Skills

Information on driving skills.

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 - Sharing the Road

video iconThis short video from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety looks at how the driver can safely share the road with other types of road users. Pedestrians, motorcycles and heavy trucks are included in the presentation.

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.

VIDEO - Unlocking the Mystery of Anti Lock Brakes

video iconThis video from the AAA Traffic Safety Foundation runs for 15:41 and uses humour to explain how your vehicle's anti lock brakes work and how you should use them.

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.

VIDEO - How to Steer a Car

video iconAlthough this instruction takes place in a right hand drive vehicle, the principles are exactly the same for left hand drive. Three methods or steering are shown: push-pull steering for general driving, hand over hand for slow speed maneuvering and fixed input for small changes in direction.

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