Conscious driving prevents accidents

He was proud of his adhering to hands-free driving, knowing he was contributing to a safe driving environment, not like some of the other drivers he’d seen on this trip, still texting and talking on a cell phone with one hand and steering with the other.

He was proud of his adhering to hands-free driving, knowing he was contributing to a safe driving environment, not like some of the other drivers he’d seen on this trip, still texting and talking on a cell phone with one hand and steering with the other.

He was travelling at 100 km/hr Bluetoothing, speaking with his sister trying to come up with an excuse so he could gracefully exempt himself from a family gathering.

His concentration was so intense, he didn’t realize he had ignored his side mirrors and cut off another vehicle, forcing it into the right side ditch.

In a recent survey by the British Columbia Automobile Club of 5,700 drivers, 57 per cent noted they had either talked or texted on a cell phone, which Traffic Services members say is a major cause of rural B.C.’s accidents.

At 80 km/hr, when you include reaction time and braking, it takes 100 meters (or a football field) to stop a car. If you add wet roads, poor reaction time or poor tire tread, that distance increases. Imagine being distracted by dialing or texting.

A car is travelling at 30 meters-per-second. If you look up after a second or two of distraction and a hazard is in front of you, it may be impossible to stop. If you add in darkness and the limited view with the headlights, these dangers increase.

Rural Crime Watch (RCW) encourages drivers to familiarize themselves with their vehicle before turning the key and to refrain from distractions while moving.

Some drivers are heeding the warnings. The RCMP’s North District Traffic Services are very happy with the statistics for the Canada Day weekend. There were no fatal motor vehicle collisions and no serious injury collisions over the three and a half days. Members credit these numbers to increased police presence on the highways and drivers altering their driving behavior.

The RCMP’s overall British Columbia traffic fatalities are down 20 per cent this year, compared to last year and impaired fatalities are down 50 per cent.

Having noted these statistics, the province has given the Mounties $367,000 additional funding to target impaired drivers in their summer CounterAttack program.

Whether or not the summer CounterAttack is successful will depend on your participation. A driver’s attitude is probably the single most important factor in reducing or eliminating any of the problems on our highways.

Cell phone use is just one of the many highway safety threats. As you’ve undoubtedly seen over the past long weekend, our highways get jammed. The north-south highway 97 corridor was often bumper to bumper on the two-lane stretches. Casual observation points to the number of speeders trying to get to their destination five minutes before you. Tailgating, swerving in and out of traffic, exorbitant speeds and overall erratic driving by vehicular lunatics puts stress on safe drivers.

The consummate solution is defensive driving (DD) as noted in just one of many preventable accidents; trucks often need to swing into the oncoming lane to make a right turn. If you see the truck’s right blinker and impatiently pass on the left, you will run smack into the truck as it swings out.

Don’t become a statistic or be a driver society wants off the road. Maintain your personal safety by driving in a state of “yellow” which simply means being aware; don’t talk/text, while driving, driving is not a collaborative task, you don’t need a advice.

Drive defensively, have a safe and enjoyable summer and share your views at www.ruralcrimewatch.com– Rural Crime Watch

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