Motorcyclists Drive Distracted, Too!

Don’t assume that drivers and some pedestrians are the only ones who dangerously use cell phones on the roads.  As you can see, this young rider has his left hand off the handlebars and although this bit can’t be see from the angle of the photograph, it did very much look like he had a cell phone in his hand as he went past.  And that’s not as unusual as you might think.

Photo of a motorcyclist with one hand off the handlebars, apparently holding a cell phone in a viewable position, in that hand.
A young motorcyclist, possibly tired of life, who appeared to have a cell phone in his left hand as he rode past us at speed, on our right hand side. Photo taken from the passenger seat. (Copyright image.)

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Here in the USA, it’s Workzone Awareness Week. Does that Make You Think ‘So What?’

This morning, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a.k.a. NHTSA but pronounce it as “NiTSA“) publicized the fact that it is Workzone Awareness Week.

Photograph of a highway construction zone.
A Highway Construction Zone. (Copyright image.)

There can be no doubt that this is an important issue because, for example, in 2014 (the most-recent, detailed figures available), no fewer than 669 people were killed in construction zone  incidents.

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Driving Dangers on Big Bridges

On sunny days, or at dawn & sunset, big road bridges can often look very attractive, but when the weather takes a turn for the worse, they can create significant dangers for the unwary driver.

News has just been published today that a truck driver has been killed after high winds apparently pushed his vehicle through the safety fence on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Tragically the driver lost his life.

This is particularly saddening for me as I went over that bridge, in mildly bad but contrarily beautiful weather, just a few weeks ago while instructing on an advanced driving course in Maryland and Delaware.

Thin fog as we drove eastwards across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The relatively thin morning fog that we met when driving eastwards over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was misleading. It had been much thicker and potentially more dangerous only a few minutes earlier. (Copyright image.)

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Deer Involvement in Animal-Strike Collisions on U.S. Roads and Highways

Over the past twelve years, Advanced Drivers of North America has had the privilege of working in rural areas in most American states, training into the thousands of drivers at various agricultural and agro-chemical corporations — people who typically have been born and raised in such areas and who are very conversant indeed with country living and with nature.

Photo of a small deer lying dead beside an interstate highway.
Even a relatively small individual like this white-tail is far from funny to hit at high speed in a sedan. Especially at night, the shock to the driver can be enough to trigger a much more serious outcome than the unfortunate deer alone created. Copyright image.

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The State With the Deadliest Traffic in America Admits its High-Speed Streets Have to Change

Linked here is is a very well-written post from StreetsblogUSA, and in huge contrast to almost everything written in the USA about traffic safety, it starts off very responsibly and accurately, with:

In the last few years, the traffic fatality rate in America has risen alarmingly high, wiping out a decade of progress and widening what was already an enormous gap between the U.S. and peer nations like the UK, Japan, and Germany…”

Photograph of the intersection between Pennsylvania Ave. and 16th Street, Miami Beach, Florida.
Pennsylvania Ave. and 16th Street, Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Wiki Commons

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The Enormous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is Happening Now in South Dakota

As many as 600,000 bikers are expected for this year’s rally.  Public safety officials are asking everyone to stay alert and reminding other motorists to  wear seat belts.

Photo of a staggered group of motorcyclists.
A small, staggered ‘platoon’ of motorcyclists.   Copyright image.

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When Road Signs Can Increase the Danger – 001

Some road signs are incorrect for their task and others can create problems by not being located exactly where they should be (sometimes because the installer was sticking strictly to a rule book and didn’t use common sense).  But in this case the cause of potential danger is different:

Photo of a "Turn Off Cell Phones and Two-Way Radios" sign, too close to the construction zone (thus a danger created by distracting the drivers).
What to do? Switching off phones and radios is often linked to danger from explosives but if a driver starts messing about trying to switch off a phone this close to the construction zone, his distraction might cause him to hit someone…. like the worker who is walking across the road in this photo!   New York State.  (Copyright image.)

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Many cell phone drivers say they would not quit calling even if they caused a crash

Forty percent of drivers say that even if they caused a collision, it would not stop them using cell phones while driving, according to new research.

Photo of driver usings a hand-held cell phone at the wheel.
Not only using a hand-held cell phone while driving but also at an intersection and with an arm across the driver’s airbag due to one-handed steering. So a collision is more likely, as are greater injuries because of the bad steering. (The drivers face is deliberately blurred.)  Copyright image.

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Nasty Wounds Class as “Lucky” if a Cell Phone User Hits You with his Truck (UK)

July 7, 2017

Given what could have been the outcome, it is still outrageous that these nasty wounds have to be thought of as the young victim being “lucky” but there can be no doubt that he is indeed lucky to be alive.

Skin and flesh injuries from being dragged along the road by a vehicle.

The incident, a couple of days ago, involved a truck that struck this young man and his bicycle then dragged them along the road, wedged under the front bumper.  The truck driver allegedly didn’t know that he had hit anything and kept on driving until another driver, having seen what had happened, pulled into the path of the truck to force it to stop.

When the police arrived, it is said that they arrested the truck driver for being on his cell phone at the time of the collision.

The facts will presumably be established in court, and an immensely valuable law in Britain prohibits the publication in the meanwhile of anything which could prejudice the outcome of the court case, thus preventing “trial by media” and any inability to find unbiased people to serve on juries.  Sub Judice (pronounced “sub judiss-ay”) is a law of fairness and all countries would benefit from using a valid equivalent to it.

If the man is found guilty of having the collision while using a cell phone then we can probably expect him to go to prison.  The laws and punishments for such actions tend to be much tougher in Britain (and many other countries) than in the USA.

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief Instructor — Advanced Drivers of North America