Driving Safety Tips for Winter in Toronto, ON

Driving Safety Tips for Winter in Toronto, ON | DAG

Winter weather in Toronto means icy roads and the possibility of delays on the roadways. It also means you should slow down and adhere to these winter driving safety tips.

Slow it down

With snow, ice, and sleet on the roads, it’s harder for your vehicle to come to a safe stop. Be sure to slow down and leave more space than usual between you and the car ahead to allow for enough time to brake. Be careful not to make sudden stops, as this could cause your vehicle to lose control and skid.

No cruise control

Most cars today are equipped with cruise control and some are even intelligent enough to manage your speed automatically. But as smart as these systems are, you should avoid using cruise control at all when the roads are slick.

Prepare your vehicle

It’s also important that your vehicle is ready for winter driving. This means checking on vital components like the battery, lights, windshield wipers, fluids, and tires. For added peace of mind, consider stopping by Downtown AutoGroup for necessary maintenance, including putting winter tires on your car.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to driving safely this winter. Just keep calm and exercise plenty of caution.

Tips for Checking Your Vehicle’s Lights

Tips for Checking Your Vehicle’s Lights | Toronto, ON

As the seasons change, the sun starts to set earlier each day. To stay safe while driving, it’s imperative that the lights on your vehicle are working at their maximum potential. Here are some helpful tips for checking on these important features.

Check when it’s dark outside

The best way to know how well your car’s lights are working is to see how they perform when it’s dark outside. If possible, park on a flat surface in front of a wall or garage door after sunset. Turn on the standard headlights and look at the wall to see if the illumination for each light is equally bright. Do the same with the high beams and be sure to watch for a distinct difference in the level of brightness between the two types of bulbs. If any of the lights seem to be weak or not working at all, schedule a service appointment with our team at Downtown AutoGroup to repair them.

Don’t forget the brakes

Not only is it important for you to see what’s ahead of you at night, it’s just as important that the cars behind you can see you, too. Even when you’re not braking, the brake lights on your vehicle are slightly illuminated to help other drivers know when another car is in front of them. If you have someone that can help you, have them stand behind your vehicle while it’s parked and press on the brakes. If any of the brake lights are burnt out, you’ll want to get them replaced as soon as possible.

Other light components to consider checking include turn signals and the lights inside the cabin, such as overhead lamps and those illuminating the digital components. Contact the service technicians at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario, for assistance with any of these vital vehicle features.

Brush Up on Car Seat Safety

Brush Up on Car Seat Safety | Toronto, ON

Your car might have a lot of cargo room in the back, but it’s also well-equipped to carry the most precious cargo of all: your children. Before you hit the road here in Toronto, brush up on car seat safety information and make sure your kid’s protected.

Know the milestones

As your child ages, they will need new seats to fit their growing bodies. All infants must be in a rear-facing car seat, and they’ll stay in that type of seat until they reach age two and meet the height and weight requirements for a forward-facing car seat. These seats have a five-point harness to keep them secure. When they’re four years old and grow to 18 kilograms, or 40 pounds, your child can move up to a booster seat. These reposition your car’s seat belt to protect smaller people. From there, your child should stay in the booster seat until they’re tall and heavy enough for the adult seatbelt. According to Caring for Kids, that is usually between the ages of 9 and 12 years old.

Look for the mark

How do you know that the car seat in your vehicle is safe to use? See if it’s stamped with a National Safety Mark, which shows that it’s approved in Canada. Even if you think the car seat is right for your child, also check the label to determine its age, weight, and height limits.

Don’t reuse

If the unthinkable happens and you’re in a collision, you might think that you should keep the car seat that protected your child. However, if your car seat has been involved in any sort of accident, you should replace it. You never know how a minor incident might have compromised the seat’s integrity.

If you’re looking for a new vehicle to strap your child’s safety seat into, contact us at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto.

Important Emergency Items to Keep in Your Car

Important Emergency Items to Keep in Your Car | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON

When the unexpected occurs, it’s important to be prepared. We’ve put together a list of emergency items to keep in your car — that way you’ll be ready if you ever find yourself in an unlucky situation.

General Items

No matter the time of the year, there are a few items that you should always keep in your vehicle as an emergency kit. These include:

  • Water and non-perishable food to stay hydrated and fill you up in case you’re waiting on the side of the road for awhile
  • Road maps of areas that you frequently drive through in case you lose cell phone reception
  • A flashlight and road flares to help with visibility when darkness falls
  • A first-aid kit in case an injury occurs out on the road
  • Jumper cables to ensure you can always start your car — or help someone else start theirs — when a battery dies

Cold-Weather Items

Winter is no joking matter in Toronto. Make sure you always have the following items in your vehicle during the colder months:

  • A warm blanket to keep you warm when your car won’t turn on
  • Extra clothing, gloves, hats, scarves, and shoes so you can add layers if needed
  • Kitty litter or sand to help you get traction when you’re stuck in the snow
  • A shovel and ice scraper to help clear your car and dig yourself out of snow

Warm-Weather Items

Even if the weather’s warm, you still need to be prepared for emergencies. Make sure you have these items in your car during the summer:

  • An umbrella to help provide you with shade if you need to stand out in the sun
  • Extra water that will keep you hydrated and help cool your engine if your vehicle is overheating

Keeping these items on hand will help you stay prepared for emergencies. While you’re at it, remember to schedule routine service here at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario, so you can be confident that your vehicle is running at its best.

Essential Safety Features for Your Next Car

Essential Safety Features for Your Next Car | Downtown AutoGroup | Toronto, ON

Advanced safety technology is growing more and more popular throughout the automotive industry. With many vehicles coming standard with a suite of these safety technologies, it’s so much easier to feel more confident out on the road. Here are some of the essential safety features you should consider when searching for your next car.

Automatic Emergency Braking. With automatic emergency braking, your vehicle can apply your brake if it detects an imminent collision. This technology has reduced frontal collisions with injuries by 53 percent. While this technology isn’t a substitute for being attentive behind the wheel, it can help you when your reaction time isn’t as quick as you’d like to prevent a collision. On some vehicles, you can also opt for a rear automatic braking system, which appear to reduce crashes while backing up by 78 percent.

Pedestrian Detection. Alongside many automatic emergency braking systems is pedestrian detection technology. As you might guess from its name, this technology looks ahead, automatically braking when it detects a person in front of you.

Blind-Spot Detection. Change lanes with confidence when you’re driving with blind-spot detection. This system lets you know when there’s a vehicle in your blind spot, allowing you to switch lanes without worrying. Because many people turn off these systems, the numbers are difficult to analyze, but it currently appears that this type of system has reduced crashes by around 14 percent.

Stop in at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto and we’ll help you find a high-value, high-quality vehicle that’s equipped with your highest-priority safety technologies. 

3 Tips for Driving Safely in Hot Weather

Driving Safely in Hot Weather | Toronto, ON

Summer’s high temperatures can affect conditions on the road and under your hood. That’s why Downtown Autogroup has put together these tips for driving safely in hot weather.

Keep an eye on your fluids. Your vehicle needs various types of fluids to run, and it’s a good idea to make sure they’re at the recommended levels before the weather gets too hot. Fluids to check include your coolant, motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power-steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid.

Check your battery. Make sure your battery is in tip-top condition, since high temperatures can affect the way it works. Get a test to see if your battery is performance well, and, if your battery is too old, consider replacing it.

Remember, interior temperatures heat up fast. When it’s hot out, the interior of your car will get hot, too. Because of this, it’s important to remember some child safety tips along with driving safety. Don’t leave children in the car for any reason, even with the windows down. Also, teach your children not to play in, on, or around vehicles. Finally, make sure you check the temperature of your child’s car seat before you put them in the vehicle. If the seat is too hot, it can harm your child’s skin.

Need help prepping your vehicle for summer? Get in touch with one of our service departments at the Downtown Autogroup in Toronto.

Important Summer Safety Items for Your Vehicle

Important Summer Safety Items for Your Vehicle | Toronto, ON

Summer is a great time of the year to head out of Toronto and explore the great outdoors surrounding our city. If you’re planning on heading out for a weekend adventure, though, you should consider your family’s safety. Pack up these important summer safety items in your vehicle to give yourself peace of mind on the go.

Portable Car Battery Charger

Getting stuck with a car that won’t start due to a dead battery is no fun, especially if you’re out in the wilderness or far from the city. Make sure you always have jumper cables or a portable car battery charger. The portable chargers sometimes come with accessories like USB ports to help you charge your mobile phone, too.

Spare Tire

If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, it’s always handy to have a spare tire in the trunk to help you get to the nearest garage or to Downtown Autogroup, where we can help you get fitted with a new tire.

Emergency Supplies

You never know when an emergency might occur. Be prepared for anything with some emergency supplies. These should include a sun shelter, portable phone charger, first aid kit, road safety triangles, a multi-purpose tool, and water and snacks in case you’re waiting for a while.

For more suggestions on summer safety items to keep in your vehicle, or for service to help you drive more confidently, contact one of our service departments at Downtown Autogroup.

Back-to-School Safety Tips for Drivers

Back To School | Toronto, ON
Rear view of group of elementary students raising their hands ready to answer the question. Focus is on schoolgirl.

Summer is almost over and the new school term is just around the corner. As you prepare your kids to head back to class with supplies and new clothes, make sure you’re also preparing yourself to drive through school zones. Here are some back-to-school safety tips that will help you prepare.

Keep an eye out for children. Children are small and easily excitable. This means they might not be paying attention to where they’re going, or dart in the road without looking. Be vigilant as you’re driving around schools to ensure you can stop in time if a child does run from between parked cars.

Follow the speed limit. School zones have a set speed limit to keep students safe. Children on their way to school can easily get distracted, accidentally stepping into the street. Sticking to the speed limit can help ensure you can stop in time to prevent any accidents.

Obey crossing guards. Crossing guards are there to help keep children safe. Don’t ignore any directions you receive from them. If you’re at a traffic light and it turns green, but the crossing guard says to stay stopped, do what the guard indicates — he or she is trying to ensure that children are safely across the road before your vehicle moves.

Want to learn how Downtown Auto can help get you in a new, safe vehicle before school starts? Check out our new and used inventory of multiple brands and locations!