A selected, urban component of the Vision Zero approach to highway safety is undoubtedly helping to save lives in New York City.
In the latest edition of what is undoubtedly the most comprehensive international summary of global road safety each year, the mission statement for the USA is: ‘Dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle safety and reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.’ However, as the following figures and references will show, this stated goal may be true regarding the intent but actual U.S. outcomes over recent decades have been a very long way indeed from any “highest standards of excellence.”
While instructing on an advanced driving course recently in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, I was briefly found it funny when I saw this sign but after a few moments of humor I was more dismayed than amused. Read on and you’ll find out why.
This is just one fine example of the countless excellent and usually unsung tasks done by on-duty and off-duty police officers, every single day of the year. It has been posted here with full permission from its author, Temporary Sergeant Karen Stanton, whose important goal is to highlight the crucial importance of cyclists wearing helmets. If you are not convinced, check out the image of the boy’s head scan, below.
June 29, 2018
Despite recent new laws in several American states, which stipulate a three-foot gap as being enough space when passing cyclists, there are multiple circumstances in which passing that closely is both inadequate and dangerous.
Most of our requests for the provision of safety training for drivers, whether at defensive- or advanced-driving levels, relate to city locations throughout the USA and Canada. This short article is intended to provide some guidance for our corporate clients on how to get the best return from your investment in connection with city-based courses.
Just a few days ago, on June 11, 2018, NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Paul Karas announced a $62 million investment in the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, here in our own home state of New York . This multi-agency initiative will include the Department of Health, DMV, Capital District Transportation Authority and local enforcement agencies. This is, of course, to be warmly welcomed, but let’s get straight to the point, the USA has a stunningly bad track record for pedestrian injuries and deaths, with almost exactly six thousand being killed nationwide, and a vastly greater number being injured, during the last statistical year alone.
It is too easy for so-called experts to claim that only four or five key problems cause the majority of road crashes. That claim is indeed true — and of course we teach trainees all about those issues — but to act as though these are the only dangers that drivers will ever face is incompetent and is asking for trouble. There are many seemingly minor problems that collectively still cause hundreds of thousands of crashes and far too many deaths and injuries in the USA every year. In whatever training time we have available to us, we teach our trainees how to comprehend and deal with many of these additional dangers, too.
Excerpt: “…Pedestrian deaths have jumped 46 percent since reaching their lowest point in 2009, as pedestrian crashes have become both deadlier and more frequent. The increase has been mostly in urban or suburban areas, at non-intersections, on arterials — busy roads designed mainly to funnel vehicle traffic toward freeways — and in the dark, a new IIHS study shows. Crashes were increasingly likely to involve SUVs and high-horsepower vehicles…
Two important things about safe, defensive or advanced driving courses from Advanced Drivers of North America are that (a) we will work anywhere in the USA and Canada, as well the islands on either side of the continent, and (b) you will always get highly-trained instructors, not — to be frank — somebody who has received only a few days of severely inadequate training, themselves. (And yes, that really does happen.)
All of our behind-the-wheel training, except for any brief but necessary corrections to unsafe steering technique, is done on active roads — the only place where comprehensive training can take place, and where a very wide range of random risk scenarios can be encountered to facilitate an upgrade to relevant techniques for trainees’ future use.
Denver and Boulder are cities in which we have worked many times for several major clients and they are firmly among our favorite cities at which to run courses. This is for the simple reason that the area offers just about every conceivable type of road challenge, on which we can teach a very wide range of safety considerations and techniques. This type of variety is most important in developing drivers with a much broader and more effective defense against bad things happening.