In case of emergency…
Raising 4 kids is a lot of fun, but also means a lot of work for both me and my wife. We try to do the proper things and to teach them about life at the same time. Ensuring our kids are always safe is a big priority for us, as it is for many families. We’ve taught our kids what to do in emergencies and where to go if there was an emergency. Have you done the same things? Hopefully this will lead into good life skills.
Every time I’m driving I try to think about where my escape would be in case of emergency. I won’t necessarily be stopped when I start to think about this. I think about this while in motion, whether there’s a lot of traffic or not. Have you thought about doing the same?
Like most people, drivers stop at the rear bumper of the vehicle ahead of them. After all, why wouldn’t you stop there? As long as you don’t hit them, all is good, right? I once had a student who had a friend whose mom was a driving instructor at a different driving school from where I worked. She asked her friend’s mom when she should stop when approaching a stopped vehicle and she looked at her and said “Before you hit them.” Good advice. Why didn’t I give that type of advice? Yes Sheldon. That was sarcasm.
All of the vehicles in his photo have stopped at the bumper of the vehicle ahead of them. They have no place to go if the driver behind them was sliding on a wet surface or was just braking late and needed more space to stop. Look at the space in front of my vehicle. I’ve left space in front to move forward if the driver behind me needed more space to stop. Since the most common vehicle crash in North America is a rear crash, part of avoiding it is having an escape. Since I couldn’t move to the right or left, I need to keep extra space in front of my vehicle.
Although you can’t see behind me in this photo, there is already one vehicle stopped behind me. Once I notice another driver beginning to slow down, I can slowly creep forward. With the size of my vehicle, the driver behind me can’t really see how much space I’ve left in front. They have no idea what I’m doing, but I do. Leaving the extra space in front of my stopped vehicle allows for the escape in case of an emergency.
While out with one of my students from Young Drivers of Canada we noticed a driver approaching us from behind too quickly while we were stopped at a red light. We immediately accelerated and got out of the way. What made this easier to do was planning an escape before we needed one and monitoring the mirror while driving, slowing and stopped. If you have no place to go, how can you avoid the risk?
So the next time you drive, start thinking about your escape. Where can you go in case of emergency? Remember a parking lot, driveway or even a front lawn can be an escape to avoid a rear crash. Position your vehicle so you’re not putting your life in the hands of another driver. Why drive beside another vehicle when you don’t have to? Adjust your speed or change lanes to create space around your vehicle. Learning to have an escape and then using an escape can be good for your health.