Road conditions don’t cause crashes. People do. The statement may sound glib or trite, but oftentimes the most powerful truth is the simplest. How many times have you heard someone say they rear-ended the car ahead because they hit a patch of black ice? Or the blinding winter sun
reflecting off the road caused them to drive into the ditch?
During the winter, it’s easy to blame vehicular collisions on
snow, ice and poor visibility. Rarely do drivers point the finger
at themselves. Yet, the truth is, no matter how skilled drivers
are, winter or summer, road safety depends largely on their
driving attitude. “A lot of people don’t think they are part
of the problem. They like to blame it on the other guy or the
weather,” says Sharon Richards of Alberta Motor Association
Safe drivers understand driving is not a solo activity and that
they share the road with others. Those with a risky attitude intentionally speed, repeatedly violate traffic rules and drive with exaggerated self-confidence. Drivers’ attitudes, says Richards, change
from day to day, or even from trip to trip. “You are only as good a
driver as you are at that time,” she says. Every time you get behind
the wheel, you choose what kind of driver you want to be.
The first step to safer driving is getting in the right state of
mind to make the right decisions on the road.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a driving offence more common
or serious than tailgating. Based on 2009 Alberta Transportation statistics, the number one driving error contributing to
crashes that result in death or serious injury is following too
closely. Drivers failing to keep a safe following distance cause