×

Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

Where can you turn right on red?

The question of whether a driver can execute a right turn on red (RTOR) from an intersection where the cross street (or streets) don’t line up comes up from time to time. Three intersections that I can think of in Franklin County that have a three-color traffic signal controlling such ...

Defining ‘no stopping, standing, parking’ terms

I had a recent inquiry to explain again the difference in the terms “no stopping,” “no standing” and “no parking,” and just what they mean. So let’s review exactly how Vehicle and Traffic Law views these definitions. The term “park” or “parking” is pretty basic — we ...

Study shows rear autobrakes really reduce backing crashes

If you are a regular reader of these weekly articles on traffic law and traffic safety, you know my position on backing crashes: We back our vehicles about one-tenth of 1% of the time, yet backing crashes exceed 10% of all crashes. In other words, we drivers are not very good at backing up our ...

IIHS is a powerful tool in traffic safety

If you read these weekly articles even occasionally, you will often find information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the agency that crash-tests vehicles just to see just how safe they are. IIHS assigns one of several safety ratings so buyers can see just how safe the vehicles ...

Partial automation has negative consequences

As with many improvements to automobiles along with driver benefits, there is often an unintended negative consequence. This is true for some of the automated systems now available on the newer vehicles, according to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the December ...

Speed adaptation — something drivers should be aware of

Have you noticed how fast traffic moves when entering our rural villages, where the posted speed limits are normally 30 mph? This is also where enforcement sets up with radar. Measurements show speeds generally in the 40s as vehicles enter our villages. There is a reason for this, and it is ...

Impaired crashes on New York roads is an ongoing problem

The involvement of alcohol and/or drugs continues to be a serious issue in fatal crashes, with more than two out of five fatalities (44%) being alcohol or drug-related. Continuing efforts are needed to improve the effectiveness of public awareness initiatives that are designed to educate the ...

Study on distracted driving and cellphone use is revealing

In August 2020, the CTIA, a representative of America’s wireless industry, reported that there were 442.5 million U.S. wireless subscriptions, up more than 20 million year-over-year. The CTIA further reported that in 2019 consumers exchanged 2.1 trillion text messages, up 52 billion from the ...

Good news for older drivers

Drivers in their 70s (that includes me) are now less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those in their prime working years, a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study has found. That’s a remarkable reversal for a generation of drivers once thought to be an outsize threat to ...

Traffic crashes are not ‘accidents’

If you are a reader of these weekly articles on traffic law and traffic safety, you are aware that I never write about traffic accidents — I always refer to them as crashes or collisions. In fact, I have written full articles, the most recent one in May 2019, trying to get people and news ...

Test your vehicle and traffic I.Q. —answers

Last week’s article presented 20 questions on vehicle and traffic law (VTL) and traffic safety. Hopefully you took the test and kept your answers handy. This article repeats the questions and includes the answers. See how you did. - True or False - 1. If your vehicle has daytime ...

Test your Vehicle and Traffic Law IQ, 2021

An annual winter feature of these weekly columns is a 20-question quiz on Vehicle and Traffic Law and traffic control devices. The first 10 questions are true/false, and questions 11-20 are multiple choice. If you follow these weekly columns, you should do well, as all 20 questions are ...

Traffic death increase may be a result of COVID-19

A recent article (Jan. 1 by Christina Goldbaum) in the New York Times spoke to a deadly consequence of the pandemic — a significant increase in traffic deaths. When the pandemic hit New York City, cars seemed to disappear from many streets as the lockdown brought urban life to a halt and ...

Support for standardized vehicle and traffic laws

In early December, I proposed in my weekly article on Vehicle and Traffic Law and traffic safety that we should consider standardizing vehicle and traffic laws nationwide. In that article I described numerous traffic laws that differed from state to state and asked how drivers could possibly be ...

Know consequences of borrowing, lending vehicles

Have you ever borrowed someone else’s car? Have you lent your car to someone else? If so, are you aware of potential requirements and potential consequences? I had someone recently ask me who is responsible for the ticket if someone driving a borrowed car is ticketed for an expired ...

DWI could be a thing of the past

Alcohol has been a factor in 30% of U.S. roadway deaths every year for the past decade. Meanwhile, police arrest about 1 million people a year for alcohol-impaired driving. Systems that can detect the percentage of alcohol in the driver’s blood and prevent the vehicle from moving if it is ...

Santa has decided to deliver on Christmas Eve

It was nip and tuck, but in the end, Santa has decided that a virtual Christmas just wasn’t good enough. So, after contacting the best health experts he could and presenting his plan to deliver Christmas gifts around the world in spite of COVID-19, his plans have been approved and he has ...

Workshop updates snow, ice control

In late October and early November, two of these weekly articles explained the difficult decisions that were necessary for our various highway departments to deal with snow and ice control on our highways, and some of the factors that lead to using abrasives or salt. Complicating this dilemma ...

Vehicle and traffic laws should be standard nationwide

Passing a stopped school bus with red lights flashing is against the law in New York state, as it is in all states. We know this, but are you aware of the differences in other states? For instance, it’s illegal to pass a stopped school bus even if it is stopped on the other side of the ...

Predictability — great safety asset for drivers

If you’re a poker player, being predictable is the worst thing you can be. But if you drive a vehicle, being predictable is probably the best thing you can be. If you could communicate to drivers around you exactly what you intended to do, it would make life so much easier for other drivers, ...