Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

Rear autobrake shows benefits

A very recent “Did You Know” article reviewed the dangers of backing crashes and strongly suggested that reverse parking, where you back into a parking space or into your driveway is safer than driving in and backing out later. In spite of this advice, I doubt if many will change their ...

Study: Speeders are most likely texters

SmartDrive Systems, which completed a video analysis of fleet drivers, reports that drivers who speed are more than twice as likely to text when they drive. Other distractions such as speaking on handheld phones, accessing apps, eating and grooming were all greatly increased by drivers who were ...

Reverse parking is safer

According to the National Safety Council, one out of four vehicle crashes can be blamed on poor backing techniques. Backing crashes cause up to 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year. This should not be acceptable to anyone. An average driver drives around 15,000 miles annually; how many ...

Most dangerous daily activity — drive/ride in a car

Unless you happen to be engaged in a dangerous occupation, such as a coal miner, logger or a worker in the fishing industry, the most dangerous thing most of us likely do on a daily basis is drive (or ride) in an automobile. Some of the more dangerous jobs, according to the Occupational Safety ...

Sharing the road with cyclists — things you should know

With spring, bike riding time is here (actually thousands ride year-round in bigger cities like Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto), but far too many bike riders are not obeying the laws designed to make riding safer and far too many drivers don’t know applicable traffic laws that apply to them ...

Left lane slowpokes fined under new Va. law

In May of last year I wrote a “Did You Know” article on left lane hoggers frustrating other drivers, and pointed out a particular state highway in Malone where this illegal practice occurs on a regular basis – East Main Street. What happens on this approximately one mile stretch of U.S. ...

Vehicle inspections important part of traffic safety

It’s a foggy night and you meet an oncoming vehicle with only one headlight — is it really a car with one headlight, or might it be a motorcycle? If it’s a motorcycle, not a problem, but if it’s a one-headlight car, you don’t know which light is out and therefore, which side of the ...

Technologies reduce cellphone distracted driving

More than 3,000 people are killed on U.S. roads every year in distracted-driving crashes, the federal government reports. Cellphone use is a common driver distraction. About 70 percent of drivers report using cellphones despite knowing phones can be a crash risk. Technology now exists that ...

Technologies reduce cellphone distracted driving

More than 3,000 people are killed on U.S. roads every year in distracted-driving crashes, the federal government reports. Cellphone use is a common driver distraction. About 70 percent of drivers report using cellphones despite knowing phones can be a crash risk. Technology now exists that ...

Teen drivers need more driving, not instruction, part 2

Last week’s article was the first of a two-part series on teen drivers, based on a February New York Times article by Dr. Perri Klass, and what we as parents need to do to keep them safe while they learn the finer points of safe driving. Lack of experience was the greatest factor for poor ...

Part 1 of 2: Teen drivers need more driving, not instruction

As our teenagers approach 16 years old and express the desire to drive, it poses a dilemma for their parents: Namely, how can we keep our kids safe as they’re learning to drive? Some think the main problem is teenage irresponsibility, said Robert D. Foss, the director emeritus of the ...

Address change? Must notify DMV within 10 days

I have been asked a number of times how long do you get to change the address on your license if you move to a new address. The answer is 10 days. This applies not only to your license but also to your vehicle registration. Applicable Vehicle and Traffic Law sections requiring this are ...

Car safety features have promise but are slow to come

New automobiles are now offering safety features that can significantly reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities, but it will take time to realize the results. It typically takes at least three decades before 95 percent of vehicles on the road have a given feature, the Highway Loss Data ...

Cruise control has many advantages

You are driving on a state highway in Franklin County and are following a vehicle that is driving at speeds varying from below the posted speed limit to speeds above the limit. This is annoying to say the least. This is the type of driver that usually speeds up on straight stretches, making ...

Driver pet peeve — how do you see it?

I receive numerous emails, letters, and questions from people I see in and around town. I recently received an email from a reader of the weekly “Did You Know” articles from a resident in Lake Clear with a pet peeve, depicted in the accompanying sketch. The reader describes this ...

Traffic Safety Board loses executive secretary

J. Brian McKee, 78, Malone resident and executive secretary for the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board, died Friday, Feb. 23 from complications related to his diabetes. He has been an important leader with the board since his appointment in 1998. His counsel and guidance have helped build the ...

Mixing marijuana and driving is not OK

It sure looks like support for legalizing recreational marijuana use nationwide is at a record high and gaining ground. According to polls, a majority of Americans have consistently supported legalizing marijuana since 2013. However, a nationwide survey conducted last spring by Mutual Insurance ...

Test your vehicle and traffic law IQ — 2018

An annual winter feature of the weekly “Did You Know” articles is a 20-question quiz on vehicle and traffic law (VTL) and traffic control devices. The first 10 questions are true/false and questions 11-20 are multiple choice. The answers will be found in next week’s article and will ...

Road safety assessment — could it help Main Street Malone?

For years Malone residents have discussed how to “take back” their Main Street, which happens to be U.S. Route 11, connecting Rouses Point with New Orleans, Louisiana. Route 11 in the village of Malone (Main Street) is primarily a four-lane highway, maintained by the state Department of ...

Gearshift interlock — buckle up or no go!

In New York state, over 90 percent of drivers buckle up before driving. In fact, recent data shows the figure closer to 93 percent. There are no data that I am aware of for rear-seat passengers. However, statistics show that 50 percent of those that die in highway crashes are not wearing ...