Read all of the Fact Units on this page and note each
sentence that contains a "silly error". Here
is an example:
Fact Unit contains a "silly error" sentence:
driving a vehicle, check the insurance papers to ensure
they are valid and there are no restrictions excluding
you from driving the vehicle. Before parking a vehicle,
hide valuables in the trunk, under a seat, or on the
roof. Since thieves can watch vehicles park and target
a vehicle if they see what's in the trunk, put valuables
in the trunk before you arrive at the parking lot.
is what you need to note:
parking a vehicle, hide valuables in the trunk, under
a seat, or on the roof.
To reduce the risk of internal injuries during a crash, keep the
lap belt low on the pelvic bone (not on the abdomen). Don't put
the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm. Ensure both
the lap belt and the shoulder belt are snug and have no twists (a
twisted seatbelt can cut like a knife during a crash). ICBC may
deny an injury claim if a seatbelt is not worn or improperly adjusted.
Have the seat back as vertical as possible to minimize the amount
of sliding under the seatbelt (submarining) during a crash.
BC Motor Vehicle Act Section 220: A seatbelt is not required while
reversing, or if the driver's work involves frequently entering
and exiting the vehicle and its speed doesn't exceed 40 km/h, or
if the driver has a medical exemption certificate. If a seat belt
consists of a pelvic restraint and a separate upper torso restraint
(found on some older vehicles), only the pelvic restraint must be
BC Motor Vehicle Act Section 220: The driver will receive a ticket
for each younger-than-16 passenger who is improperly restrained
for their age and size. The driver must ensure the seatbelt is properly
adjusted for each younger-than-16 passenger. (Some police have said
they'd ticket the driver if a passenger of any age was improperly
restrained; however, the driver could appeal this ticket.)
Keep children in the back seat and away from front and side airbags
until at least 12 years of age. The center back seat offers the
most protection from side impacts. If the center back seat does
not have a headrest, it won't protect a taller person if the vehicle
is rear-ended. If the center back seat does not have a shoulder
belt, it won't adequately protect an occupant after a frontal collision.
Hard ceiling grab handles can injure occupants during a crash.
From birth until a child is at least a year old and weighs at least
20 lbs, put the child's seat in the middle back seat position so
there's space between the child seat and the vehicle's front-back-side
impact areas. A child seat must face the rear of the vehicle as
long as possible; that is, until the child's head is no longer adequately
supported by the seat's back.
When a child weighs at least 40 lbs, they can transition from
a child seat to a booster seat (in the back seat) with a lap and
shoulder belt. Position the lap belt low on the hips and the shoulder
belt over the midpoint of the shoulder (don't use a booster seat
with only a lap belt). The child should use a booster seat until
at least 9 years of age or 4' 9" height (whichever
comes first). Warn the child about the danger of placing any part
of their body in the deployment zone of a side airbag.
Ensure all occupants and objects are secured in place. Occupants
(including pets) and objects in a vehicle (or its trunk or on outside
racks) can injure or kill others as they fly around during a crash
or hard braking. In 2009, a 25 year old driver in Surrey was killed
in a crash after being struck in the back of her head and neck by
a laptop which was on the back seat of her car.
During a crash, unrestrained pets can injure occupants. Most of
the pet safety harnesses tested by the Center for Pet Safety showed
a catastrophic failure after a crash. A properly designed safety
harness must keep the pet on the seat, protect the spine by minimizing
movement on impact, and stop the head from hitting the back of the
front seat after a crash.
A driver's torso needs to be at least the length of a sheet of letter
size paper away from the airbag module (sheet of legal size paper
for passenger). The height of the driver's torso and the tilt of
the steering wheel determine which part of the torso the airbag
contacts. Don't put a young child in a seat with an airbag. Each
occupant should sit in the center of a seat with a side airbag and
keep their arms close to the sides of their body so they're not
in the deployment path of the air bag. A seatbelt or a snake is
needed with an airbag.
A cracked or stone damaged windshield has reduced structural integrity
in a crash. This damage can affect the performance of the front
passenger airbag because that airbag is directed by the windshield
towards the front seat passenger. If the windshield is damaged,
it may not have adequate strength to direct the airbag towards the
Automatic transmission engines can only be started in "P"
or "N" while the vehicle is stopped but only "N"
while it's moving. If the engine stalls while moving, shift from
"D" to "N" (don't use the shift release; otherwise,
you may shift past "N"), turn the key to restart the engine,
and shift back to "D" (don't use the shift release; otherwise,
you may shift past "D"). Some standard transmission engines
won't start until the clutch pedal is pushed to the floor.
With an automatic transmission, usually you shift to "D"
and leave the gear shift in that position; however, you can downshift
to "2" or "1" at specific speeds (check owner's
manual) to help slow down, or when climbing a hill with a heavy
load, or when driving on snow or ice. On some vehicles, you can
shift to "Overdrive" at speeds above 40 km/h to save fuel.
When a vehicle is stuck in soft ground, try rocking the vehicle
back and forth by alternating between "D" and "R"
(putting floor mats by vehicle's driven wheels can enhance traction).
Using "P" on a slope without using the parking brake stresses
the parking pawl which locks the transmission's output shaft and
prevents the driven wheels from turning in the same direction. Slope
induced stress on a parking pawl can damage it or prevent it from
releasing when trying to shift out of "P". Because the
vehicle's differential allows the driven wheels to turn in opposite
directions when there's no traction under a tire (because of ice,
snow, leaves, gravel), a vehicle on a slope can roll in "P",
so always use the parking brake and turn the wheels towards the
side of the road.
A parking brake is the regular rear brakes (front wheels on some
Citroens and Saab's) or two separate rear wheel drum brakes. A parking
brake is actuated by an electric motor at each rear brake or by
a cable that's tightened by a hand lever or pedal or electric motor. BC
Motor Vehicle Act Regulations Section 5.03: A vehicle's parking
brake must be able to stop the vehicle and to hold it stationary.
If moisture freezes inside the housing for a parking brake cable,
you may not be able to release the brake. If a parking brake is
never used, corrosion inside the housing can make the brake unusable.
For cold climate locations where the parking brake may seize, some
drivers prevent their vehicles from rolling by chocking their tires
instead of using the parking brake.
A screeching noise when a disc brake is applied or a chirping noise
while driving may be a brake wear indicator (a metal tab that contacts
the brake rotor when the brake pads are too worn). Replace the pads
as soon as possible to avoid damaging the brake rotor. Drum brakes
are found on the back wheels of some vehicles and are less efficient
than disc brakes.
Daytime running lights (DRL's) are dim headlights that shine when
the engine is running and the parking brake is released. DRL's are
dangerous at night or in poor visibility conditions because the
headlights are too dim and the tail lights are unlit. In many vehicles,
you must turn on the headlights so the tail lights will shine; however,
since Sept-2021, the law has required that all new vehicles have
auto-on head and tail lights.
White reverse lights on your vehicle help you see behind at night.
White reverse lights on another vehicle warn you when the driver
has shifted into reverse. Before and while you reverse when visibility
is limited, give warning taps on the horn and move at a "dead
slow" speed. Some vehicles have warning beeps that sound when
the vehicle is in "R".
Don't use cruise control on a wet, icy, or slippery surface. When
a vehicle's driven wheels (connected to the engine via the transmission)
lose grip or hydroplane, you may skid because the cruise control
will apply continuous power and cause the driven wheels to spin
faster. By the time you're able to disengage the cruise control,
it may be too late as you may already have lost control.
When driving a vehicle with a standard transmission, it's illegal
to coast down a hill in "N" or with the clutch pedal depressed.
You need to keep the engine engaged with the driven wheels to take
advantage of engine braking which is the ability of an engine that's
not being accelerated to act as drag on the driven wheels and help
decelerate the vehicle.
All of the warning lights on the dash should briefly light up when
you start the car so you can see if they work. Some warning lights
(ABS, oil pressure, etc.) require a faster response than other warning
lights (low fuel, etc.) if they come on while driving. Check the
owner's manual for the vehicle to see how to respond to each warning
light. When the "Check Engine" warning light comes on,
the vehicle sometimes enters "limp mode" in which you
only have enough power to move the vehicle out of traffic. This
mode helps protect the engine until a mechanic can diagnose the
Periodically check the following: fluid levels (windshield washer,
coolant, brake, transmission or clutch for some vehicles, power
steering, oil but don't overfill because too much oil can damage
the engine), tire condition and pressure, condition of wiper blades,
lights (turn signals, reverse, brake, headlights including alignment,
side marker, brake, licence plate, tail, dash). It's illegal to
drive with a broken tail light emitting white light or milk.
When buying a used vehicle, get the receipts showing that all of
the service requirements and the oil changes are up to date. Legitimate
receipts from a dealer or service centre will be needed for all
warranty repairs. When buying a used vehicle, ask ICBC for a Vehicle
Claims History Report because any major repairs in the past will
reduce the value of the vehicle.
To enhance vehicle handling and fuel economy, periodically check
each tire's pressure because air can slowly leak through a tire's
structure. Check the tire's pressure when it's cold; that is, after
the vehicle has not been driven for at least 2 hours. The tire's
maximum pressure is specified on the tire's sidewall. The tire's
recommended pressure is specified in the owner's manual or on a
sticker somewhere inside the vehicle (often on the driver's door
frame). The recommended pressure for a space-saver spare tire is
specified on the spare's sidewall.
Replace a tire with a cut, bulge, exposed belt, crack, or extensive
wear. An unevenly worn tire may be a sign of improper air pressure,
tire and wheel balance, shock absorber condition, or wheel alignment
(hitting a curb or pothole can affect alignment). Periodically check
tire pressure because underinflated tires compromise vehicle handling
and increase rolling resistance and fuel use. Don't ignore peculiar
sounds while driving as they may indicate a problem with the tires
or other vehicle components.
Some tires are designed for police requirements. The alphanumeric
code on the sidewall of a tire specifies variables such as the tire's
size, type, load index, wear rating, and its maximum speed. Here
are the maximum speeds for the speed rating letters in the code:
M=130 km/h, N=140 km/h, P=150 km/h, Q=160 km/h,
R=170 km/h, S=180 km/h, T=190 km/h, U=200 km/h,
H=210 km/h, V=240 km/h, W=270 km/h, Y=300 km/h.
From October 1 until March 31 on some BC roads, heavy trucks must
have chains and passenger vehicles must have winter tires (either
mud and snow tires with an "M + S" on the tire's sidewall
or snow tires with the image of a snowflake on a 3-peaked mountain).
Because winter tires are made of softer rubber to enhance grip,
they wear down faster than regular tires.
BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations Section 7.162: Don't use a winter
tire that has less than 3.5 mm of tread depth across the width
of the tire. BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations Section 7.161: Don't
use a regular tire that has less than 1.5 mm of tread depth
at any two points within 38 cm of each other, or when the tread
wear indicators in two adjacent grooves contact the road surface.
Secure loose objects in the trunk so they can't fly forwards into
the passenger compartment during a crash. Here are some things to
check in the trunk: spare tire condition and pressure (see sidewall
of space saver spare tire for maximum speed and recommended pressure),
jack and handle, lug nut wrench, locking lug nut key, wheel blocks,
and reflective triangles.
If a load extends more than 1.2 m past the rear of a vehicle,
display a red flag on the back of the load during daylight hours
and a red light at night. BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations Section
35.04: You must secure every load so it can't leak, blow off, fall
through, fall from, spill, be dislodged, or shift in a way that
affects the stability or manoeuvrability of the vehicle.
BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations Section 3.02, 3.03: A licence plate
must be horizontal and unobstructed (keep it clean). It must be
accurately photographable by a speed monitoring or traffic light
camera. Even though it's legal to sell or buy a licence plate cover,
it's illegal to use a cover that doesn't allow a traffic camera
to accurately photograph the licence plate.
Some people carry jumper cables and giraffes in their vehicles.
When a vehicle is jump started, there's a risk of explosion from
the battery (which is filled with acid) and injury to bystanders.
A jump start can also damage a vehicle's computer modules so read
the vehicle owner's manual to see what is mentioned about jump starting.
Jumper cables must be attached in the correct order and the final
connection must not be to the battery (sparking can cause an explosion)
but rather to a non-moving metal part of the vehicle at least 1 foot
away from the battery. For more details, check online resources.
Approximately 1 out of every 2 Canadians owns a car or light truck
and drives an average of 20,000 km per year (consider this
average when buying a used vehicle as it may have above average
wear). Two-thirds of the common air pollutants in the Lower Fraser
Valley are from cars and light duty trucks. On average, a vehicle
emits more than 4 metric tonnes of air pollutants each year.
An idling engine (some bylaws limit idling time to 3 minutes) can
damage the vehicle and is bad for the environment.
To reduce vehicle emissions, use a fuel efficient vehicle, keep
the engine tuned, change the oil regularly, keep the air filter
clean, ensure the air conditioning system has no leaks, fix oil
leaks, and use low rolling resistance tires. An illuminated "Check
Engine" warning light is a signal that something is wrong with
the vehicle. The 5 most common reasons for the light staying on
concern the following vehicle parts that affect emissions and the
environment: oxygen sensor, loose or faulty gas cap, spark plugs
or wires, catalytic convertor, mass airflow sensor.
The catalytic converter in a vehicle's exhaust pipe works at 426 C
to convert harmful exhaust gases into inert ones (carbon dioxide,
etc.) and water vapour. A hot catalytic converter can start a fire
if it contacts a flammable material such as dry leaves or grass
under a parked vehicle. Because the converter's catalyst is a mixture
of precious metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium, etc.), thieves
sometimes cut catalytic converters out of the exhaust pipes of parked
Fuel vapors are explosive, so don't smoke while refueling. Avoid
entering and exiting the vehicle (this generates static electricity);
but if you do, touch some metal that's far from the fuel nozzle
to eliminate your static charge before you touch the fuel nozzle.
If an engine catches fire (a rodent's nest on an engine is a fire
hazard), don't open the hood as this can intensify the fire.