Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

Plowing, blowing snow into road is illegal

At the Nov. 28 County Traffic Safety Board meeting, it was brought to the Board’s attention that numerous residents or private snowplow operators in the act of plowing driveways are illegally plowing snow into streets and roads. Not only does this practice cause our state, county, town and ...

Advanced safety systems costly to repair

With newer vehicles there are many new safety features that are available such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. These all contribute toward preventing fender-benders and/or mitigate what might be ...

Winter tires — what are you driving on?

As winter driving has now arrived, are you prepared for the inevitable slippery roads? Do you know what the difference between winter snow tires, all-weather tires and all-season tires is? Are you aware of the differences in these tires? An interesting article from Consumer Reports helps ...

Countermeasures for poor driver behavior

As a driver, don’t you wish you had the ability to communicate with other drivers? For instance, if someone is tailgating you, don’t you wish you had a variable message sign in your rear window that might say “Too close — back off!” But we don’t, and communication with other drivers ...

Can you afford to drive under the influence?

Alcohol is a factor in approximately one-third of vehicle crashes in the U.S. Although we have made great progress in the past few decades to reduce the instances of drinking and driving, it continues to be a major problem on our highways. I was made aware of a great resource on driving ...

Autonomous vehicles are coming, slowly but surely

We’ve heard a lot about autonomous vehicles, I’ve written several articles on this subject, and we already have features on our cars that automate some part of our driving, but we are still a long way from fully self-driving vehicles as the norm on our highways. But, we are progressing, and ...

Drivers don’t understand limits of safety systems

In several past articles I have touted the safety features available on most new cars and how you should look into them when purchasing a new vehicle. However, a recent study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that most drivers don’t understand the limitations of advanced safety ...

Drivers doing better with compliance to headlight laws

If you are a regular reader of these weekly articles on traffic safety and traffic law you know that many of the articles criticize drivers for failing to use their headlights during daytime driving in inclement weather. I have written in numerous articles over the years about how important it ...

Probable cause may lead to further violations

If you are a regular reader of the “Police Beat” or “For the Record” or similar columns found in most newspapers, you will often find someone arrested for driving while intoxicated, or drug possession, or some other violation and, near the end of the write-up for the violation you find ...

Get your rural mailbox ready for winter

If you are among the many residents in Franklin County with a rural mailbox along the side of the road, pay attention to the rest of this article, as fixing your box in the middle of the winter is not much fun. If a property owner places his or her mailbox in the highway right-of-way (ROW), ...

Older drivers are driving safer longer

I came across an interesting article in the September issue of the AARP Bulletin written by Warren Clarke noting that older drivers are having fewer crashes, good information for our local drivers as we have a large percentage of drivers over 70 years old. The article claims that the number of ...

Why crashes happen

Just about everyone goes someplace by car every day — that’s today’s society versus decades ago, when car trips weren’t so common. In fact, as a little kid growing up in Plattsburgh, my father turned in the license plates and put the car in the garage during winters. Back then, ...

Good headlights matter

The ability for drivers to see the road ahead at night — and other drivers and pedestrians to see oncoming vehicles, too — is an important area of research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that may have come into play in the March 18 crash in Tempe, Arizona, that killed ...

Driver self-assesment — something we all should do

I was recently discussing safe driving with a friend who lives in the Rochester area but was in the area camping at Meacham Lake state campground. He was telling me about something he does routinely when driving — a self-evaluation on how he is doing. When he drives, he assumes the worst, ...

Roundabouts make intersections much safer

A lot of action occurs at an intersection. Cars and trucks speed in from all directions, stopping, turning, changing lanes. For intersections with a higher-than-expected crash rate, highway engineers consider all alternatives — all-way stop, signalization, and roundabout — and analyze ...

Rear-facing or front-facing car seat — when to switch

One of the most confusing subjects, triggering numerous inquiries from new parents, is how long their baby should stay in a rear-facing car seat. Although there’s not an exact timeline, the rule of thumb now is that babies should be in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, to the ...

Dog in front seat blamed in local crash

I have on several occasions written one of these articles on the dangers of having a dog (or any pet) on the driver’s lap or anywhere in the front seat, where the animal could interfere with the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle. Even if the pet doesn’t come into contact with ...

Driver feedback positive on automated systems

I always enjoy feedback from readers of this weekly column but enjoy it most when that feedback is positive, as in this recent case. In early July I wrote an article entitled “Automated Systems Gaining Driver Acceptance” and went on to describe how more and better automated safety ...

Center line rumble strips now five years old

Center line rumble strips were first installed on state highways in Franklin County five years ago this summer. The first highways to get them were state Route 37 between Fort Covington and Hogansburg, and state Route 30 between Tupper Lake and the Hamilton County line, in 2013. Now a ...

Real ID driver’s license now available

Is flying in your future? Soon you will need a REAL ID to board a flight within the U.S. if you do not already have a passport or Enhanced Driver License. According to the federal REAL ID Act, beginning Oct. 1, 2020, those wishing to fly within the U.S. using their New York state-issued ...