Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

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 ...

Funeral procession needs respect of motorists

In 2015, I wrote a “Did You Know” article about funeral procession protocol being vague in Vehicle and Traffic Law. Since then, I have had several requests, including an inquiry from the St. Lawrence County Traffic Safety Board, to again do an article on this subject. So, here is a review ...

Automated systems gaining drive acceptance

More and better automated safety systems are rapidly becoming available on more and more cars, and driver acceptance is growing. A recent survey by researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests people are most comfortable with systems they believe make smooth, gradual ...

Flaggers play important role in traffic safety

Flaggers, flagperson, or flagmen as we used to know it, are vital to both vehicle safety and to worker safety. Unfortunately, drivers are too often annoyed by them when approaching a work zone or encountering a flagger when motoring about. Our vast infrastructure, roads and highways ...

Point, insurance reduction program beneficial

Unfortunately, in New York State, there is no requirement that drivers take refresher courses periodically. With numerous vehicle and traffic laws implemented regularly, without refresher training, many drivers do not receive proper information regarding changing laws, signs, pavement markings, ...

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 ...