Here we go again into another winter season, bringing inevitable snow, sleet, fog and other driving hazards.
Today a protest for the government to change the laws regarding speed on highways such as the Coquihalla, which is notorious for frequent fatal accidents. Also today, a move to change the regulations for tow truck drivers who regularly are targets for careless drivers. More lights on tow trucks will maybe catch attention of the approaching traffic. All worthy of us getting behind the move for change, but why bother?
It would appear to many of us that most drivers do not give any attention to road conditions, volume of traffic or pedestrians on the road. The attitude seems to be “I am in a hurry, get out of my way, I have places to go and do not have time or patience to deal with this inconvenience”.
I honestly believe that if driving speed were kept below 30 kph, there would still be accidents by the driver(s) in a hurry. It would appear to be pure selfishness that makes impatient drivers plough their way through traffic.
How many of us have been overtaken at a dangerous place in the road then cut off, causing us to brake hard.
The offending driver then turns off at the next intersection or driveway. How about the driver who ignores traffic line-ups and inches forward, till he is at the front of the line, then rudely cuts in. They surely cannot believe that all those other drivers are not in as big a hurry as himself, it is just selfishness that makes him think his journey is more important.
Most of us know the approximate length of time it takes to drive from point A to point B but how many of us allow an extra five minutes to allow for a bit of a hold-up? I must admit I am often guilty of not giving myself extra time but do not try to bully my way past any traffic that is holding me up.
The telephone ban is largely ignored but what about those drinking coffee or with a hamburger in one hand with the other hand on the wheel, surely they are just as much distracted. I also admit to being a coffee drinking driver and I also listen to books on tape whilst on a long journey. It passes the time but how much attention am I paying to traffic conditions while I am wrapped up in the story. My excuse is that I get drowsy if I do not have something to concentrate on and music just doesn’t keep me awake. The fact remains that I cannot have my full attention on the road if I am listening to the radio.
Several years ago I fell asleep and ran off the road as I approached Princeton, luckily I ran into a group of shrubs that brought me to a halt and no harm was done. I have never had a problem whilst listening to books on tape but is that because I am careful or am I just lucky. To resolve my problem, if my journey is really necessary, I do not drive anywhere for more than two hours in any one stretch, I then go in a motel for the night and start off fresh in the morning.
I have cut my trips down to the coast, to visit daughters, down to a bare minimum in the past five years and only go when Dave is available to drive me. I have tried the bus but this means I cannot take my dogs and have to rely on Kennels. The girls all work and have families so do not want to take the time to drive up here, but I remind them that the road is the same distance both ways and, if they want to visit we love to see them. The alternative is that I risk my own life and those of others I can endanger if I fall asleep at the wheel.
I do not feel it is worth the risk.