Skills

Information on driving skills.

Should I Signal?

Signal Light SwitchPaul from CompetentDrivingBC often shares his insights here on DriveSmartBC. I like his explanation of whether to signal or not and decided to share it with you. It's great advice that we should all practice all the time.

Surprisingly often, when teaching new drivers, I've been asked 'Do I have to signal this?'.

Where Are the Corners of Your Vehicle?

traffic conesThe RCMP's advanced driver training course was without a doubt the most fun of any course many of the participants had taken in their service. We used an inactive runway at the Boundary Bay airport in Delta and a collection of well used Crown Victoria police interceptors to polish our driving skills. Contrary to what you might think, this was not a high speed driving situation as we never got going faster than about 65 km/h.

Almost is NOT Good Enough

Almost Good EnoughTwice in the last few days I have found oncoming drivers encroaching on my lane. There was no reason for it, such as an obstruction in their lane, that I could see. My conclusion is that they were either unable or too lazy to bother with staying completely between the lines.

In this and other common driving situations, almost is NOT good enough!

Round and Round the Roundabout

Traffic CircleRoundabouts and traffic circles are not new to British Columbia, but if the complaints in my inbox are any indication, they are still totally mystifying to some drivers. Common issues include bulldozing into the circle without yielding, signalling when there is no need, not signalling when there is a need, and yes, going around them in the wrong direction.

Most e-mails observe that while new drivers may be taught how to use these intersections properly, the rest of us have to figure it out on our own and somebody has to clue us in. In general, fingers point to either the provincial government or ICBC having primary responsibility for this task. I disagree. Basic responsibility for keeping driving skills up to date rest with the individual driver.

VIDEO - Roundabouts: Driving Lesson

VideoRick August of Smart Drive Test introduces us to the roundabout or traffic circle.

The Respectful Driver - Fact or Fiction?

Three MonkeysI've been reading Moving to Vision Zero: Road Safety Strategy Update and Showcase of Innovation in British Columbia and was struck by these words: "The Safe System Approach enables more ambitious progress by treating the road system as a product of numerous components. These components are: safe road users who are well - trained, knowledgeable of driving challenges and risks, and who are respectful of traffic rules; safe vehicles, which are equipped with proven and effective safety designs and technologies; safe roadways, road designs, and land - use planning that reduce the risk of crashes as well as the risk of death and serious injury when crashes do occur; and safe speeds, including setting safe speed limits, and adequately enforcing those limits."

RESOURCE - Black Ice: What it is and How to Handle it

TranBC logoThis timely safety tip from TranBC explains what black ice is, how to recognize it and how to recover if you find yourself in trouble. I'm not sure why they single out highways in northern BC for mention as I've also seen black ice conditions frequently on Vancouver Island. Studded winter tires may be an effective tool in helping to maximize traction under black ice conditions and assistive technologies built into your vehicle can reduce the chance of collision significantly. Remember that inappropriate speed will limit the effectiveness of these technologies and increase your risk along with that of other road users who happen to be nearby.

Can an Experienced Driver Learn New Tricks?

I've been watching a series of comments on an article I wrote titled Yielding on Left Turns. The discussion has involved a driving instructor, a former driving examiner, a professional commercial vehicle driver and myself. There has been considerable debate over what should and should not be done in the circumstances. The rhetoric hasn't gotten to the point that I would consider closing comments, but it's edging closer.

VIDEO - Effective Motorcycle Braking

video iconThis video is part of a series from the Motorcycle Council of New South Wales, Australia. It compares and contrasts front and rear wheel only braking and teaches that effective braking is a combination of both.

Dealing With Glare From Low Sun

SunWelcome to fall! It's the time of year that I have trouble driving to work in the morning. The sun is low in the sky to the east at the time of my commute and there is one spot on the highway where it shines directly into my eyes making it very difficult to see. Worse still, this location has an intersection with a traffic light that can be completely obscured by the glare.

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