Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Morning and Some Tips

This weekend has been both marvellous and sad.  The good part was being with my family to help my sister celebrate her 60th birthday.  I have siblings in England as well as Ontario so it is always a treat when we have members from both countries in one place.  We stayed overnight with my husband's sister and visited with them on Sunday.  On the way home we picked up our little dog who we had left in a doggie motel (an emotional time for me.)
Because Heidi was in the kennel, I had been frequently checking my voice mail and found a message on our home phone from our former pastor asking me to call as she had news.  I assumed it might be that her daughter was engaged and, as soon as we got home, I phoned.  Unfortunately, the news was bad.  A friend of ours had been killed in a traffic collision.  Our family had all attended the same church in Edmonton and then, almost all at the same time, we moved to Ontario.  Our pastor friends went to a new church and our other friends to the Ottawa area as he is in the Armed Forces.  On Friday, David was riding his motorcycle and was killed by a person who turned left into his path (a very common occurance when you ride a mc), hit him and left.  We are, of course, grieving for his young family.
And now for the hints.  The majority of traffic collisions happen at intersections and usually during a left turn.  If you are turning and there is a large vehicle approaching you, check to make sure it isn't hiding a smaller vehicle.  Because motorcycles are small, they appear to be further away than they are.  Check a landmark near them to give you and idea of the distance and the speed at which they are travelling.  If in doubt, don't move.  It is only 90 seconds until the next green light.  Before turning left, check left for pedestrians, especially those who might be running.  Keep looking left as you turn.  Pedestrians are often hit because motorists are looking right as they turn left.  Why?  They are looking for vehicles who are approaching from that direction.  If they weren't there when you checked before your turn, they won't be during it and, if they are, there isn't anything you can do anyway, you are already in the danger zone.
If you are beside a large vehicle when the light changes, stay beside it as you enter the intersection.  They will protect you from anyone running the light. Always, always, hesitate before moving on a green. Check left and right and left again before moving.  Why the focus on the left side.  That is where the cars are the closest to you.
And one final point.  When stopping, keep a good distance between you and the car ahead.  If the vehicle behind is skidding, you will have room to move up or even change lanes.  If the vehicle ahead stalls, you will, again, be able to go around it.
Please take your driving seriously.  More people have been killed in traffic collisions than all the world wars.

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