Driving tips

March 8, 2019   ·   0 Comments

In response to Sam Coutts “Unnecessary Road Rage” letter, I offer these comments. To begin, I concur that Highway 10 road rage incidents are becoming too frequent and it is everyone’s responsibility to dial them back – both in ourselves and by not provoking them in others. Prepare for the journey before driving away:

Step 1: Awareness and Visibility – I am not fatigued or eating or using my cellphone. I clear every speck of snow from my vehicle (including tail lights and roof) so that I can see and be seen. (I surely wish 18-wheelers would do this!)

Step 2: Avoid The Situation – In blizzard conditions, do I really need to drive? Will my employer replace my vehicle and continue to pay me if I end up upside down in the ditch and on my way to hospitalization and rehab? No? Would taking a Snow Day be more prudent?

Step 3: Again, Avoid The Situation – Despite this Age of Entitlement, I must share the road and not impede other drivers once I have determined the safest speed for me. 

Step 4: Cruise Right – Pass Left – In poor conditions, I avoid the left lane where the slightest miscalculation can slide me into oncoming traffic and a head-on collision. At least in the curb lane, I can avoid a collision by veering into the ditch.

Step 5: Again, Cruise Right, Pass Left – In the left lane, I signal my intentions, overtake slower traffic and drop back into the curb lane again while leaving a safe gap in front of the passed vehicle. I don’t pass left unless I can get by slower traffic as quickly as is safe. I never “pace along beside” 18-wheelers where parts may fall off, or the driver may not see me and take me out if he needs to take evasive action. And just because I plan to turn left in 15 km, I don’t get into the left lane until I am within 1 KM of my turn!

Step 6: Lead, Follow or Get Out Of The Way – In front, I follow with a good gap from the car in front, and I watch for brake lights several vehicles ahead so that I can anticipate sudden slowdowns or stops. I use all of my mirrors to study the traffic behind me. If the road ahead is free of traffic and I have ten cars backed up behind me, I endeavour to get out of their way, up to and including pulling off into a gas station to let them by.

I hope this letter encourages readers to consider their highway habits. I fear however, that many will continue to plod along, leading the parade and assuring themselves that “I’m OK and none of this applies to me.”

John Guttridge

Mono resident

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