Take the time to help…
With almost 35 years of driving experience, including 26 years as a driving instructor, I’ve seen a lot of things happen. I’ve logged more than one million kilometres on my vehicles and have seen drivers do many things, some good and some not so good. A lot of what I’ve seen makes it here in the form of an article, video or photo. Even though all these things have happened, I sometimes get stuck on an idea of what to write about to allow drivers to think about their driving actions. I was recently stuck on an idea, but within hours something came to me. Well, I actually came to something.
On my way home after teaching classes at Young Drivers of Canada I came across a stoppage in traffic. A few of the drivers decided to move out of the through lane and make right turns instead of traveling straight. This had my curiosity so I continued to see what my next choice would have to be since I also wanted to travel straight. It turns out there were two vehicles stopped side by side on the other side of the intersection; between a traffic island and the curb. Their position stopped anyone from passing by them. I waited to see if they would move their vehicles out of the way, but nothing happened. Why would they just sit there? Maybe they were confused. It turns out they were involved in a minor collision.
I decided it was my turn to help. I safely moved my vehicle out of the way, put on my hazard lights and went to see what help I could offer. Ensuring your vehicle isn’t going to cause more problems is important if you’re going to help someone else. I asked the drivers involved if they were okay and they said yes. Offering assistance to those involved is also a priority. If someone was injured they would have to be taken care of right away.
I then asked if the police were called and they also said yes. They said the police said they were to look after the situation themselves. I was pleased with that response as it was a minor fender-bender with probably no more than a couple thousand dollars damage with both vehicles combined. No need for police to be on the scene. They just had to go to the collision reporting centre so there’s a report on file in case their insurance was to be involved.
Their actions unfortunately backed up traffic. From what I could see, traffic was backed up for multiple blocks because they were sitting there confused of what to do next. I suggested they move their vehicles into a parking lot across the road so they could exchange information. This would not only allow them to do it safely, but it would stop them from being a visual distraction to the passing drivers. They agreed and moved their vehicles out of the way and traffic again began to move. I also explained what information they should exchange and that taking a few photos would be a good idea.
As I jogged back to my vehicle the drivers in their stopped vehicles behind this minor collision gave me the thumbs up and a smile. All it took was a few minutes to help a couple of drivers from our driving community. We all need to be safe with what we’re doing, whether it’s driving, walking, riding a bike…or even helping complete strangers at a collision scene.