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The Region of York has an app that alerts motorists to unexpected traffic delays and notifies them when they enter Community Safety Zones and reductions in speed limits. Some of the features:

  • you can find and save routes you use everyday that will monitor traffic issues at all times, as well as up to 20 km ahead of your current street location
  • you can use the “Report Traffic” button to report traffic issues to other users
  • there are real-time audio alerts of any unexpected traffic issues
  • you can receive push notifications of major traffic incidents around the GTA on your selected route before you leave your house/work

I played around with the app for a couple of hours and even used it to go to my brother’s house. It did shout out (very loudly, I might add) a possible traffic disruption on another street I was close to. I would definitely use this app if I had to travel to work everyday, especially if I were travelling on one of the 400-series Highways. It has an aesthetically pleasing interface and it is really easy to use. The one drawback was that it failed to recognize some addresses I put in at first, but it quickly found them after I inserted the postal code. I highly recommend York Region’s Travel Alert App to anyone who hates traffic (see: everyone).

It is available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android phones and can be downloaded for free by visiting www.your.ca/travelalert

Source: York.ca

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Chases between coppers and robbers. Cars that turn into menacing robots. Driving a curmudgeonly old lady around for hours. Cars that talk. These are just some of the premises of my favourite car movies of all time.

Like every single list ever made, this is nowhere close to being completed. Please send us your favourite car movies of all time at info@tomorrowsdrivers.com. Let’s try to finish the list together!

  • The Love Bug (1968) – This is the original kids, sans Lindsay Lohan
  • Cars (2006) – A great animated film
  • Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – Burt Reynolds at his finest
  • Bullitt (1968) – The original car/driving movie; if you haven’t seen it, you should
  • Driving Miss Daisy (1998) – Because Morgan Freeman. Enough Said
  • Ronin (1998) – An underrated movie with great driving scenes
  • Drive (2011) – I am pretty sure every women in the world saw this one (Ryan Gosling, anyone?)
  • The Fast and Furious (2001) – A shout out to all of you Gen X’ers
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) – Possibly the funniest car movie ever made
  • Days of Thunder (1990) – The apex of Tom Cruise’s career
  • The Italian Job (2003) – It made the Mini Cooper cool (again)
  • Thelma and Louise (1991) – On this list only thanks to the final scene
  • Transformers (2007) – Autobots are not cars? OK then, because of Meghan Fox. Enough Said
  • Back to the Future (1985) – It made the DeLorean cool (for the first time, I am pretty sure)
  • Speed (1994) – Buses are considered cars as well, right?

 

Has it been an eternity since you were in driving school? About to take the G2 road test? Follow these tips and increase the confidence in your driving abilities.

  • Keep Your Hands on the Wheel
    • Place all ten fingers on the steering wheel. Wrap them firmly around it, positioned at around 9 and 3 o’clock (think of a clock that is in front your face and touch the 9 and 3); keep them there while you drive
  • Adjust and use mirrors
    • always adjust the rearview mirror so you can see behind you and make sure the windshield is not obstructed with anything on the dash or dangling from the mirror. Make sure you glance in the rearview mirrors frequently, even when not planning a lane change, so that you are very aware of traffic all around you at all times
  • Practice shoulder checks
    • always check over your shoulder (your “blind-spot”) before changing lanes, and change lanes smoothly and decisively when you are free to do so
  • Recognize when you become too tired to drive
    • Constant yawning, heavy eyelids and blurred vision while driving are some of the warning signs that you may be on the verge of falling asleep at the wheel. Driving when you are sleepy is dangerous because your brain starts to shut down. It reduces your ability to drive effectively and to think quickly; hence your reaction time is slower, awareness is decreased, and judgement is impaired
  • Always drive according to weather conditions
    • Weather conditions can change quickly, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills. Make sure you know how to handle your vehicle in all weather conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid having to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.

And of course, the more obvious ones:

  • Always….
    • wear your seat-belt
    • give pedestrians the right of way
    • use your signals
    • be confident
  • Never….
    • fiddle with the radio
    • use your cell phone
    • go over the speed limit
    • consume alcohol or drugs while driving

Practice these safe-driving tips and know that you can pass any driving test, whether you are 16 or 60.

Source: Ministry of Transportation and Canadian Safety Council

Toronto, or at least the GTA, has to be included in any list looking at the world’s most traffic congested cities, right?

Not so, according to INRIX, a software company which provides a variety of Internet and mobile applications and services that deal with traffic and driver issues. As they indicate on their website, “with increasing amounts of data and cutting edge analytics techniques, we now have the data and tools required to adequately analyze and address [the] issues” regarding congestion.

INRIX has developed methods for interpreting its real-time traffic data to establish monthly and annual averages of travel patterns in all major cities in North America and Europe. It’s 6th annual 2012-2013 Traffic Scorecard Annual Report – which documents the worst cities for traffic and draws on 6 years of trend data up to March of this year – shows that Torontonians wasted 36.2 hours in traffic from May 2012 to May 2013.

 

imagecreditkevorkdjanseziangetty

 

So how does Toronto measure up with other cities in Canada and across the globe? Well, not too bad, actually. The top 5 cities in Canada for the worst traffic congestion in order are Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and finally, Ottawa. The global top 10 (comprising only North American and European cities) in order are Brussels, Antwerp, Los Angeles, Milan, London, Paris, Honolulu, San Francisco, Manchester and Rotterdam.

What does this all mean? Well, maybe we should think twice the next time we dog Toronto’s so-called traffic woes. It could always be worse, especially if you live in Brussels or even Montreal. Although I am sure there is someone in Mumbai this moment sitting in traffic who would like to add to this list.

Source: INRIX Traffic Scorecard – http://scorecard.inrix.com/scorecard/

 

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Raise your hand if you believe that Ontario’s own Yonge Street is the longest street in the world.

I sure did.

And I am pretty sure I have repeated this truth to a few of my friends from different countries around the world as well.

But like almost anything else you are told outside of school, you must verify things you hear. In this day and age of the Internet, there is no reason – outside of sheer laziness – not to verify so-called “facts” we overhear.

After conducting some research, it has come to my attention that Yonge Street is no longer considered to be the longest street in the world. According to carinsurance.ca:

It wasn’t until 1999 that Yonge St. was officially stripped of its title from

the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s longest road. The Pan American highway has been given this title as it starts in Argentina and travels a mere 48,000 km all the way up to rural Alaska.

Wow. Don’t I have egg on my face? Excuse me while I go make some international phone calls. Seems like I have some amends to make.

Source: www.carinsurance.ca, Guinness Book of World Records.

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