Understanding Auto Insurance #AutoXplained

Three and a half years ago I was in a car accident which changed my life. When an accident like this happens to you, suddenly you can see the value of car insurance. So many of us resent paying car insurance premiums, thinking that we’ll never use it but the reality is we don’t know when an accident will happen. I certainly didn’t think I’d EVER be involved in a serious one after 20 years of driving.

Where payments go and how claims are paid out

Each person who pays car insurance premiums are actually putting the money into a pool. This is the money which is used to assist folks who have contributed with costs associated with a claim.

How Car Insurance Premiums are Calculated

The premium you pay for car insurance is calculated based upon your unique situation and the chances that you’ll actually make a claim. If you fall into a category where you’re unlikely to ever make a claim you pay less.

Tips to Help Control the Cost of Auto Insurance

  • Dropping collision coverage on an older car
  • Getting package deals for insuring your car and home, or more than one car, with the same insurance company
  • Installing an approved theft deterrent system in your vehicle
  • Buying a car with a lower–‐cost insurance rating

Considerations Before You Insure Your Car

  • Where you live – Collisions and auto theft are more likely in urban areas, which may affect your premium.
  • What car you drive – Your car’s make, model, year, value and potential repair costs are associated with risk factors. Your insurance company may consider the CLEAR system to rate your car.
  • What you use your car for – The more you drive, the higher your collision risk. Your insurance company will want to know if you drive often or for long distances.
  • Your driving record – A long, collision–‐free driving history can help you qualify for competitive insurance rates.
  • Your driver profile – Depending on your province, the claims history of the group to which you belong as a driver – for example, drivers of the same age and driving experience – may be factored into your rate.
  • Your premium may be impacted by how often your group makes claims.
  •  Your coverage (and endorsements)The more comprehensive your coverage, the higher your premium may be.
  • The listed drivers of your vehicle

I cannot stress how important it is to have your car insurance up to date. As a person who has had the unfortunate opportunity to see its benefits up close and personal I assure you I would have been lost without it. I know it’s not a cushy feeling to be paying for something you haven’t used…but chalk it up to peace of mind and hope you’ll never need it. By doing a bit of research before you purchase your car or insurance you can save yourself some costs on premiums.

IBC-Logo-med

To learn more, head over to the IBC website where you’ll find everything you need to know.

Isn’t your peace of mind worth it?

Disclosure: Although this post has been generously been sponsored by IBC, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Insurance Bureau of Canada.

 

 

 

CAA Blogger Shopping Challenge Week 3 Update

It’s time for the third instalment of my CAA Blogger Shopping Spree Challenge!!!

caa Blogger challenge

 

Before I gush about all of the savings we enjoyed by shopping at  CAA partner stores I must share the photo which CAA South Central Ontario has made up of myself and my competitor, Extreme Couponing Mom.

caa blog challenge

How freakin hilarious is that!!! The title Rumble in the Retail Jungle certainly fits in this case, kudos to CAA!

The Low Down on CAA Blogger Shopping Spree Challenge

For those who may have missed my previous 2 updates you can catch up on the amazing savings my CAA membership has allowed me at Payless ShoeSource, The Gap Factory Store and Banana Republic Factory store by following the link HERE for Payless and HERE for The Gap and Banana Republic Factory Stores.

Extreme Couponing Mom and I are each using a CAA No-Fee MasterCard with a limit of $2500 to shop at the CAA partner stores and blog about our experiences. The first blogger to save enough money with their CAA membership to cover the cost of a new CAA Plus membership + Plus Associate membership (totaling $209.05) will receive an East Side Mario’s OR Husky Gift Certificate worth $100!

Where Have I Saved Using My CAA Membership?

East Side Mario’s for Lunch

Let’s begin with East Side Mario’s which is one of my family’s favourite restaurants. We chose to dine at East Side Mario’s on two different occasions, once with the children and once without.

As you can imagine each experiences was vastly different but the food was equally sumptuous!

When my husband and I went for lunch we were exhausted and enjoyed the comfort food which greeted us. We had spent our morning shopping at The Gap & Banana Republic Factory Stores and were ready for a break. Each of us enjoyed our meals, although at times it felt as though my children were with us….why does he always do this?

caa lunch

East Side Mario’s Regular Price without discounts: $35.46

East Side Mario’s Price after Sale Discounts and CAA Member Show Your Card and Save Discount: $31.91

With this purchase, by using my CAA membership card at this CAA Partner I’ve saved $3.55

East Side Mario’s for Family Dinner

The family was in high spirits when we escaped from our trailer in Muskoka to enjoy a meal together at East Side Mario’s. I was impressed that they have a large kids menu with reasonable pricing! Amidst delicious food, lots of laugher our little family spent some time bonding and discussing our Spring plans.

caa family dinner

We chose 2 appetizers, an entrée each and even 2 Sakes for the girls…..yes we were starving when we arrived and quickly realized we’d be needing doggie bags!

East Side Mario’s Regular Price without discounts: $69.92

East Side Mario’s Price after Sale Discounts and CAA Member Show Your Card and Save Discount: $66.65

With this purchase, by using my CAA membership card at this CAA Partner I’ve saved $3.27 

** I didn’t notice that I didn’t save 10% on my total until we had left the area but I suspect that some kids choices must not be applicable.**

Petro Canada is a CAA Partner

Up until I began this challenge I don’t think I had realized all of the money-saving opportunities available to members. I was pleasantly surprised to read Petro Canada on the list of CAA partners, we all know how expensive gas is these days so any way I can save at the pump is a blessing!

caa petro can

Simply register your CAA membership number and you’ll automatically collect 20% more Petro-Points with every purchase you make at Petro-Canada when you swipe your Petro-Points card. You can also redeem 60,000 Petro-Points for a Basic CAA membership in Ontario or you can exchange Petro-Points for CAA Dollars.

Petro Canada Total: $86.01

Family Night At Galaxy Cinema

Our family loves to go to the movies and one of the CAA member benefit discounts we’ve always enjoyed was the special pricing at Cineplex Entertainment.  CAA offers packages you just can’t get anywhere else which are a great fit for us.

  • Cineplex Admit One – $9.83 CAD – 1 general admission
  • Cineplex Night Out – $28.82 CAD – 2 general admissions, 2 regular drinks and 1 regular popcorn
  • Cineplex Child Night Out (13 years old or less) – $12.26 CAD – 1 child admission and 1 kid’s concession combo (1 kid’s popcorn, 1 kid’s drink and 1 small candy)

We purchased the Cineplex Night Out and 2 Cineplex Child Night Out packages and tried to contain our excitement about seeing the new Iron Man 3. The movie was FAB by the way, Robert Downey JR never fails to entertain.

caa movie

I don’t have an exact tally of what the price would be without our CAA member savings but the movie tickets alone would have cost $46.98.

Cineplex Entertainment Total: 53.34

This Week’s Progress Report

Regular Price without discounts: $244.73

Price after  CAA Member Show Your Card and Save Discount$ 237.91

As of today, by using my CAA membership card at CAA Partners in TOTAL I’ve saved $110.29 and have spent $1169,04 of the $2500.

Disclosure: As a chosen blogger for the CAA Blogger Challenge I am being compensated for participating. All opinions and experiences are my own.

CAA Protection on Road Trips #CAASCO

Road TripWith Christmas plans well underway many of us will be taking road trips to visit friends and family. If you’re like me you plan ahead for the road trips your family takes. I do my best to plan the shortest route, pit stops and games to keep the children occupied before the boredom drives us all crazy.

Here in South Central Ontario taking road trips in December often means driving in poor weather conditions which is a whole other aspect of planning. We pack extra warm clothing, blankets, food, vehicle emergency kit, make sure the vehicle has had it’s maintenance and make sure our CAA memberships are up to date.

It may sound like we over plan but when you’re stuck on the side of the road during a winter storm things become frightening very quickly.

CAA has helped us plan our road trips in many ways over the years, they offer services which many people Road Trip CAAdon’t even realize they have:

  • TripTik –  route planners to help you take the scenic route or get there quickly.
  • CAA Tourbooks – online TourBooks, printed TourBooks, eBook TourBooks all help plan the route including any stops along the way. The TourBooks outline the best hotels, restaurants, destinations, attractions and events throughout Canada and the United States.
  • Roadside Service – when we call, CAA will arrive on scene and make every effort to get our vehicle into drivable condition. If that cannot be done, they will tow our vehicle for us. Services include:
    • Battery Service
    • Vehicle Lock-out Service
    • Emergency Gas Delivery Service
    • Tire Service
    • Extrication/Winching Service
    • Roadside Mechanical Service

With some planning our road trips have been safe and filled with memories. It may seem that all of this planning is overkill but with CAA we know we’ll always be safe when our family is on the road and this is invaluable to us.

If you’re planning a Christmas road trip head over to the CAA website and see what they offer or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

I am participating in the CAA program by ShesConnected. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own

 

CAA Gift Membership – A Fab Christmas Gift #CAASCO

I grew up in a small town and back then winters were brutal. We walked to school in snow up to our hips, uphill both ways…..ok I’m exaggerating but the snowfall was greater than it is today and my father commuted over an hour to Toronto for work each day.

My Dad is a brilliant man (I may even type that if I knew he didn’t read my blog), he’s stereotypically British in many ways with his stiff upper lip and happens to be super frustrating to buy Christmas gifts for.

My Mum used to lament about this, wracking her brain for gift ideas for Dad. I have visions of countless golf shirts, books, golf ball packs and bottles of very fine scotch. But there was one gift that Mum always bought for Dad, one gift that she knew he’d appreciate and the one year she didn’t buy it he was shocked and quite vocal about his dismay.

Every year but one my Mum bought my father a CAA gift membership. It is the only gift that gave my Dad peace of mind with his travels.

Right now if you purchase a CAA gift membership before January 31, 2013 they will waive the $12.00 enrollment fee and you will receive 2 FREE Trunk Organizers.

Beginning at just $67 this is an amazing gift which is appropriate for many people on your Holiday shopping list and it protects the recipient all year long.

CAA membership doesn’t just cover you for Roadside Assistance, it also gives you:

  • Coverage in ANY car, including rentals
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance across North America
  • Save up to 30% on shopping, entertainment, attractions & more
  • Earn up to 20% in CAA Dollars® at participating partners. Redeem your CAA Dollars towards your next dream vacation, travel merchandise, membership renewal or even a gift membership
  • Discounts on CAA Auto & Home Insurance

As a CAA member myself I can assure you this gift is worth every penny, from travel to tows (2 in the last week…but that’s another story) we’ve had the pleasure of benefitting from many membership advantages. My Mum would advise you to stop thinking, head over to CAA and take advantage of this offer.

I am participating in the CAA program by ShesConnected. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own

The Top 7 Benefits of CAA Membership #CAASCO

When we bought our home in suburbia 8 years ago we knew that we were committing to being commuters. This decision was worth it for us but we knew that we would have to factor in the cost of gas, driving time and having a reliable vehicle. Along with these things it was important to me to have a membership to CAA to ensure that we’d have back up in case our vehicles broke down while driving. Being as attractive as we are there was no way that I’d want us stranded at the side of the road, becoming a target for who knows what kind of people….ha!

Seriously though our CAA membership has been valued over the years, not only has it given us peace of mind but it’s included discounts in stores and travel.

The Top 7 Benefits of CAA Membership

  1. 24/7 Roadside Assistance – We have had flat tires, been locked out of our car and on each occasion CAA was there to help. CAA is available 24/7 and with my hubby working nights he has had to call in the middle of the night. Thankfully they were able to help on site but if they couldn’t they would have safely delivered our vehicle to our location of choice. Did you know they will also help you on your bicycle?
  2. Protection in any vehicle – It doesn’t matter if we’re traveling in someone else’s car, CAA will come to the scene and help as long as we have our membership card.
  3. Discounts and savings opportunities – From movies to trips, CAA has teamed up with an array of retailers to give discounts to Members. Our family regularly uses the discounts for movies, attractions and travel. The list of available discounts is huge so rather than listing them, please head over to their CAA Membership & Savings page to see.
  4. Expert automotive advice – CAA is there to help us choose a repair shop or find any other information about our vehicle we need.
  5. Reliable travel planning services and tools – Two years ago we wanted to take a family trip to Walt Disney World but with my disabilities it felt like it was too large of a task to undertake. We turned to the Travel Planning team at CAA who set up the perfect vacation for our family. They kept my disabilities in mind and ensured we had the most value for our dollar while providing the most amazing experience for us all.
  6. Competitive insurance rates and exceptional service – CAA offers insurance which will suit your needs. Their rates are competitive and you can easily find a quote using their Insurance Quote tool.
  7. CAA’s strong commitment to the environment – CAA has a program called Autogreen which offers assistance to drivers in becoming eco-friendly. This year for every Member who participates in Autogreen, CAA will plant a tree on the Member’s behalf. They’re hoping to plant over 20, 000 trees this year alone.

Our CAA membership gives us peace of mind as commuters but also provides us with fantastic savings and information regularly. The fees are minimal compared to the benefits so why not head over to the CAA website today and see all of the membership benefits for yourself?

Don’t forget to check out the “THE GAME OF LIFE – CAA Life-side Assistance Edition”. You can play every day between now and November 18th. Every completed game play becomes an entry for the grand prize. There are daily prizes being awarded, along with coupons and discounts!

The grand prize is your choice of a Florida Family Fun vacation, a Peru Panorama or Cruising the Danube.

Rules are that this campaign/game/contest is only open to South Central Ontario Residents; here is a map to locate the area http://www.caasco.com/About-Us/Contact-Us/Locations.aspx

I am participating in the CAA program by ShesConnected. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own

I'm a "Baller" Now Thanks to the 2012 Escalade Hybrid

After driving the 2012 Escalade Hybrid for a week it’s official, I’m cool again!

escalade

Escalade has always had an image I’ve admired, the part of me that desires to be “cool” yearns for the attention the Escalade receives simply by showing up. This is one sexy vehicle, its hybrid badge shows prominently on the side, letting people know you care about the environment.

The Escalade Hybrid starts at $95 405 and while I’d love to purchase one, the reality is that it’s out of my price range. I certainly loved driving it for the week, it’s the epitome of luxury and as a Mom who carts around children and their filth gear, it had everything we needed with a touch of class.

This is the world’s only full-sized luxury SUV, they’ve combined an advanced 2-Mode Hybrid System and Active Fuel Management. This means that the Escalade Hybrid SUV utilizes two types of power: energy created by the gas engine and electricity generated by electric motors.

It offers the best fuel economy in its class,33 with an EPA estimated 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway. In addition to outstanding efficiency, Escalade Hybrid features advanced, class-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control that reads the road in the blink of eye and adjusts shock tuning to improve the ride. There is also automatic rear-level control to keep the ride height balanced when passengers and cargo are aboard. And, of course, Escalade Hybrid includes all of Escalade’s luxurious details, like comfortable, luxurious room for up to 8 adults, 14-way power-adjustable front leather seating surfaces with French stitched-seams and a rear-seat entertainment system with an 8″ diagonal flip-down screen.

Escalade-back-seat

The Children in the Escalade

With the kids all tucked into the HUGE back seat we were off on the road for our first trip to Muskoka of the season.

The 2nd row seating was comfortable, had a fold down center console and yet we’d still prefer bucket seating for our girls. Somehow they manage to get into arguments even in this luxurious ride.

Once we put a movie on the Entertainment System and strapped them into the wireless headphones it became a quiet ride once agan…sigh.

The seats were a beautiful leather which would clean easily, there were ample cup holders and storage. The rear seat audio and climate controls mean that I’d rarely have to respond to such requests.

The Driving Experience

The Escalade Hybrid pulls away in full electric if you’re gentle on the throttle, it’s super-quiet and has a gage which indicates when your acceleration is within the gentle range. The Escalade’s control center provides access to the navigation system, Bose® 5.1 10-speaker surround sound system, automatic tri-zone climate control and Driver Information Center.

Escalade-beachThere really is so much to tell you about this vehicle but my favorite standard features are:

  • 332 hp Vortec® 6.0L LIVC V8 engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT), Active Fuel Management® and FlexFuel capability
  • Remote start
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Power liftgate that can be opened remotely
  • 22″ chromed aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Touch-screen navigation system
  • Rearview backup camera
  • Heated and cooled front seats
  • Bose® 5.1 surround sound system
  • Rear-seat entertainment system
  • Bluetooth® connectivity3 for hands-free calling
  • Power-retractable assist steps (available extra feature)

Aside from the fact that I’m a Mom who loves the retractable step, I think it’s true, the Escalade Hybrid was successful in raising the market value of our home while it was parked in the driveway and making me a “Baller” in my kids eyes!

Ford #blueParty

Recently Ford Canada held The Blue Party where they unveiled the new 2013 Ford Escape, Shelby GT500, Taurus SHO and Focus ST. I was honored to have been asked to attend but unfortunately wasn’t able to make it. I reached out to my fellow bloggers and asked if anyone could represent me and was pleased when AerynLynne from Geek With Style said she could make it.

Thank you so much to Ford Canada for allowing AerynLynne to experience your new lineup and tell my readers about your event. Next time I will be coming myself, I’d love to have more information about your vehicles and hope to test drive that beautiful Shelby GT500!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With so much thanks to Julie, my husband and I managed to have a great night out!  It’s possible that there are only so many times you can go out to watch a movie for “date night”, so I might have been really excited for the chance to do something different! 😉

Getting there was a trip too, in more ways than one! (bad pun, my bad)

outside

We traveled to the event by city transit. This meant I could read tweets with the hashtag #fordblue while we were on our way to the party, which was actually more exciting than what you might think.  Knowing that I was in for a fun night from the tweets I was reading and the pics that went with them, it really emphasized that we were in for a fun time.

Of course we took the wrong bus to get there, so instead of being dropped off almost at the front door we added a half hour walk in cold snowy weather.  *oops*

I knew when we got to the Liberty Grand though because there was this huge hulking blue Ford truck sitting right outside the front door!

 

When we finally defrosted inside the Liberty Grand a few minutes later, we were treated to some yummy treats thanks to Christine’s Sweet Treats! Of course all décor’d in whites and blues!

It’s after I look at the picture now that I’ve realized that their company van was a Ford 2012 Transit Connect! *facepalm*  Obviously I was more interested in the sweats than the vehicle behind it.

After a bit of “sampling”, we veered off into the main party room, and the first things to catch our attention were the beautiful drinks.

 

Did I mention the half an hour walk we took to get to Liberty Grand? Did I happen to also mention it was snowing?  And oh yes, the mighty cold wind to boot? And that I wore chunky heels?  (Psst, if you ever need to get to the Liberty by TTC, go to Dufferin Stn., and NOT Bathurst Stn.)

Suffice it to say, we were a little thirsty.

I was halfway to grabbing a glass (bottom left in the pic above) while asking the waiter what was in them.  I didn’t quite hear what he had called them (expecting to hear something like Kool Aid), but I did get the gist that they were alcoholic in nature. This was a shame, ‘cause the color made them look like the yummy Kool Aid I was hoping them to be!  My reasons might be different from Julie’s, but neither J nor I drink, so my hand froze from nearly picking up a glass.  I asked if any of them were mock, but I don’t think that waiter knew what “mock” meant if his confuzzled face was anything to go by. Instead J went up to the bar to get us both a couple of diet cokes.

Anyway, check out this vid for the opening ceremony! (And there are some cool pics at the end too!)

When the introductions were done, and the pretties were all properly drooled over, J and I decided to try our hands at driving on the track above.

What was weird, but funny and really cool, was that I recognized quite a few of the people who were at the party.  It was like being at a high-school reunion, only with a bit more cool factor where I could point out to J the whose-who.    It was really great seeing @cammipham (who won “Best Dressed” that night, woot!! You go girl!), @kidsummers, and @trina_stewart again, even if it was just a wave and a nod.

I seem to be hard of hearing on a good day, but there was no way I could carry a convo at this party with the music playing so loud.  Not that loud music is a bad thing, I just couldn’t really hear what anyone was saying, so kinda just waved, said “Hi!” as loud as I could, and then went to see another pretty car on display.

The vehicles were amazing, who knew that cars could be this beautiful and safe at the same time. The 2013 Shelby GT500 is just plain impressive, with its sexy lines and super-fast performance how could one not fall in love?

We had planned to leave somewhat early because neither of us was able to catch dinner beforehand, so it was a really nice surprise to find the party not only catered, but with lots of choices!

There was a small booth to get mani, and boy was I tempted to get mine done before we left.  I admired one particular bottle of nail polish all night, it was this really pretty light blue… and was excited when I saw the lid of a bottle of polish sticking out from the gift bag I was handed at the end, but it wasn’t the shade I’d hoped. 

I had hope though, hope and J’s gift bag!  I opened his to see if he got a bottle too, and again saw the lid sticking out from underneath the tissue paper.  I pulled it out, and there was the pretty light blue I was eyeing up all night!

The evening was wonderful; great food, awesome beats, good peeps, and impressive vehicles…. Ford really knows how to throw a party!

I would love to thank Julie and Ford Canada again for allowing my hubby and I to enjoy a night out and learn more about Ford’s 2013 models.

Monster Jam is Coming to Toronto-Discount here

Monster Jam is Coming to Town!!

Photo courtesy of Feld Motor Sports

Coming soon to:

Rogers Centre
January 21-22, 2012
The Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour is coming to Rogers Centre January 21 and 22, 2012 — and they have a lot of exciting (you might even say “high-octane”) things planned between now and show time!
you definitely should check out show information on Facebook and at the official Web site.
Discount Code:

When you go to ticketmaster.ca to purchase seats, you can get
4 tickets for weekday (Monday through Thursday) performances for just $44
or save $4 per ticket on weekend (Friday through Sunday) performances
with code
MAMA.
(Not valid on Front Row, VIP, TP and Gold Circle tickets. May not be combined with any other discount.)

 

Chevrolet Traverse Review

Over Christmas we had the pleasure of driving a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse!

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

 The 2011 Chevy Traverse a family friendly cross-over SUV, with room for 8 which is a blessing for this family. Our daughters are now 6&7a and we often find that we have to take 2 vehicles to accommodate friends joining us.

Forget the fact that it’s a cross-over, this vehicle is as roomy as a mini-van without looking like one!

The rear seat is bench style with plenty of cup holders to keep my girls happy.

Traverse rear interior

In the model we had the 2nd row were captains chairs (there is a 60/40 split bench available). The row between the seats is quite generous and allowed for easy access to the back row. The 2nd row seats have a feature called SmartSlide, this allows the seats to adjust forward, increasing the leg room in the rear.

The 2nd row captain’s chairs provided the girls plenty of room for their treasures around them. They also had their own controls for heating and cooling which they enjoyed. There was a moon roof above them, a DVD system and wireless headphones….did I mention this was the quietest week of driving I’ve ever had?

Traverse mid

Both the rear and mid seats fold down, creating cargo space up to 24.4 cu.ft which is large enough for any road trip we’ll plan.

 The front seats in the model we had were leather, heated and cooled with power adjustments and driver side 2-position memory. The console was impressive, I like the way the speedometer and other controls were somewhat separated. The radio and cruise control were located upon the steering wheel and OnStar was easily activated with voice control.

We had plenty of storage, cup holders were well positioned and an outlet was located in the center console.

Traverse Front Seat

The reverse camera is located in the rearview mirror in this model but I understand that there is now a navigation system available which is located in the center dash. This would be much better, the camera in the rearview is much too small and using OnStar for GPS is a paid for service which I would not choose.

Note: Bluetooth, Sirius XM Radio,and rear-seat entertainment are available in 2011 vehicles and buyers don’t need to wait until 2012!!

The side mirrors are heated and have an imbedded fish eye mirror which assisted in seeing past blind spots. Electronic stability control, front airbags, and front side airbags are included in all Traverse models, along with side curtain airbags that help protect all three rows of seats.

The Traverse is lovely, it has a smooth ride and in an unexpected snowfall it felt safe and secure.

Traverse interior

While we enjoyed the 2011 Traverse I’d have to try the 2012 model before saying its “the one” for our family. The gas consumption was higher than I was used to because this was a heavenly 4wd and FWD Traverse has a 8.4L/100lm rating on the highway which is the best fuel efficiency of any eight-passenger utility vehicle.

 

#Blogiversary~Giveaway~Young Drivers of Canada ~ $75

*************CONTEST IS CLOSED*************

I grew up in a small town in Ontario, 45 minutes North of Toronto. Anywhere we wanted to go we had to drive, this had my Mum & Dad ferrying us here, there and everywhere non-stop. For my friends and I the day we turned 16 was like a dream, we all dreamed of being able to drive to the stores together and not be embarrassed by our parents.

Driving = freedom in small town Ontario in those days before transit systems.

From Young Drivers of Canada:

 “Learning to drive is a major milestone in anyone’s life, regardless of the age you are learning to drive. Learning the right skills will prepare you for the road ahead and practicing defensive driving techniques from an annually re-certified YD Instructor is key. When you are on the road and an emergency situation arises. Comprehensive driver training prepares drivers with a strong foundation of in-class knowledge and hands-on in-vehicle experience.

The leading cause of death for those between the ages of 16 and 24 is traffic collisions.  There is no doubt that the combination of experience, driving environment and cognitive limitations places each driver at risk.  Driver training prepares you for the road ahead.  People need to realize we are a community of drivers and we will all be sharing the road together.  Lets train our new drivers right, right from the start.”

 . Do you have a child who is approaching the age of 16? Or are you perhaps on the journey to getting your driving licence?

Well Young Drivers of Canada has provided me with a GREAT giveaway to one of my readers!

One reader will receive a $75 Young Drivers of Canada gift certificate towards a novice driver training program!  This is transferable and can be used at any Young Drivers Centre across the country.

Mandatory Entry: In the comment section tell me one Safe Winter Driving Tip.

Optional Entries – 1 comment per each optional entry
– Follow @youngdrivers on Twitter
– Like Young Drivers of Canada on Facebook
– Follow Sober Julie Doing Life on Google Friend Connect
– Follow @SoberJulie on Twitter
– Like SoberJulieDoingLife on Facebook

– Google +1 one of my non-giveaway articles

– Subscribe to Sober Julie Doing Life via RSS
– Tweet this giveaway & leave a link to your tweet in comment (can be done 5x a day during giveaway)
Example Tweet..

#Blogiversary Enter to win a $75 gift certificate from Young Drivers of Canada! Ends Dec/7 @SoberJulie http://www.soberjulie.com/?p=1225

For everything you do, please leave a comment with the link.  All entries will be verified.  This contest closes at 11:59pm EST December 7, 2011.

The winner will be selected via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond before another entry is chosen

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THE WINNER IS: DEBBIE RITTER