Opinion

EDITORIAL: Drive for the conditions

A quick look outside will tell you we’re tightly in the grip of a West Coast fall.

That means rain. Lots of it.

And darkness – late into the morning and earlier in the afternoon.

It’s a dangerous time of year. For motorists, and especially for pedestrians.

Statistics from ICBC show almost a third of pedestrian collisions involving injuries or fatalities occur in November, December and January.

A little common sense would go a long way to reducing those numbers.

Like wearing bright clothing, ideally with a reflective strip or two, so motorists can distinguish you through the gloom.

Cross streets using marked, and preferably lit, crosswalks. Motorists peering into the darkness through rain-slicked windshields are already coping with a lot – faded and swamped lane markings, the glare from oncoming headlights. The last thing they’re ready for is a dark figure bolting from the shadows across their path.

When walking along the shoulder, where there are no sidewalks, face oncoming traffic.

Drivers can also do their part to improve safety during these dark, rainy months. Ensure your windshield wipers are doing their job.

Check that all the lights on your vehicle are working, and that the headlights are aimed properly so they don’t blind oncoming cars or pedestrians. When driving in difficult conditions, use the low beams, as the high beams will just reflect the rain or fog, actually making it harder to see.

Check your tire tread. Worn tires will take longer to stop, and are more likely to hydroplane.

Most importantly, slow down and drive according to the conditions.

– The Burnaby News Leader

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