Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Which Vehicles Are Most Targeted For Auto Theft

The Insurance Bureau Of Canada released its' annual list of the most frequently stolen vehicles in 2017 and there are certain makes and models that tend to be the biggest targets, both nationally and provincially. 

Nationally, the Ford F-350 is the most stolen vehicle across Canada, but along with the F-250, are also the most targeted vehicle in Alberta. In Ontario, thieves tend to go after high end SUVs and trucks, such as the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado. 

The latter is also a huge target in the Atlantic provinces, only surpassed by the Nissan Maxima, while in Quebec it's the Acura MDX that takes top spot. Interestingly, the older models of these vehicles tend to be stolen, mostly because they lack the more sophisticated security devices of the newest lines of automobiles. 

Still, newer vehicles that utilise a fob with push button starts are increasingly targeted, as the latest trend are suffering what is known as a "relay attack". Thieves use special devices to pick up and intercept the radio signal from a fob and then use it to open the doors and start a vehicle.

This type of theft is a new trend but ever increasing and the advice on avoiding being a victim is to use what is known as a Faraday sleeve or cover. This simple device basically blocks the the radio signals and prevents thieves from high jacking your car or truck.

But, thieves often don't even need to go to any great lengths to steal a vehicle. In Winter months, too many people start their vehicles to warm them up and leave them unattended, or leave them running as they pop in to a store, allowing any opportunistic thief to get in and drive away. In Alberta, 25% of all auto thefts happen when the keys are left in the vehicle.

Co-incidentally, Alberta does hold the distinction of having the most vehicle thefts in the entire country at 30%, though many provinces saw increases in their rates. In New Brunswick, the rise in auto thefts was a staggering 28% jump, with Ontario following at 15%.

And think about this the day after your night of celebrations. Most auto thefts occur on January 1st! Not that any time is a good time to have your vehicle ripped off but certainly it's not such a great way to start the New Year!!

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Flu Season

One of the many great things about working at BlueCircle is having some benefits with which to keep one's self healthy. Promoting wellness comes in many forms and our benefit provider at Sun Life obviously believes in the BlueCircle slogan"education is the best insurance", as it applies to protecting yourself from the flu this winter.

graphics courtesy of Sun Life Financial

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Distracted Driving Facts

An earlier post titled "3 Seconds" previewed a documentary on distracted driving, so here are some sobering facts to supplement the topic of what is an ever increasing and very preventable phenomena which is killing thousands of Canadians each year.

10 facts that will cause you to think twice before using a device while driving

  1.  Distracted driving claims more lives than alcohol related, speed related, or seat belt related accidents

  2. Approximately 90% of drivers consider themselves very or fairly aware of distracted driving laws

  3. Of surveyed drivers, report being pulled over and/or faced legal consequences for driving distracted

  4. About 5% of surveyed respondents report having caused an accident because of their own distracted driving

  5. At 100 kmph, taking your eyes off the road for 2 seconds equates to a travelled distance of 52 m, which is approximately the length of a hockey rink

  6. Using a device or having similar distractions increase your risk of accidents by a minimum of 5 times and as much as 23 times that of an attentive driver

  7. Of surveyed respondents, 69%  think that using a mobile device is the biggest distraction to drivers yet only 24% believe it is the biggest distraction to their own driving.

  8. Canadian drivers who use a mobile device while driving do so once a week or more often

  9. About 42% of respondents who drive and were passengers in a vehicle have asked that driver to not use a mobile device while driving.

  10. Despite the facts stated in #9, 60% of surveyed drivers have admitted to answering or making a phone call or reading or sending a text while driving

Is there any call or text that is so urgent or important that it's worth risking your life or those of another person?

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Word Of The Week

While vetting my new dentist I saw that she was very well educated and specialized in several aspects of dentistry including gnathology, which was a word I had never heard before. 

Gnathology is the study of the masticatory ( chewing) system, including its physiology, functional disturbances, and treatment.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

3 Seconds

Every year, almost 2000 Canadians die in traffic accidents, 94% due to human error, so what's going on behind the wheel that's causing so much grief and sorrow?

Our business partners at Travelers Insurance, along with their affiliates at the Travelers Institute, have worked diligently on reducing the major causes of traffic accidents. Sadly, distracted driving has now taken top spot in this category, surpassing impaired driving as number one.

Of course, any accident with human error as the cause can also be considered a preventable accident. Check out "Deadly Roads" or "Left Hand Turns" to read a bit more about the topic of preventable accidents, but suffice to say, we can do many things to reduce accidents.

Check out the video short above to get a visual on the full length Travelers Institute documentary "3 Seconds Behind The Wheel", produced in an effort to help reduce traffic accidents.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

More Old Money

After posting about "New Money",  a previous post titled "Old Money" was revisited and there were some great comments and feedback about the history of some of those old bills, prompting me to do a bit of additional research.

The engraving of the Queen's portrait was done by The British American Bank Note Company artist George Gundersen in 1952. The artwork was based on the official photo portrait taken by one of the Queen's official photographers, Peter Dirk Uys, and was scheduled to be printed on all bank notes produced in 1954.

Shortly after being put into circulation, a complaint was received by the Bank Of Canada regarding a "devil's face" loacted in the Queen's hair, as demonstrated within the circled area in the diagram above and shown on its' own below.

Conspiracy theories abounded and an investigation was launched, but no proof of a conspiracy was ever found and no charges were ever laid, however, a revised portrait was done, new bank notes were produced, and the offending bank notes were pulled from circulation and cancelled.

A basic internet showed there was no set value attached to the old, out of circulation "devil's face" bills but several of them appear for sale on e-Bay, with starting bids at USD $80 for a $20 bank note, so if you have a stash of old bills, it might be worthwhile sifting through them and having a look for this anomoly. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

New Money

I've written about "Old Money", with some old bank notes from the 1900's, but here's a post about the newest money which was just released by The Bank Of Canada.

Some interesting facts about this particular bank note, with a couple of firsts to its' credit.

First bank note to have a vertical orientationn, allowing for larger portraits and better overall design. It is also designed to work better "ergonomically", as most people look through their wallets in such a manner that the vertical orientation will be seen easier.

First bank note to feature a woman, other than a paliamentarian or Royalty. Of course, most Canadian currency featured the Queen, and between the years 2004 -2012 the $50 bank note featured a composite portrait of Senator Therese Casgrain along with the ladies of the Famous 5 (Nellie McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Irene Parlby, and Emily Murphy)

As mentioned, the new note does not include a portrait of the Queen, nor any prime ministers.

The $10 bill is all about human rights, as it features the Canadian Museum Of Human Rights in Winnipeg and includes an excerpt from the Charter Of Rights, as well as an eagle feather to represent the indigenous people of Canada.

As an added security measure, the eagle feather changes colour when the bill is tilted.

The added security feature means the bank note cost $0.27 to manufacture, slightly more than the cost of the previous edition which was $0.23