Are you common?
We all have habits; whether they’re good or bad. I’ll often bite my finger nails when I’m watching a close game of hockey, football, baseball, etc.; especially if my team is hanging on for the win. Driving also has to be done with habits; hopefully good habits. Current thoughts and common sense must also be used to drive safely.
I was recently on a trip out west to Vancouver in order to retrain some of our best instructors at Young Drivers of Canada. While waiting at a red light in the left turning lane, we watched a driver approach from our right and lock their wheels and slide slightly into the intersection. The road was wet from rain and the intersection was just over a hill. If the driver was look well ahead, they would have seen the red light and since the roads were wet, wouldn’t you think they should have begun to slow down sooner? Would you?
We have to change our actions from what we normally do when conditions change. That’s part of common sense, but not everyone has common sense. It’s common, but not 100%. Common sense would mean the driver would have slowed slightly when approaching a hill because of poor visibility. Common sense would mean he driver would have reduced speed because of wet roads. Common sense would also mean the driver would be looking ahead and begin slowing and stopping when the light turned amber.
Common sense is something I can’t teach drivers; I can only remind them of it. When I see drivers accelerate up to a red light, I remind them that common sense would need to be used here. Why speed up so they can stop sooner and perhaps for a longer period of time? On this same trip out west, I saw a driver cut through a gas station so they didn’t have to wait behind another driver at the red light when they wanted to make a right turn. The interesting part of this; we caught up to that same driver at the next red light. The traffic that they caught up to slowed them down enough that the light changed to red. We caught up to them while they were waiting.
We used common sense and drove with the flow of traffic. We slowed early for the wet roads because it made sense. We made proper turns and didn’t try to take short cuts. The reality of it, those other drivers probably have a higher degree of stress because of their actions. Would you prefer to drive in such a way that puts your safety and other driver’s safety at risk? Does that make any sense at all? If you agree with me, it’s probably because you have common sense.