Editorial: Crashes should prompt us to evaluate our own driving behaviours

It’s easy when you’re behind the wheel to go on autopilot.

Car accidents abound of late.

Some combination of spring and a little bit of rain (finally) seems to have had a negative effect on the driving skills of those hitting Vancouver Island’s highways.

Two crashes held up traffic on Highway 1 heading into Victoria on Sunday afternoon (a separate, fatal, crash on the Patricia Bay Highway was of a different nature altogether). The weather could not have been better, with visibility at 100 per cent and the road bone dry.

Then on Highway 1 outside Duncan just after 9 a.m. Monday a single vehicle crashed into the median in the northbound lanes. Just before that a single vehicle crashed on Highway 18, detouring traffic onto Cowichan Lake Road. Both of these crashes happened as some spring rain fell, slicking the pavement, something drivers have gotten unaccustomed to over the last few very dry months.

All drivers should take these incidents as a warning to pay attention to conditions and maybe slow down a tad. We know the sun and a good song on the radio can have you driving enthusiastically, mind on where you’re going, not on where you are now, but you also need to be safe. You know how meditation gurus tell us we should be in the present moment? That’s especially true while driving.

It’s easy when you’re behind the wheel, especially if you’re taking a route you’re familiar with, to go on autopilot. When you get to your destination you can’t remember anything about the drive. When that happens, thank your lucky stars, because that’s good fortune, not good driving.

And while most people are cautious driving in the snow, we tend to take rain for granted here on Vancouver Island. But it can lead to some tricky conditions, too, and it pays not to be in such a hurry when the roads are wet. Hydroplaning is every bit as treacherous as hitting a sheet of ice.

Do yourself and everyone else on the road a favour: give yourself a little driving test the next time you’re behind the wheel and see if you’re giving in to some bad habits. Nobody else ever has to know, but it gives you the chance to correct your own mistakes before life does it for you.

Just Posted

Coming up in Cowichan: MS Bike this weekend; Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan

MS Bike is personal for Heather Armstrong MS Ambassador Heather Armstrong has… Continue reading

Why I am riding for Hospice

Cycle of Life Tour coming this weekend

Lake Flashback: Problem tubers on the river, coliform closes Duck Pond, and a timely whale rescue in Nitinat Lake

Plus this week: special newlyweds from 1979, and a unique idea for island garbage

VIDEO: CVRD already hard at work on climate change issues, Morrison tells One Cowichan

‘Not only is our rubber on the road, we’re up to speed!’ CVRD chair answers climate action critics

VIDEO: Sod-turning for $10 million Cowichan Hospice House a joyful event

A happy crowd gathered near Cairnsmore Place to celebrate the arrival of Hospice House

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Most Read