Beginning drivers are advised to share ICBC’s booklet, Tuning Up for Drivers with their supervising driver. The hope is that the supervising driver will read it for coaching tips and improve their own driving skills while helping another person.
Driving is a complex skill. For many families, teaching young people to drive will be the parent’s responsibility. The supervising parent will want to show concern for the safety of the driver, the passengers, and all other road users, a concern to avoid injury or damage, and a concern to show courtesy. Tuning Up refers to this as “The Responsible Driver Code”.
For example, applying the Responsible Driver Code, what should happen when approaching what may be a stale green light? Will you be able to proceed or stop safely when it goes to yellow? Considering speed, the road conditions, and the traffic behind, even if the light changes to yellow, either proceeding with caution or stopping, may be the safer option.
When stopped at an intersection, leaving a reasonable distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front enables you to pull out and pass if the vehicle in front stalls, helps prevent your vehicle from rear-ending that vehicle if your vehicle is struck from behind, and may protect you if the vehicle in front rolls backward.
When the traffic light turns green, scanning the intersection before you move forward is essential. A lot of motorists are running red lights. And don’t enter if traffic is backed up on the other side of the intersection. You might not be able to clear the intersection before the light changes and end up causing a traffic jam for cross traffic.
In a line-up of traffic, to obtain better visibility and establish a safe following distance, count to three before you start, and accelerate moderately to fit in with the traffic flow.
Do not change lanes in an intersection or a crosswalk.
Turning left on a green light requires patience and good timing especially in the major intersections that still do not have left turn arrows. Wait for a safe gap in oncoming traffic and for clearance in the pedestrian crosswalks. If this gap is not sufficient during the green light, the turn may be completed on the amber light or even on the red if you are already in the intersection and safety requires you to wait.
Use the horn only when it will help the other driver.
Always keep in mind that stopping distance is determined by the driver’s perception of time and reaction time, and the vehicle’s braking ability. Obviously, the faster you are driving, the longer it takes to stop. Doubling your speed multiples braking distance at least four times. The faster you are driving, the harder you hit. Doubling your speed multiples the force of a crash impact at least four times. Unsafe speed is one of the main causes of injury and fatality in car crashes.
Always alert, and always patient. It has to be this way.
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