Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

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 ...

Refuse chemical test for DWI, lose your license

I am sometimes asked if it’s better to refuse a chemical test if stopped for driving while intoxicated than to submit to a test. My answer is to submit to the test. I also sometimes hear someone advising someone else to refuse the test, presuming, I suppose, that the person might be able to ...

Dog on driver’s lap is unsafe at any speed

A Lake Placid reader of these weekly traffic safety articles returned a few months ago from a trip. He remarked about how many drivers he observed along the way with a dog on the driver’s lap or between the driver and the driver’s window, and inquired if this unsafe practice was ...

NTSB: Speeding passenger vehicles serious problem

Over the past decade I have written numerous “Did You Know” articles about the problem of speeding. Now, the National Transportation Safety Board labels speeding as a persistent problem on U.S. roads, contributing to the loss of more than 112,500 lives in crashes from 2005 to 2014, ...

Drowsy driving dangerous to all drivers

Drowsy driving is a serious issue that affects all drivers, but unfortunately doesn’t get the same attention as driving while impaired or distracted driving. It is estimated that over 6,000 fatal crashes per year are due to drowsy driving. Stony Brook University, New York, has launched a new ...

Teen drivers’ turn signal use increases with alerts

(Editor’s note: Dave Werner’s column normally runs Monday, but since there was no Enterprise on Christmas Day, it will run today.) --- When driving, do you always signal turns and lane changes or do you just do it sometimes? By now, most drivers have experienced or at least heard of ...

Mrs. Claus has concerns for Santa’s safety

Luckily for me, I had the pleasure of speaking with Santa’s wife, Mrs. Claus, just 10 days before Christmas Eve. I reached her at the North Pole by telephone. I expected a very cheerful conversation with her, but it just wasn’t so. She was concerned with Santa’s safety as he made his way ...

Snowplow drivers ask for your consideration

Now that snowplowing season has arrived, highway crews ask for cooperation and understanding from drivers. First, if a snowstorm begins during the night or on weekends or holidays, it takes time for highway crews to leave their homes, get to their trucks, load up with sand or salt and begin ...

See something, say something

In over 10 years of writing weekly traffic articles on vehicle and traffic law (VTL), I have come to the conclusion that most drivers are not aware of many of the newer laws governing driving and may have gotten into some bad driving habits that they don’t realize. And, no wonder, as New York ...

Laws of physics magnified in winter driving

Sixty miles per hour on glare ice — no problem! No problem, as long as you don’t try to speed up, slow down or turn even slightly. But driving requires constantly changing speed and direction, no matter what season it is. This is where Newton’s first law of motion — which states in ...