The Garage – Driving Tips by Steve Wallace of Wallace Driving School
In very general terms, Steve Wallace advised:
At stop signs, stop before the natural pedestrian walkway – often an extension of the sidewalk.
When merging for construction, merge at the last moment rather than forming a single file well before the merge; if resisted, open the window and hand signal to personalize it.
When turning left at an intersection, move into the middle of the intersection and wait for the turning opportunity.
When approaching a railway crossing, be especially alert if unused to train crossings – open the window as an extra safeguard.
When reducing speed after highway driving, be aware of “velocitation” – the inability to accurately judge – that is, significantly underestimate – speed after fast driving.
To understand your vehicle behaviour, test full acceleration and full braking to get the experience.
When traveling on a multi-lane highway, drive in the spot that allows escape opportunities – often the middle or right lane.
Using a cell-phone when driving – whether hand-held or not – is always distracting and thus dangerous.
When being tailgated, use the four-way flashers to alert the other driver to back-off.
If provoked by another driver, do not get drawn into a road rage incident – again back-off.
When passing an emergency vehicle on the highway, reduce speed to 70 kph in posted 80+ kph zones and pass well to the side; in slower zones, reduce to 40 kph.
When traveling through a playground or school zone without posted limits, maintain speed but be extra alert; otherwise, observe the posted limits.
When driving in roundabouts, yield as needed when entering and signal only when exiting.
When highway driving, pay attention to “space” more so than individual cars around you.
On the highway at intersections, curves and obstructions, follow a three-phase eyes ahead-rear mirror, ahead-speedometer and ahead-sides routine.
To avoid rear-end collisions in parking lots, drive through two spaces or back in to allow forward exits.
Remember the laws of physics when braking, at 3x the speed, it takes 9x the distance, at 5 x the speed, it takes 25x the distance.
To allow an extra margin for safety against head-ons, align the gas pedal with the oil slick down the centre of the road – thus being in the centre right of the travel lane.
A fundamental rule of the road is “wanter waits” – wait to enter an intersection, to turn left, etc.
For our LBCs:
While waiting at a stoplight, put the gear shift in neutral and apply the handbrake while idling for the green.
Finally, check out your knowledge and skills on the driving test video for drivers 55+ at http://www.lifelongdriver.com/.