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Safety on the Roads, by Dave Werner

Test your Vehicle and Traffic Law IQ (answers)

Last week’s article presented 20 questions on Vehicle and Traffic Law 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 — 2020

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

Mandatory driver refresher training’s time has come

Recently a prominent local resident was telling me that she was recently stopped by a state trooper because she hadn’t turned on her headlights during a rainstorm. Although she was not ticketed, she admitted that she didn’t know it was a requirement to drive with full headlights in rain and ...

Proper use of 4-way flashers revisited

A regular reader of these traffic safety articles recently contacted me to ask about the use of the four-way hazard lights on vehicles when driving in snow and/or fog. His gripe was that a driver he was following was driving with his/her hazard lights flashing — since these lights are quite ...

Learn from your mistakes

We live in the northern part of New York state, and I have never seen a winter when it didn’t snow and, of course, cause roads to become slippery. OK, I’m being facetious, but my point is that if we chose to live in Franklin County, we must drive on roads that are slippery and difficult ...

Safety systems come with driver overconfidence

It’s hard to believe that car systems designed to make driving safer and easier are placing drivers in danger, but a new study by the AAA Foundation finds this is the case. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping-assist technologies lull drivers into letting their guard down, which puts them ...

Be aware of after-market light bars

I recently had an inquiry from a driver who had purchased a light bar for his Jeep. The light bar was comprised of both amber and white lights. The white lights were designed for off-road use, and the amber lights consisted of three lights in the center of the light bar plus one amber light ...

Santa has right of way over all other vehicles

Earlier this month I was contacted by Santa Claus from his North Pole location. Santa asked me to repeat a column that was distributed 10 years ago. He said that drivers have been reluctant to yield the right of way to him and his reindeer, with Rudolph leading the team on Christmas Eve. ...

Why do drivers still text and drive?

If we know something is dangerous, why do we still do it? I was pondering this question relative to texting and driving and wondering just what makes drivers continue this very dangerous practice. One can Google this question and get 100 different reasons from 100 different sources. But I ...

Driver acceptance crucial to new technology

Remember when anti-lock brakes first were available on automobiles? Those of you that do just might remember that we had a hard time changing our old habits of “pumping” the brakes. We didn’t have the confidence that just stomping on the brakes and letting the computer prevent the wheels ...

Clarification on stopping on crosswalks

Last week’s column was about the illegality of stopping on a crosswalk. The article included a picture, repeated with this article, of a car stopped right on a painted crosswalk along with the front of another vehicle just prior to the crosswalk. The thrust of the article was that Vehicle ...

Stopping on crosswalks is illegal

Note the picture of the green car in the left lane on Main Street (U.S. Route 11) in the village of Malone. This eastbound car is waiting for the red light at Harrison Place, but is right on the crosswalk. This driver is in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1202(a)1d, which states: ...

Enforcement must enforce laws to modify behavior

Last week’s column was about those who work in enforcement correcting dangerous or unsafe driving habits, and I used my two speeding tickets in 1967 as what it took to modify my “speed limit plus 10” driving habit. Today, I will tell about what can happen when enforcement fails to do ...

Enforcement meant to correct unsafe driving habits

Have you heard people say, “They write tickets only to get revenue”? This is an incorrect perception by many drivers, as the purpose behind enforcement (tickets, if you prefer) is to change bad driving habits that we all have. Speeding is a good example — I have said many times ...

Headlights: Perhaps the second best safety device

If you are a faithful reader of these weekly articles on Vehicle and Traffic Law and traffic safety, you know my position on using headlights. Briefly, unless you conscientiously turn on your full headlights (not parking lights) every time you move your vehicle, then ALWAYS buy a car with ...

Keep wheels straight while waiting to turn left

Last week’s article was about moving into the intersection on a green light if you are turning left at the intersection, even if there is a string of oncoming traffic. Today’s article deals with a very important consideration all drivers should be aware of whenever they must wait for ...

Entering intersection for left turn, explained

Here’s a question for you to think about: You want to turn left at the next intersection, the traffic signal is green, but there is a string of oncoming traffic. Do you stop at the white line (stop bar), or do you enter the middle of the intersection and wait for either a break in oncoming ...

Traffic Signal Operation 101

If we drive in a populated area, like most of our villages, we cannot avoid intersections controlled by three-color traffic signals. But do you know what makes them change? Here’s a brief tutorial on their operation. Let’s start with a simple four-legged intersection, which allows green ...

Can you accept constructive criticism?

Have you ever asked a relative or someone you know to critique your driving? I’ll bet not. I was recently thinking about this and wondering why drivers don’t seem to want to improve their driving skills by requesting helpful criticism from others. The likely reason just might be because ...

What if I brake hard for a deer?

In Franklin County there are deer, and every year deer get hit and injured or killed. Meanwhile, numerous vehicles are damaged. Often drivers crash into trees, guide rails, ditches or other vehicles in a futile effort to avoid hitting the deer. The above is the prologue. What this article is ...