Equipment

Information on specific vehicle equipment.

LAW - Sylvania Silver Star Headlight Class Action

It appears that sometimes you don't get what you pay for. A class action lawsuit in the US against Osram Sylvania over the advertised claims for their Silver Star headlight bulbs was successful. The suit alleged that Sylvania represented that the headlights are brighter, provide a wider beam and allow drivers to see farther down the road than standard halogen headlights.

CASE LAW - R v Nguyen

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is a case where a series of bad decisions and defective equipment led to the death of a pedestrian walking on a path beside the highway at Ucluelet. Van Nho Nguyen had performed maintenance on the rear brakes of his truck that resulted in those brakes not functioning correctly. He attached an overloaded boat trailer that had the surge brake removed to the truck and drove from Toquart Bay to Ucluelet. On the way, Mr. Nguyen lost control of the combination. The trailer struck Ms. Lorraine Ennis, who was walking on a pedestrian path beside the highway, dragged her approximately 15 metres, and killed her.

RESEARCH - IIHS Rates Vehicle Headlights

IIHS LogoFor the first time, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested and rated vehicle headlights. Of the 31 mid-sized vehicles examined, only one, the Toyota Prius, received a "good" rating. All the others rated acceptable, marginal or poor in roughly the same proportion.

CASE LAW - Little v Einarsen

BC Courts Coat of ArmsThis is definitely an odd case! It shows the value of doing regular vehicle maintenance and keeping the receipts to account for it.

Jason Little was walking across the parking lot of a pub in Nanaimo when he was hit from behind by an unoccupied vehicle owned by Lisa Einarsen. Ms. Einarsen had parked the car at the top of the parking lot, set the parking brake, thinks she left it locked and in first gear and went into the pub. Mr. Little sustained significant injury and at the time of the trial some 6 years later could not return to his work because of those injuries.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems and Winter Tires

Black ice is a hazard here on Vancouver Island and the best defence is a good set of winter tires. They are designed to help hold the road better than M+S rated all season tires and it's now time to find a set for my wife's Honda CR-V. I'm fortunate to be able to afford what I want, so it was off to Honda for a set of steel wheels, Consumer Reports for the best tire choices and then the retailers for the best price. I thought that I had it all wrapped up until I remembered the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

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.

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