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Thankful: More Car Choices and Technology Keeping Us Safe!

Thankful: More Car Choices and Technology Keeping Us Safe!

October 10, 2014

Thanksgiving is a great time to get to together with family and friends to celebrate what we’re grateful for in life.

It’s also not a bad time for us car lovers to be thankful for our four wheels – not only for where they take us, and the joy and fulfillment those destinations bring – but how the industry has evolved to make our lives better and more safe.

Think of how far the automobile has come. Remember when you used to break a sweat to roll down the windows, spent a greater chunk of your income to fill up the fuel tank, and used printed maps to figure out the best route across the island?

Today we have dozens of fuel-efficient vehicles options, including hybrids and electric cars. Our roads are also friendlier to drive on, thanks to changes to the speed limits in some parts of the province. We’ve also seen impressive improvements to infrastructure such as the Port Mann Bridge in the Lower Mainland and the wider, safer Sea-to-Sky highway between Vancouver and Whistler.

New technology inside our vehicles is also changing the way we drive today, for the better. Navigation systems, some now built right into the vehicles, are helping us get places faster, while saving gas and in turn reducing emissions.

In-vehicle backup cameras are one of the best inventions to prevent accidents, property damage or even human injury when reversing out of a driveway or parking spot. Meantime, parents are bowing before the people who added video monitors in vehicles, helping keep their kids quiet and entertained during long road trips.

While these may seem like frivolous convenience items to some, many new technologies can actually increase safety on our roads. Anything that keeps drivers alert to what’s happening around them and helps to prevent distractions is to be commended, in my books.

New technology has also helped to cut down on auto fraud, thanks to evolving anti-theft systems, not to mention of course B.C.’s wildly successful “Bait Car” program, run by the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT). Since IMPACT began operating in 2003, auto theft in BC is down 73 per cent, according to the RCMP.

Drivers and passengers – and their families – should also be grateful for tougher restrictions around distracted driving and drinking and driving, which is keeping our roads safe.

Dealers across the province are particularly grateful to their customers, employees and families who contribute to the success of the business. Thanks to this support, dealers are able to contribute to charities and other great causes in their local communities and around the province.

On that note, I’d also like to thank the B.C. dealers for putting up with me for six years as of October 1st! I am grateful to work with such a talented, entrepreneurial, hardworking and fun bunch of folks. Happy Thanksgiving!

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca.

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