Behaviour

Information related to driver behaviour.

Drivers Make Two Kinds of Mistakes

stop signI watched a woman run a stop sign the other day while I was out for a walk. I knew that this was a route that she traveled often and she should be familiar with stopping there. I could see that she was checking around her as she approached the T intersection so I'm going to assume that she was in a hurry and made the conscious decision to slow down instead of stop.

We've Got a Serious Attitude Problem

Road RageSometimes when I read articles on road safety I come across one that really resonates with me. A story from 2008 written by Paul Hergott titled Drivers Need to Smarten Up When Out on the Road is one of them. Paul starts off by saying "We’ve got ourselves a serious attitude problem. We see driving as a right."

Very little has changed since then except perhaps that this attitude is becoming even more prevalent on our roads in 2017.

RESEARCH - Bad Drivers Don't Think They're Bad

Road RageResearch led by Dr. Thomas Brown of McGill University in Montreal suggests that "surprisingly, these drivers usually don't consider themselves as risk takers. If drivers don't believe they are risky, they will not accept the need to change. On the other hand, if we and they don't understand their behavior, how can they be expected to change it effectively?" Reported in ars technica, the study compared four groups of 19 to 39 year old male drivers and concludes that the risky driving preference appears to be a useful marker for clarifying explanatory pathways to risky driving, and for research into developing more personalized prevention efforts.

We Don't Have a Very Good Opinion of Ourselves

ExclamationA recent poll by Insights West found that 50% of Canadians feel that drivers in their city or town are worse than they were five years ago. The two top groups of bad drivers identified by three of every five of us were youth and seniors. To top it off, most of us have witnessed dangerous and illegal behaviour on our roads in the past month. Wow! Time to have a look at ourselves in the rear view mirror.

Pedestrians, Road Safety and Sidewalks

Street ProfileI grew up in a small town where there were no sidewalks unless you counted 4 sides from 3 blocks downtown. As children, we didn't pay much attention to the rule that required us to walk on the left facing oncoming traffic but we did make sure that we were on the edge or even off of the pavement when a vehicle drove by.

What Should I Do About Distracted Driving?

DistractedWhen we think of distracted driving, most of us immediately consider cell phone use. While this might be the most common example used in distracted driving campaigns, it is certainly not the only one. Any action that takes the drivers attention off of the driving task is distracting and is to be avoided. This month the provincial distracted driving campaign is telling us that the second leading cause of collision fatalities in B.C. is not being properly focused on operating your vehicle.

It Won't Happen to Me

Have you ever met anyone who would admit to being less than a better than average driver? Those of us who are completely honest may say so but our behaviour behind the wheel could indicate differently. It's called optimism bias and it is something that we are all affected by. We are all optimistic about our personal capabilities and that includes our driving skills.

The Selfish Driver

Road RageDriving should involve co-operation, not a contest. There is no doubt that my point of view has been influenced by four decades of driving experience, 25 years of collision investigation and daily observation of what goes on around me when I drive. Yes, I am one of "those drivers." I use the right hand lane, do my best to follow the speed limit and feel like a rock in the stream. I have come to expect to see constant examples of sloppy, selfish driving and am pleasantly surprised when I see someone extend courtesy. It should be the opposite.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Question MarkWhat do I do about a dangerous road situation? The person asking this question is referring to a stretch of city street where two lanes become three when the street is joined by a freeway off ramp. This 3 lane street is about half a block long before it reaches a T intersection where it is popular to make a right turn. Drivers in what has become the middle lane often make that turn from the middle lane without any consideration for traffic in the curb lane.

What Makes Road Safety - Who to Believe?

Question MarkI've just finished reading Eliminating Serious Injury and Death From Road Transport and find myself in agreement with much of its content. The time I've spent in traffic law enforcement and the investigation of a large number of collisions has shown me that many of them are suffered by people just like you and me. We aren't significantly misbehaving, we're experienced drivers and we were doing our best to drive safely in the circumstances. Human error, not lack of driver training or respect for other road users is at the root of more crashes than we would expect.

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