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We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

What’s bothering you on our roads?

March 10, 2017

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, March 10 2017

Unsynchronized traffic lights are a common bugbear for readers, Steve Wallace writes, creating unnecessary delays and contributing to gridlock and collisions.

 

There are all sorts of driving behaviours that bother us.

Here are some that readers have noted.

A stop sign means stop — completely — before proceeding.
Many readers have suggested to me that this seems to be more of a suggestion than the law.

Their observations are correct.

When student drivers surveyed four-way stop intersection behaviour, it became obvious that more than 90 per cent of drivers did not come to a complete stop when unobstructed by cross traffic.

It is commonplace for drivers to slow dramatically or perhaps less dramatically, before continuing, despite the presence of a clearly marked stop sign.

A full stop is also required at all red traffic lights, regardless of whether the light is flashing or solid red.
Most drivers do not stop legally before making a right turn on a red light at an intersection.
The biggest danger when drivers do not stop completely is borne by the pedestrians at intersections.

When drivers are peering left while setting up a right-on-red, they often fail to look right for pedestrians.
The solution to the problem of drivers not stopping completely might very well be to replace some unnecessary stop signs with yield signs.

This would keep the traffic moving in low-frequency pedestrian locations. Radical enforcement in other areas will likely do the trick.

Drivers who do not signal their intention were another thing that bugged readers.

Some asked sarcastically: When did using signals became optional? It is best to signal first when driving in congested municipal traffic.

It gives others, usually driving at relatively low speed, the opportunity to give you a break and accommodate any lateral movement.
It is best to first do a shoulder check at high speed before signalling.
It will insure a space available, as opposed to surprising another driver buried in your blind spot at high speed

It is amazing how many drivers never use their four-way flashers, also referred to as emergency or hazard lights.
This is another bugbear in our daily commute.
When drivers are in their vehicles parked at the side of the highway, it is a good idea to activate the four-way flashers.

It will alert others to an obviously stopped vehicle and eliminate the threat of a rear-end collision.

Tail lights were a real problem for some readers.
The fact that most do not turn on upon ignition bugged more than a few of them.
The front running lights on all models manufactured for the Canadian market after 1990 do light up automatically.
Why are so many drivers travelling without tail lights on in the dark?

In fact, there are very few modern vehicles that have the tail lights turn on automatically upon ignition.

Every motor vehicle should have all the running lights on, front and back when operational.

It will reduce rear-end crashes.
When people look at vehicles with the lights on, they believe the vehicle is closer than the actual distance of separation.

This illusion creates an unintended safety cushion. All drivers should light up all the time.

It is the most simple but effective safety tip promoted by professional drivers.

Drivers want traffic lights to be synchronized.
They are very upset with stop-after-stop at successive intersections, when it would be fairly easy to employ technology that would move traffic more smoothly.

Frequent stops result in the potential for the most common crash, the rear-end collision.

Stopping traffic unnecessarily is an environmental nightmare.

Business productivity suffers, as well as the everyday family time on the road, infringing on quality time.

What is bugging you? It is likely worth a mention.

 

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