Submitted by Tom Shindruk, Fleet Safety International classroom instructor
Most of us wanted to be able to drive as soon as possible when we were teenagers. Then it was someone that initially did our training, perhaps it was our Dad or Mom, or another person who already had a driver’s licence. We picked up those habits that we originally were taught, some good and some perhaps not as good or as safe as they should be. As we matured, we created our own way of coping with the driving environment.
Some people cope better than others. Some become angry when they see other drivers doing something they don’t like or impede their progress on the road. This can escalate into road rage. Many get training either from another adult or some get professional driver training, but our driving education does not end there, as we mature, laws change, road conditions change, new vehicles change, so many things get altered and we must keep up with the changes.
This is evident when we drive and observe the actions and antics of some drivers. As our cities and towns grow and our populations increase, we will have more vehicles on our roads, this just places more pressure on all of us. Now some cope well with these changes, while others unjustifiably fight the ever increasing number of vehicles and in those we see a lot of anger. How do you handle this ever-increasing traffic issue?
According to Statistics Canada in 2018 just over 2,900 people lost their lives in traffic collisions and almost 149,000 were injured. Many are now permanently disabled, due perhaps to error in judgment of the driver or because they just didn’t know what to do in a situation. And we all know that not everyone is law-abiding and plays by the rules of the road. Not everyone is polite and courteous, not all do what’s right or safe. Some of us may recall years ago, many refused to wear their seat belts when it was first legislated. Now I believe most everyone wears their seat belt while in their motor vehicle which includes the driver and passengers.
Currently distracted driving legislation covers a multitude of things not to do while driving. The use of cell phones, eating in a vehicle, personal grooming and a lot of other activities are not permitted while operating your car or truck. If you don’t know what is legal and what is not, then perhaps you need some driver training. Not everyone abides by the law and rules of the road, therefore there are fines applied when these are broken. Fines across Canada range from $178.50 to $3000.00 for distracted driving plus demerit points. Learn what these are so you can avoid paying the penalties. We hear rumours that some provinces are planning to increase the fines for distracted driving because the current fines are not really working. Far too many individuals are not following the laws or rules and are using their phone while operating a moving vehicle.
Reports from Canada and the USA indicate that the number one cause of injuries and deaths in a vehicle is the use of cell phones while driving. So pull over, stop your vehicle and make or take your phone call. This way, not only are you abiding by the law but you are also safer.
Some provinces have mandated driver training for teenagers while in school. Many companies that employ people to drive vehicles as part of their job send their employees for driver training. Many in the oil and gas industry have made it mandatory that all of their workers get driver training to reduce injuries, deaths and also damage to property thus reducing costs and adding to the bottom line.
Our country will grow, the population will continue to increase and so will the number of cars and trucks on our roads, and the need for training will be necessary to make all these operators better and safer drivers. With better training it will make our roads and highways safer and driving more enjoyable.
So who needs driver training? Everyone could benefit, some could benefit from some serious training and attitude adjustment. Almost everyone that takes our driver training tells us that they became better, more aware, and safer drivers. By taking the courses many realize that getting angry at other drivers does absolutely no good. Good driver training has the tendency to reduce road rage and they develop better habits on the road. We are also told that it is worth the expense to save your life.
So protect yourself, protect others from injuries, reduce your costs and most importantly reduce your stress while on Canada’s highways:
Get yourself trained, Be A Better Diver.