COLUMNS: Drive smart and arrive safely

Donna Barnett’s weekly column for the Williams Lake Tribune

Driving in winter conditions can be quite challenging in our part of the province.

Temperatures can vary dramatically from minus 25 or 30 and quickly swing above zero within 24 hours.

This can play tricks with the road surface.

The best defense is to understand the main causes of crashes and what you can do to avoid them. Speed is one of the leading causes of car crash fatalities.

The faster you go, the longer it takes to slow down or stop.

Each time you double your speed, your breaking distance is multiplied by four.

In wet or icy conditions, it’s even more.

High risk driving behaviors, like failing to yield at intersections or following too closely, contributes to 43 per cent of all crashes. Tailgating leaves less time to react to unexpected changes in speed and increases your risk of being rear-ended.

Impaired driving is also a leading cause of accidents. Certainly alcohol remains a significant threat on our roads.

On average 65 people die a year in B.C. as a result of accidents involving alcohol — all of which are completely preventable.

Sadly, though, distracted driving is proving more dangerous than drinking and driving.

The number of road fatalities caused by distracted driving is now exceeding impaired motor vehicle accidents.

Research shows that drivers lose 50 per cent of their awareness when using a cell phone, and even more when sending or receiving a text.

Leaving your phone alone is one of the best ways for young drivers to adopt safe driving habits that will last a lifetime.

Last of all, confidence on the road is important, yet over confidence can be deadly, too.

Always remain in a high state of awareness.

Driving is probably the most complicated task you’ll perform in a day.

Remaining aware and driving smart will always get you home safely.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

Just Posted

Legalization of cannabis sees closure of local dispensary

After years of defiance, Mary Janes Glass and Gifts shut down Tuesday night at 12 a.m.

USW strike action concludes after one day in Williams Lake

Union vice-president says talks resume in Kelowna Wednesday

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

Crosina leading 42nd annual trip to Canadian Finals Rodeo

94-year-old Willie Crosina has wrangled together a sizable crew for his annual bus tour to the CFR

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Hero campaign raises $1.1 million for Canada non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

Scope of Hurricane Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

Nearly 137,000 Florida customers remain without power from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border

Streamlined pardon process for pot possession convictions in Canada

Feds say legalization is first step towards objectives of getting pot out of the hands of kids and eliminating black market

Most Read