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SKIING... Whistler Blackcomb Snow School


February 2007 Newsletter
 
Welcome to our winter update.

Long-time subscribers will notice that we are sending this newsletter
as Sidorov Advanced Driver Training, instead of Sidorov Precision
Driver Training which is the title of our web site.

The former is a legal DBA, or "doing business as" name, for Sidorov
Sports Consultants Inc. This reflects that we are now operating some
training schools at the Pemberton Airport in British Columbia's Sea to
Sky country. Precision was taken in the provincial registry, advanced
was not.

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Newsletter, February 2007
**********************************************************************
THE CANADIAN DRIVING PACKAGE

If I were a manufacturer looking to focus on the Canadian market, this
is what I would put on a vehicle, either as standard equipment or as a
package.

HEADLIGHT WASHERS. I have these on my current Volvo Turbo all-wheel-
drive wagon, and they are great. Driving north a couple of weeks ago,
we were faced with the usual winter muck, slime and shrapnel. Every
twenty minutes or so I gave the headlights a rinse. The result was an
instant improvement in light output, without the need to stop at the
side of the road and wipe the lenses clean.

FUNCTIONAL MUDFLAPS. Not only do these make it safer for other
vehicles, as well as pedestrians, by reducing spray and flying debris,
they cut down on damage to your vehicle's paint and underbody.

SEAT HEATERS. Once you've tried them on a minus 25 morning, you'll
understand.

HEATED SIDE MIRRORS. Mirrors are tough to scrape properly, but crucial
to maintaining that 360 degree bubble of awareness around your
vehicle.

REALLY GOOD DEFOGGERS. What works in Tulsa or Paris may not do the job in Winnipeg.

SKID PLATES OR OTHER UNDERBODY PROTECTION. Those lumps of snow and ice that decorate our winter streets can literally gut a car by gouging the oil pan, or breaking other delicate parts. You may be able to get these plates standard on something like a Subaru Outback, or as an aftermarket piece.

Beyond that, bulletproof front glass would be nice. A couple of winter
road trips have left my windshield  looking like a road map of Ontario.

HOW OTHER COUNTRIES DEAL WITH DRIVING SAFETY

In Germany, prospective new drivers must take a first aid course,
aimed at dealing with vehicle crash trauma, before they can apply for
a provisional learner's licence.

Sweden requires several hours of skid pad/slippery conditions
training, as well as night driving practice, as a prerequisite to
taking a driver's test.

Many European countries are focusing on attitude, as well as skill
building. In Denmark, the requirement is four to five 45 minute skid
pad, or skid pan, sessions, as part of basic driver training. In addition, there is considerable emphasis on the psychology of performance, self-assessment, social skills, and environmentally responsible driving.

In Sweden, the program that covers all aspects of road safety is
called Vision Zero. No, this doesn't refer to certain politician's
degree of insight. It states, simply, that the goal is to reduce
traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero.

Food for thought.

SHRINKING COMPANIES

Through a combination of years of indifferent design as well as
corporate myopia, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are down to an
all-time low portion of the North American market. While all three
offer some good products, many other manufacturers simply design,
produce, and service to a higher level. As consumers, we don't want to
use our money as a sympathy vote.

For those who don't think these companies could disappear, I suggest a
look at the British automobile industry. Where are Austin, Morris,
Hillman, and so many others? Bentley and Rolls-Royce are owned by
Volkswagen AG and BMW respectively.

Interestingly, what has remained, and grown stronger, is the British
boutique car industry. Small manufacturers, especially of lightweight,
hand-crafted sports cars like Noble, Caterham, Morgan, and Marcos, are
still plying their wares. Let's hope the Big Three can do better than
downsizing quite that much.

OBEYING ORDERS

This came across the Reuters news feed just after I finished writing an
article on the subject. Yet another German motorist crashed because he
turned when instructed to by the vehicle's navigation system. In this
case, he crossed an empty field and smacked into a building of some
sort. Are we really becoming so reliant on technology that we won't
question an order from a dashboard-mounted electronic device?


**********************************************************************
 Our Driving Tips page is due to be featured on the Canadian
Association of Road Safety Professionals website this month. If you
have any questions, or are looking for specific driving information,
please send an e-mail.

Looking for something particular?

Use keywords (example: teenage drivers, corporate programs, winter driving) in the search function below to find additional information on our web site.

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