Keeping your family safe on the roads – SAFE rides are GREAT rides.

BCCA15October 8, 2015, OttawaOctober is Car Safety Month so why not take a little time to be car care aware and make sure your vehicle is ready for the harsh winter weather ahead. A small investment of time and money will ensure your peace of mind, and help avoid the larger cost and hassle of a breakdown when least expected.

Recent focus groups conducted on behalf of the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada showed that a large number of Canadian vehicle owners believe that they conduct the basic maintenance their vehicle needs on a very regular basis. However, a 2013 study, Canadian Automotive Aftermarket Demand Study showed that the average Canadian is underspending on vehicle maintenance and repair by $623 a year. This would indicate that scheduled maintenance is not being completed which is worrisome as manufacturers build and design vehicles with scheduled maintenance requirements to maintain the integrity of the vehicle and subsequently keeping road users safe.

“What we want people to take away from this campaign is that neglecting the small things, while seemingly small on their own, can add up, putting you, your family and other road users in harm’s way,” explains Jean-François Champagne, President of AIA Canada. “Our goal in October is to have as many Canadians as possible go through the basic maintenance checklist on our Be Car Care Aware website on their own or with their service provider to ensure that their vehicle is safe for the roads now and to get into the habit of maintaining their vehicle no matter the season.”

Younger drivers driving older cars

More than ever, younger drivers are buying older used cars. Research from Be Car Care Aware shows that young drivers, between the ages of 18 and 24 years, are neglecting their vehicles, which poses a safety threat to not only themselves, but others on the road. Be Car Care Aware urges parents to have an open and frank conversation with their young drivers about the importance of car maintenance, and to provide them with options to save money to put towards those repairs.

“Even if you as the parent are a novice when it comes to car maintenance, make it a learning experience,” says Champagne. “Don’t be afraid to share what knowledge you have and to bring your child with you when you bring your car in for servicing. Ask your service technician for tips or check out a local college’s car care program for vehicle owners.”

Here are a few talking points to get the conversation started with your family members:

  • Explain that all cars, new and old, need regular attention. Make sure that everyone using the family vehicle or their own knows and follows the maintenance schedule for his/her car. Preventive maintenance increases safety and saves money.

  • Help create a budget to meet those regular maintenance costs.

  • Remember the owner's manual. This guide is full of information about your car. If you’ve lost your vehicle’s owner manual, you can usually order/download one online from your vehicle manufacturer’s website.

  • Take your young driver to the repair facility, the tire store, the body shop and wherever you have automotive work performed. Introduce them to your service providers; let them ask questions about equipment and parts, services, prices, etc.

  • Make a plan. What happens if the car breaks down, he/she has an accident, or the car gets stolen? What if there are no other drivers at home to receive the panic call?

Over the years, vehicle safety standards have become more stringent and today’s cars are safer than ever before. However, even the safest design requires maintenance to keep it running safely and reliably over time.

Failing to maintain your vehicle to the level recommended in your owner’s manual by the engineers that designed your car can put you and your family at risk, so why not keep your car healthy. After all, safe rides are great rides.

Car Safety Month

Be Car Care Aware focuses on vehicle safety and preventive maintenance throughout October which is Car Safety Month. It provides materials on its website, social media platforms, print ads and onsite video ads across the country to assist vehicle owners.

About Be Car Care Aware

Be Car Care Aware is an educational, consumer awareness campaign to inform Canadian drivers about the benefits of regular, vehicle care, maintenance and repair. The campaign's purpose is to empower drivers to make sensible decisions about their vehicles and avoid costly repairs due to neglect. Be Car Care Aware is built around three key themes: safety, environmental protection and maximizing value for money spent on vehicle maintenance and repairs.

To learn more about car care and access the checklist and other program materials, visit, Facebook and Twitter.