HGTV personality Scott McGillivray is no different than most parents.
As the father of two young girls, McGillivray says he has adopted a heightened level of awareness when driving, whether the kids are with him or not.
|Scott McGillivray with his wife Sabrina and their two daughters. Photo: Contributed|
He says everyday examples of distracted driving, in particular people texting or talking on their cell phones, are creating the opportunity for accidents to occur, particularly during the winter when road conditions become worse.
“It can be kind of scary out there sometimes which is why seat belts, air bags and keeping your windshield washer fluid levels up are important, but the other added safety bonus in new cars now is the added safety features that we’ve never seen before in vehicles,” he said.
“There are things like rear cross traffic collision avoidance and automated brakes if you get to close to someone that are enhancing driver safety.”
McGillivray is lending his name to a safety winter driving campaign launched by Hyundai in response to a national survey the automaker conducted.
“Of the top three concerns in the survey, number one was safety followed by price affordability and gas mileage,” he said.
McGillivray said he doesn’t have any particular “Dad-phobias” developed in his years of driving around eastern Canada in the early days of his television home renovation series, Income Property.
He has come to believe in the importance of winter tires, something he didn’t fully appreciate 15 or 20 years ago.
“Winter tires weren’t as common as they are today. There is a big debate there between winter tires and all-season radials, but slipping and sliding on winter roads and having spun out on a highway is something you never forget,” he said.
“Four winter tires might sound like a big investment but it’s cheaper than getting in a bad accident.”
McGillivray hopes his support for the cause will help people think twice about their bad driving habits on winter roads, in the same way he has given his support to the Habitat for Humanity home ownership initiative, which has an active chapter here in the Okanagan and operates the Habitat ReStore in Kelowna and West Kelowna.
“We try to do a few of these public service initiatives, such as safe driving in winter, every year,” he said.