Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

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 ...

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 ...