Unless You Want to Risk Killing People, USE the Parking Brake… Every Time!

Here we go once more — another half-a-million vehicles recalled in the USA because yet again the ‘P’ (Park) setting in automatic gearboxes is failing, and those vehicles that haven’t had the parking brake properly set inevitably will then roll away down any hills or even the gentlest of slopes they happen to be on, and then they build up momentum.  This frequently just results in damage but all too often it maims or kills people…. especially children playing on driveways or in nearby yards!

Photograph of a parking brake foot pedal.
The traditional pedal-style of parking brake (and no it is NOT an “emergency brake”) found on cars in the USA. See article for more information. (Copyright image, 2018.)

Vehicles can even cause harm if left on totally flat ground without a parking brake in use, if they are hit by another vehicle.  Think of billiard balls.  Your car’s “P” setting will be smashed by any hard impact and your car will careen away until it runs out of momentum or it hits something or somebody.

The humble parking brake is one of the most misunderstood and most abused safety controls found in modern vehicles, and this failure to understand and the resultant failure to actually use parking brakes leads to many pointless and preventable crashes, some of which cost lives.

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Collisions with Horse-Drawn Buggies in Amish Country

According to national figures, it would appear that the number of collisions between motorized vehicles and horse-drawn buggies is not changing significantly, but straighter, faster rural roads combined with a growth in Amish populations is causing concern amongst highway safety professionals.

Photo of an An Amish buggy in Lancaster County
An Amish buggy in Lancaster County (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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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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Crashes Affect More than Just the People Who are There (Video)

This excellent video from French road safety (sécurité routière) has only one slight failing.  It uses the word “accident” — something that is being actively discouraged in the road safety world as providing an empty excuse that many people cling to, as in: “It wasn’t my/his/her fault, it was an accident!

That aside, do watch this powerful and accurate video:

Calling All Cyclists, It’s Not Just Drivers Who Get Distracted!

To coincide with this year’s Tour de France cycle race, the THINK! Road Safety team have issued a timely reminder that it’s not just drivers who get distracted and cause crashes, people on bicycles do, too!

From the THINK! Road Safety team.

As a footnote:  Congratulations to British rider Chris Froome for his fourth overall TdF  victory today, and his third win in succession.