It is a beautiful, blue-sky day and you are out enjoying the journey. Did you know that most crashes occur on good weather days? Lovely days lend themselves to distracting thoughts, and that can be dangerous. Responsible Drivers must make between 100-300 decisions per mile. That much looking and thinking is more than many are willing to invest in driving. That is disconcerting, because most crashes could be avoided if we saw what we needed to see.
Think about that for a moment. While enjoying that drive, are you completely focused on recognizing and reducing risk? If we are thinking about something else, that distraction is enough to cause a missed detail that could potentially lead to a crash. In other words, if our brains are somewhere else while we are physically behind the wheel, we are impaired.
I noticed some new warning signs around town, just like the one above. Why did traffic division see the need to add the extra warning to the Stop sign? Most crashes occur at intersections.When we are not diligent, we fail to assess the intersection correctly. The warning gives drivers information they should have gathered on their own. Count the stop signs at every intersection and you will not be the one headed for the crash. If you train your brain to correctly assess each intersection, you will increase your chances of enjoying your journey and contribute to the safety of others also. Happy counting, and Blessings to you!
Get Off The Road. Use The Sidewalk! That is the voice of a driver I witnessed trying to edge a bicyclist off the road with his car. Sadly, he did not read page 89 in the NYS Driver’s Manual and does not understand that even when we’ve outgrown the toddler stage, we must share the road if we are to arrive safely.
If we’ve not been in their perilous position, we often under estimate the risk we drivers pose to those with whom we must share the road. We must understand their needs if we are to share the road safely.
If you were a bicyclist…you would not have the protection a car provides; you have only two tires and must swerve or suddenly change speed to avoid hazards, the right side of the road often contains hazards that will flatten your tire. You are not as visible as a car. The speed of a passing vehicle may cause you to lose control. If you are hit by a car, your chance of serious injury is very real.
Understanding these risks can give the driver wisdom in how to reduce the risk to cyclists with whom we must share the road. Slow down when approaching a cyclist, their life is no less valuable than yours. What if you were on that bike? Give them space.
Look into turns before moving into that direction, and check your blind spot on your right before making right turns. Bicyclists are allowed to share the road with us and are also supposed to obey traffic devices. Understand the meaning of hand signals, that is their means of communication.
Be smart. Driving is never “all about me, baby.” Let’s all enjoy the journey. See you out there!