We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

Readers offer their New Year’s resolutions

January 12, 2018

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, January 12th 2018

A reader suggests everyone, especially owners of pre-1990 vehicles, should always have their lights on.


After last week’s column, several readers replied with their own New Year’s resolutions.

Here are some of them.

Bennett would lobby government to make it mandatory for every type of transportation option to be equipped with front and back running lights.
This includes not only motor vehicles, but also apparel worn when riding scooters, bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, and the like.

This type of attention to safety is even more important during the winter months.
Gordon has had trouble with shoulder checks. He is a senior and has lost some neck flexibility.
His resolution includes a regular neck-exercise regime and the addition of sideview
convex mirrors, which will significantly reduce the necessity of a full 90-degree head turn to check the blind spot.

Tracy resolves to keep her emotions in check and avoid the onset of road rage when she sees the dangerous and foolish actions of some other drivers.
We have all had the actions of other drivers cause us concern. Driving instructors can use the bad actions of others as a teaching tool.

Sometimes we use those poor driving habits of others as entertainment and a change of pace during a session behind the wheel.
Al’s resolution concerns the painting of reflective lines on the major roads in the shopping areas of his city, where he discovered a jurisdictional conundrum.
His suggestion or complaint was directed to the city.

He did not get an immediate response, and wondered why. Turns out the authority for the road in question is a provincial highway responsibility, namely the Pat Bay Highway.

Gar suggested all pedestrians should make a resolution: They should point in the direction they wish to go at an intersection.

He wants them to point at uncontrolled intersections as well.
In short, B.C. should adopt the Ontario system of warning drivers in advance of a pedestrian moving in any direction.
Stop! It is a rather simple act. Most drivers never execute a proper stop at an intersection, unless impeded by other traffic.

We should all make a collective resolution to come to a complete stop at every stop sign.
This will give other travellers, especially pedestrians, certainty and a space-cushion comfort zone.

It is more important to do a complete stop prior to making a right turn at an intersection on a solid red light.
Drivers need time to glance left and then check right for cyclists, pedestrians and other hazards.

Light up! The taillights will illuminate when the parking-light function is activated.
The headlights on vehicles manufactured before 1990 light up automatically once the vehicle is started.
People perceive vehicles to be closer to them when illuminated.

Pedestrians are less likely to cross in front of oncoming vehicles if the vehicle is lit up.
Drivers are less likely to attempt a dangerous pass when the oncoming vehicle is lit up.
Drivers are also less likely to tailgate when they are looking at illuminated taillights.

It is more important for drivers of vehicles older than 1990 or those imported from other continents to manually light up.
When approaching vehicles are lit up, there is a tendency for drivers to be blind to the vehicle that is not lit.
The crash rate for those not lit up is higher than the average vehicle crash rate.

There is a host of other resolutions that are worth a mention.
We should allow more time to get to a destination, service our vehicles more regularly, be more courteous, and be more attentive when at intersections and on the highway, since close to 90 per cent of fatal crashes happen in these two areas.


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