Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

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 ...

Riding in a taxi? Start buckling up!

Although not too many residents in Franklin County routinely ride in taxi cabs, you might be so inclined when visiting in other metropolitan areas. Heretofore, drivers of taxis and livery vehicles in New York state have been exempt from the seatbelt laws, and persons 16 years of age and older ...

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 ...