This dash camera video taken by Reliable Eyewitness highlights several things: the importance of paying attention at all times while driving – including not texting or using a phone while driving – and avoiding other forms of distracted driving such as eating or drinking, applying makeup, or whatever else it is that people do; the importance of not speeding, and the importance of space management when driving and the deliberate use of defensive driving techniques.
(I just can’t help but notice the car looks like it’s the same colour as the pavement. Not making excuses, just an observation.)
Another driver ignoring a stop sign; It is beyond me how somebody can ignore a stop sign and turn left in front of a semi-truck like this:
Defensive driving means anticipating others, leaving room for the errors of others and always having an escape route planned in case of unexpected situations exactly like this one. It means looking far ahead and keeping your eyes moving at all times, scanning for potential problems and keeping track of what is around you 360 degrees at all times. It also means actively making sure that other people know that you exist; this is done by not driving in the blind spots of others, strategic management of the space around the vehicle, the use of lights and signals, and being predictable.
There are times when driving when you think that other people should see you, or times when you think that other people should stop, or should let you go first. Unfortunately, we can not make the foolish assumption that people are going to do what they say they’re going to do or do the thing that they probably should do. That is a lovely idea, but not realistic. Therefore it is important to follow defensive driving techniques, such as the Smith System of defensive driving. You can also read my defensive driving tips here: Space management and defensive driving.
In all my years of driving I find this is a very common situation where you’re just driving along, minding your own business and then all of a sudden there’s a car (or you know, a Semi-truck) racing towards you on that right angle and no way of telling if it’s planning to stop or if it is planning to send you to the hospital.
One of the first things to do is to look for eye contact from the driver. The other thing to do would be to slow down (if you have the luxury of that much time). He/she should be looking in your direction. If not, then the potential danger increases. If you clearly have good eye contact, then the chances of having a crash in this case are pretty minimal, since people don’t usually stare right at something and then willingly drive right into it. Here we have nice good eye contact (sunglasses contact actually, but I’ll take it): The driver is staring right at me and that’s exactly what I want.
If you don’t have this eye contact (because of the angle, the sun, the rain, the glare, the darkness, or for any other reason), then you must cover the horn and/or HONK the horn! People don’t want to kill you. Getting into the reasons why people are bad at driving and try to crash into you is totally beside the point and in my opinion a downright waste of precious time.
You have a choice; you can honk the horn or you can let the person crash into you. Pick one. It is not an angry honk, it is simply to let the person know that you are there. That’s it. Leaving it to the point of having to do evasive actions is not recommended and obviously may have to be used as a last resort. But preferably you honk well before you need to do hardcore evasive maneuvers, as these could end up resulting in worse situations for you and those around you. However, collision avoidance courses can be found at a few places locally at Driving Unlimited and at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC).I just don’t expect the average driver to have gone through advanced collision avoidance training techniques (in my dreams); there are excellent defensive driving concepts which can be used to literally avoid the need for evasive maneuvers altogether.
Aside from that, it is also important to manage the space around the vehicle so that you have an escape route, preferably at all times. This involves constant mirror checking and keeping your eyes moving as the situation around you when driving is always changing of course.
Always, always, always drive in a staggered fashion with traffic, or better yet, avoid traffic packs and drive with lots of space around you whenever possible:
Never, never, never drive so that you have no escape route, or worse, in the blind spot of another vehicle. This is just a recipe for disaster in my opinion:
It is a fact of life that crashes still happen, despite this amazing blog.
dash cam, commonly referred to as a “dash cam” are the affordable way to protect your personal and
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Learn more about just one of the many available dash cams here or check out the Reliable Eyewitness YouTube Page
Drive Safely Everyone. Slow down. Be Patient. Be Kind.