Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

Traffic laws most drivers aren’t aware of, part 2

Several weeks ago this weekly article discussed several traffic laws that most drivers aren’t aware of. Some are from decades ago and aren’t as necessary with today’s vehicles as in decades ago – some are just not very applicable in this North Country but nevertheless are still part of ...

Challenge for all drivers — be the best you can be

Do you now, or have you ever participated in sports? When you play, whether if it’s on a team or perhaps an individual sport like golf, tennis, or skiing, do you try to do the best you can or do you just go through the motions? Do you try to win? Most athletes that I know or watch do the ...

Marijuana legalization synonymous with increased crashes in Colorado

Legal recreational marijuana in Colorado began with adult use in late 2012 and was followed by legal sales in 2014. Even though the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has risen sharply each year since 2013, more than doubling in that time, ...

Lane departure warning feature lowers crash rates

Thankfully new technology rapidly finding its way into our newer cars is significantly yielding benefits when it comes to preventing lane-change crashes. Many fatal crashes happen when drivers unintentionally stray from their lanes and run off the road or collide with another vehicle. In the ...

Unbelted in rear seats extremely dangerous

Unrestrained rear-seat occupants were nearly 8 times as likely to sustain a serious injury in a crash as restrained rear-seat occupants. So, if you want to increase your chances of a serious injury in a crash by 800 percent, than don’t bother to buckle up when riding in the back seat! ...

Car seat knowledge vital to child safety

For many years, the loosely accepted standard for turning the rear-facing car seat to forward-facing was on or just after baby’s first birthday. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics in the last several years has dropped that as a minimum age, updating its guidelines to recommend that ...

NTSB: Speeding equally dangerous as drunk driving

First of all, every driver speeds, period. Some most of the time, others not usually, but show me the driver that doesn’t speed sometimes and I’ll eat my proverbial hat! “Speed Kills” is the message the National Transportation Safety Board hopes to amplify and correct with a recent ...

N.Y. tops efforts to make our highways safer

Some good news in highway safety: New York is the top state in the nation in taking steps to reduce injuries and fatalities on its roadways, a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says. No state has taken as many steps to curtail the number of crashes as the ...

Students, school bus season has begun

Now that another school year has begun, take a minute to review some of the traffic safety issues associated with schools. First, let’s review school speed zones. Whenever signs indicate a lower school speed zone, the applicable hours are supposed to be posted on the school speed zone signs. ...

Paying for highway infrastructure is problematic

As we drive all over the U.S. and Canada we rarely think of who owns a given road or who maintains it and at what cost — we just drive on. David Orr, Director of Cornell Local Roads Program in Ithaca just commented on this in the August issue of CLRPs “Road Chatter.” His comments got ...

Deadliest versus safest times to drive

Take a guess — which season, summer or winter, is the more dangerous time to drive? Bet you think winter. How about the most dangerous four hour period of a 24-hour day? Bet you are thinking something between midnight and early morning. What day of the week do you think is the safest day to ...

Advanced safety systems gain driver acceptance

Rare is the driver that doesn’t tailgate sometimes. Rare too is the driver that always checks behind the vehicle before backing. Equally rare is the driver that is paying 100 percent attention to their driving and can react to a potential crash as fast as a computer. An excellent article ...

Slow moving vehicle emblem illegal for driveway marker

The “Slow Moving Vehicle” (SMV) emblem is an orange triangle with a red border (see picture). It must be displayed on farm machinery and implements of husbandry and other machinery including road construction and maintenance equipment designed to operate at 25 mph or less while traveling on ...

Setting speed limits 101

Everyone wants a speed limit in front of their house but not in front of everyone else’s! This statement certainly seems to hold true for Franklin County. A number of recent requests to reduce speed limits at various locations further upholds the perception, if not the reality, that most ...

Headlights and DRLs vital to safe driving

Does your car have Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)? Do you use your high beams on rural roads at night? Do you know the applicable driving laws relative to mandatory headlight use? If you answered no, maybe, or don’t know to any of these questions, keep reading. As I wrote in the “Did You ...

1/3 of a football field, 7 car lengths, turn signals

What do the above have in common? The two distance references are approximately 100 feet; the connection with turn signals is a New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) requirement – that drivers must continuously signal a turn or a lane change for a minimum distance of 100 feet. Are ...

Practice driving tests helpful for new drivers

Are you a potential new driver? Before you can be licensed in New York state, you must pass a written exam as well as a road test. The written test for a Class D, M, DJ, MJ or E license examines your knowledge of the rules of the road, safe driving techniques, road signs and their meanings, and ...

Distracted driving? If you are guilty, stop it!

The National Sheriffs Association has excellent information relative to safe driving, and much of this information is published in its Driver Safety Issues newsletter, with links to driver safety information. In the May 12 issue was a link to an interesting article from TheNewsWheel.com, a ...

Alcohol a factor in pedestrian and bicycle collisions

When a pedestrian or a bicyclist is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, the vehicle is almost always the winner. And, we tend to blame the driver for the incident and seldom ticket the pedestrian or the bicyclist. Of interest in traffic safety are the results of a recent study by ...

Fatalities, injuries continue in spite of Move Over laws

Slow Down, Move Over laws were first introduced in the United States in 1996, when the first Move Over law was introduced in South Carolina following the death of a paramedic who was struck at a crash scene. In 2012, Hawaii was the final state to enact such a law. New York was somewhere in ...