We Teach Driving Like Your Life Depends On It

You have questions, Steve has answers

By Steve Wallace
Times Colonist, April 21st 2017

If you experience a loss of control while hydroplaning, gently release the gas pedal and avoid the brake, Steve Wallace suggests.



First, the police are very preoccupied with major offences and are often unable to address the more elementary travesties of the typical driver.

Ticketing for a perceived minor offence is often overlooked.
When traffic systems become overloaded, drivers have a tendency to be much less attentive to simple courtesies behind the wheel.

Marilyn had a very entertaining but relevant rule in her household.

When her teens broached the topic of getting a driver’s licence, she told them that first, they had to learn how to work the washer and dryer.

When it was time to tackle driving, they had to learn on a manual transmission.

When they went away to university, they were the only ones on the dorm floor to know how to do both such tasks.
It also delayed the acquiring of a licence by a few months, giving mom a needed adjustment and breathing space to ascertain teen maturity.
Now that she is a grandmother, it will be entertaining to see these adult children, now parents, employ the same standard.

Heather recounted teaching her daughters to drive.
The first turn out of the driveway went well until the necessary retraction of the wheel, which dad forgot to mention.

After exiting the ditch, dad explained it was his fault, and vowed to give more timely and complete instruction.
There is one simple rule of driving instruction: Always stay ahead of the student.
There should never be dead air in the vehicle.
Teacher or student should be sharing their thoughts.

Only when a pretest is being done should there be silent periods.

Fred wanted to know the rules around yellow-painted diagonal island road markings.

They are meant to be a replacement for concrete or asphalt raised-centre traffic islands.
Drivers are not permitted to drive on them to get to an indented left-turn lane.

Yes, a traffic ticket can be issued for such an infraction.
Ray asked about areas where a sidewalk is only on one side of the street.
Many municipalities save money by only building sidewalks on one side.

The other side may have buried utility lines that are easier to access if workers don’t have to jackhammer a sidewalk.

Some cities will plow snow to the side without the sidewalk, for better drainage.

Homeowners who don’t like to shovel snow have been known to request a sidewalk for this reason.

Stephanie wanted to know more about hydroplaning, which occurs when water pools on the road.
At high speed, tires ride up on the thin film of water between the road and the tires.
This causes a lack of contact with the road and loss of control of the vehicle.

It’s important to resist the temptation to brake hard in this situation.
Many drivers who experience this situation are surprised when they turn the wheel slightly, only to have the vehicle continue to travel in a straight direction.

The best course of action is to gently release the gas pedal.
Avoid the brake, since it could lead to an involuntary skid.
Professional drivers avoid this situation by staying out of lane depressions, riding the crown of the travelled lane instead.

Staying behind other traffic and riding in their tracks on a wet road is another technique employed by the pros.




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