Do you think of the consequences of your actions?
For the 22 years I’ve spent as a driving instructor for Young Drivers of Canada, I’ve often stressed the importance of good observation. It’s a strong fact that we drive with our eyes so our hands and feet, being tools for our eyes, can move the vehicle where we need to. To some people, driving is a mundane act, but to others, it’s a life or death activity.
Recently, there was a collision at an intersection involving a pedestrian, their 3 month old child in a stroller and a driver running a red light. There were plenty of witnesses to say that the walk symbol was lit before pedestrians started to cross, which meant that the traffic light was red for a few seconds before the driver even got to the crosswalk. Early reports said the mother of the 3 month old child pushing the stroller through the crosswalk saw the driver running the red light and immediately pushed the stroller out of harms way. The pedestrian was killed almost instantly as she was dragged under the vehicle for 10 metres before the vehicle stopped in the intersection. The baby’s life was spared.
This driver was also 83 years of age. What was their driving ability like? Have they passed their prime for driving safely, or should they do some re-training? As we age we lose some of our abilities that we had years ago; such as decreased vision, decreased reaction time and a decrease in short term memory. Should this person even have been driving? http://thesafedriver.ca/2009/11/04/when-should-you-hang-up-your-keys/
As a driver, do you always think of the consequences of your actions? Do you analyze risk each time you drive so you can reduce it? Was the driver who hit this pedestrian distracted? Or perhaps they were not looking far enough ahead to see the light change. Whatever the reason for this driver to run the red light, I’m sure it was purely avoidable. If the weather was poor, the driver needed to reduce speed overall so they could stop on the amber light. If they couldn’t stop in time on a slippery road, honking the horn a number of times to get the attention of the pedestrians would have alerted them of the problem. If the traffic was too busy for this driver to handle it safely, they needed to plan their route to take a less busy road.
What I’m saying is this; pay attention to your driving and the surroundings. Reduce or eliminate your personal distractions and adjust to the road conditions and the traffic. It could save a life.