The more we drive, the more we become comfortable with driving. Ask any driver after they’ve been driving for awhile, and they’ll say they’ve become more comfortable behind the wheel. However, comfort also brings forgetting some of the basics, like using turn signals and coming to complete stops at signs. Some might call it complacency while others say it’s just being lazy, but forgetting some key safety basics can cause incidents that don’t need to occur. The emphasis is always on FOCUS.
Often called the “California Stop”, the rolling stop has become a normal action for many drivers. Failing to stop completely at stop signs or traffic-signal controlled intersections is now one of the most frequent violations that occurs with drivers. Whether it’s not wanting to “wait” longer, thinking they can “make it” before the other vehicle gets there, or just not feeling the need to stop completely, drivers feel this is not an important requirement anymore.
When a driver fails to stop completely at an intersection, this often creates an ACTION-REACTION situation for one or more drivers. Someone approaching the intersection must either turn, accelerate, or brake more rapidly than they were planning in order to “clear” the intersection. This ACTION-REACTION has led to crashes, sudden braking events, and many angry or aggressive drivers.
STOP MEANS TO CEASE MOVEMENT
The easiest way to recognize a FULL STOP is when the vehicle “rocks back” fully after braking. This tells the driver that the vehicle has come to full stop and is not moving forward anymore.
USING TURN SIGNALS
Every state requires drivers to use turn signals of some kind prior to turning or making a lane change. Most states define the “minimum distance” before a turn or lane change, such as 100 feet prior to making the maneuver, but the requirement means drivers must use some kind of signal before INITIATING a move.
The reasons for signaling before a turn or lane change are:
1.To notify other drivers of your intention to move.
2.To “ask for permission” to make a change that might impact another driver/vehicle.
When we don’t use our turn or hand signals before turning or making a lane change, we create situations where other drivers don’t know what our actions are, and their actions might be affected by what we’re doing. For example, slowing in preparation for a turn without actually signaling the turn, might cause the driver behind us not to recognize our action. This could result in that driver crashing into the rear of our car because we were slowing down while they were still traveling at speed. Although the following driver bears most fault in the crash, a contributing factor was the “failure to signal” violation.
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Federal Way, WA 98093
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