Defensive Riding – staying safe starts with YOU.
There is no one more responsible for your safety than you. Defensive driving skills keep you safe, by helping you to be prepared for the unexpected.
SIPDE - Scan, Interpret, Predict, Decide, Execute
All too often drivers/riders fall into the bad habit of only focussing only on what is directly in front of them, allowing their mind to wander and losing sight of what is up ahead.
The smart approach to driving/riding is to be constantly thinking ahead in order to assess the oncoming hazards and potential risk factors that could lead to an incident.
This ensures that you are adequately prepared to handle any sudden change in conditions (like an obstacle or pot hole), other driver behaviour (aggressive high risk drivers or inattentive drivers) and take the necessary steps to avoid danger.
One of the best ways to keep yourself safe is to keep your eyes moving – KNOW WHAT LIES AHEAD and BESIDE you.
Use your eyes to check your mirrors, as well as performing frequent shoulder checks to evaluate your blind spots, and KNOW what/who is around you.
Scan the ditches and side streets/approaches.
Another common mistake made by drivers is that they take the actions of other motorists for granted.
The smart approach is to focus on your driving and be consistently giving yourself enough room to move and AVOID a collision if necessary.
Never put yourself in a bad position, especially not out of retaliation for another’s bad driving habits or mistakes.
When you see another driver who is driving aggressively, predict the WORST thing this driver could do.
Decide how you are going to handle that driver (hazzard), move yourself away from potential harm.
In the case of dealing with someone texting or exhibiting road rage/aggressive driving, you might be right, but is it worth being dead to prove that you were right?
Once you have decided where the safest place for you to be is, execute your move ensuring you know where the other drivers are in relation to you.
The Edmonton office of the Alberta Safety Council has given us some courses to giveaway.
I chose the Gearing Up course for our first contest.
I came across a video that I felt would challenge people's knowledge of the rules of the road and decided that the first person who could tell me who caused the crash, not who would be charged, but who is responsible for the crash happening would win the course.
I hosted the contest on one of my Facebook Pages - Belt Drive Betty
Sadly, no one from Alberta answered the question successfully.
Here is the video from the Facebook Page of Tyga :
At 11 sec there is a sign that I believe reads "State Law white lettering in the black portion at the top and Keep Right Except To Pass in the white portion (You see the black bar at the top of the sign and can ALMOST make out the words at the 11.5 second mark). Its a very familiar sign if you have done any riding/driving in the US.
At 28 seconds you see a shadow of another vehicle in front of the pick up is clearly visible.
The pick up is clearly very close to it.
In fact the ALL auto drivers, including buddy with the dash cam drive too close to the other drivers around them (Tailgating).
At 30 seconds you see a 65 MPH sign – this is clearly in the US
At 32 seconds the Camaro enters on the right of the screen, if you look ahead of the pick up you can see a shadow of another vehicle in front of the pick up
At 36 seconds the Camaro attempts to move into the left lane.
At this point, the pick up should have backed off and let him in.
At 47 seconds the pick up bails on his brakes
At 58 seconds, you can see that the shadow of the other vehicle that had been ahead of the truck is gone and it is obvious they are going up a small incline.
At 1:06 you see the pick up pulling ahead of the semi.
At 1:15 you see that the Camaro is almost at the semi’s door.
At 1:17 as they are cresting the small grade, you see the semi begin to pull ahead of the pick up.
At 2:26 you can clearly see that the vehicle that had been in front of the pick up is a long ways ahead.
So who is at fault for causing this crash?
The Answer is ALL THREE. All three drivers played a roll in what happened, here's how:
# 1) The driver of the Camaro is an idiot, broke several laws, tailgating, passing by using the shoulder, median or ditch, dangerous driving and will ultimately be charged for causing the crash.
HOWEVER, both the driver of the pick up and the semi are at fault for impeding the Camaro’s progress. The driver of the pickup more so than the driver of the semi…BUT….
#2) If the truck driver was truly a professional, he would not have colluded with the driver of the pickup by keeping pace with him, he should have slowed down and given the Camaro room to move ahead of him. (Or for the pickup driver to move over to the right, as he should have – although with his mindset he probably wouldn’t have moved over.)
He will not be charged.
#3) The driver of the pick up who was clearly pissed when the Camaro attempted to sneak in front of him was as big of an asshole and as much at fault for this crash as the Camaro driver.
He will potentially be charged if the police have the video footage.
You are to keep right unless passing. That is the rule of the road in this instance.
Remember folks you might be in the RIGHT, but you can also be DEAD and in the Right.
NUMBER ONE RULE OF THE ROAD - DRIVE WITH YOUR HEAD - NOT YOUR EMOTIONS.
NUMBER TWO RULE OF THE ROAD - KEEP YOURSELF SAFE BY BEING AWARE OF WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND YOU AND HAVE YOUR ESCAPE ROUTE PLANNED.
NUMBER THREE - DON'T PLAY THE ROLE OF TRAFFIC MONITOR - LET THE POLICE DO THAT BY USING YOUR HANDSFREE DEVICE TO CONTACT THE POLICE. YOUR ACTIONS WILL PISS OFF ANOTHER DRIVER AND CAUSE A CRASH.
KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS.
KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS.
That's how I see it.
And you, what did you see besides a self centred a$$hole in a Camaro that was is some kind of hurry?
Belt Drive Betty,
Editor & Rider