Driver is least reliable part of the vehicle

Unless you are the only vehicle on the highway you are one piece in a three dimensional puzzle that must fit in with all the other pieces.

Unless you are the only vehicle on the highway (and one cannot ever be entirely certain of that) you are one piece in a three dimensional puzzle that must fit in with all the other pieces.

Put simply, before you do something, you must consider how that will affect you and all the others around you before you do it. If your intended action will negatively impact on someone else, you must not do it. How often do you see the road users around you relying on chance to keep everyone safe?

The example that prompted me to write this occurred in traffic a couple of days ago. It was raining and dark as I drove home from work. The roadway was three lanes wide and the right lane that I was using is often almost empty when I approach a red light at the intersection. The driver in the centre lane was traveling slightly over the speed limit as he passed by me and noted that my lane was lightly used. If he changed lanes into it he would be a few cars further ahead when the light turned green.

What this driver failed to take into account is that I was following another vehicle at a reasonable distance already. There was room for his vehicle to fit in, so he didn’t hesitate to signal and change lanes. His second error compounded the first as he immediately braked after moving into my lane. I was paying attention, it wasn’t slippery and he didn’t decelerate so quickly that I was beyond the point of no return and could not avoid a collision.

This type of behaviour is a common complaint from drivers of heavy commercial vehicles. It is even more dangerous because of hidden components that you might not consider. Loaded heavy trucks have as little as half of the braking capacity of a light vehicle and will do a lot more damage to you in a collision. Drivers should be well aware of the consequences of entering the No Zone around large commercial vehicles.

Would you be surprised to learn that statistically the driver is the least reliable part of a vehicle?

Actions like the incident I’ve related here show that drivers are either unwilling or unable to fully take into account how their choices will affect others. Please, take a few seconds more to follow the see, think, do method outlined in Learn to Drive Smart, our provincial driving manual.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit drivesmartbc.ca

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley jazz graduate wins prestigious scholarship

Bassist Brock Meades and drummer Graham Villette get $2,000 Fraser MacPherson Scholarship

Sarah Simpson Column: Getting antsy at the Duncan Days Parade

This story isn’t about bugs although there is totally a bug component.… Continue reading

Red Arrow Tigers stymied by Sox in pitchers’ duel

Parksville takes top spot in regular-season by a single point

Grass Court Classic kicks off tournament season

Grass Court Championship starts July 21

Duncan Grande Parade draws a crowd

Entries old and new enjoyed by a big audience

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Most Read