern for Canadian drivers

OTTAWA – Voice-controlled in-vehicle technologies are emerging as a new threat on the roads for Canadian drivers, CAA research finds.

Drivers talking to or engaging with their in-car systems has cracked the Top Ten in the Canadian Automobile Association’s annual survey of driving behaviours that most alarm Canadians. These in-car systems are relatively new but spreading, and can allow drivers to do everything from dictate text messages to control the temperature via voice commands.

Texting while driving captured the top position for the third year in a row, continuing to surpass drinking and driving as the number one road safety concern for Canadians.

“We’re pleased that drivers are starting to realize that you can be distracted even if your hands are on the wheel and your eyes are on the road,” says Jeff Walker, CAA vice president of public affairs. “We all need to be cautious in using these new in-vehicle technologies, and all of us need to remember that texting and driving is dangerous.”

Here are the Top Ten concerns in order: texting or emailing while driving; drinking and driving; drivers running red lights; speeding on residential streets; driving aggressively; sleepy drivers; driving after using illegal drugs; talking on cell phones while driving; driving well over the speed limit; and talking to or engaging with their in-car systems.

In June, CAA and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released research that found hands-free is not risk-free. In other words, engaging with voice control software that distracts the brain from focusing on the road is distracting, even if physically drivers are doing what they should.

The CAA poll is based on 4,020 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing almost 6 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

For further information or to book an interview today, please contact:

Kristine D’Arbelles
Manager, Public Affairs
CAA National
613-247-0117 ext. 2006
613-796-9404
kdarbelles@national.caa.ca

National CAA Eco-Driving Video Contest Winners Announced

In the fall of 2013, CAA hosted an Eco-Driving Video Contest that offered young Canadian drivers a chance to learn how to conserve fuel by following CAA’s easy-to-use tips.

CAA gave out two awards – the most popular video as voted by the public, and most creative video as selected by CAA. Both winners created unique videos showcasing eco-driving tips that can save you money at the pumps and save the environment. 

Nadia, who won most popular video, submitted her favourite eco-driving tip: avoiding high speeds. Check out the video here (note: video is in French only).

http://youtu.be/5zYlqxDN9lA

Alison, who won most creative video, demonstrated that even the Muppets can be eco-drivers if they avoid high speeds on their road trip. Check out the video here. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NuU7gOW8aE

For more information on eco-driving visit http://www.caa.ca/working-for-you/eco-driving/