Friday, January 04, 2008

Driving and the road

I often hear people say that the government should be blamed for many driving accident because they are responsible for the state of the road. While I agree that the sorry state of roads in Quebec is deplorable and that we should as a society invest to build better road or at least repair our roads. I find it hard to blame the government for accidents. You see I learned to fly planes before I learned to drive and one of the assumptions is that it is always the pilot’s fault, because ultimately he is the one that took all the decision that lead to the accident. There are situation where it is not the pilots fault, but most of the time it is his fault. Take mechanical failure for example, no pilots should start a flight if he knows of any irregularity with his airplane and that include missed inspection, unidentified noise in the engine, or anything else that looks or feel weird. If he does take off knowing about this well it is his fault the plane crashed, it would not have happened had the plane stayed on the ground. A similar reasoning follows for order from flight control, if the pilots feels those order put his plane at risk he is required not to follow them, otherwise it is his fault that a crash happened.

I tend to use a similar logic when it comes to driving; the guy in the car is responsible for the safety of his vehicle. If the road are badly maintained or if there is ice, snow or water over the surface it is the driver’s responsibility to drive slower and more carefully and to know how to react if his vehicle as problems. It is also the driver’s duty to know the limitation of his vehicle, and how his vehicle will move in some situation. For example, every driver should know that accelerating with a front wheel drive car in a turn might make the front outside wheel to lose traction. There are situation in which you cannot do anything, if the road fall over or in front of you, not mater how wheel you are driving it’s pretty much up to chance at the point. However, considering that a lot of people driver every day and a very small minority suffer from accident it is hard to blame the road. You know if it was the road everyone would have accident (or at least a large fraction of the those driving on that road) and that simply isn’t the case. So drive carefully because ultimately it is your responsibility to be safe.

1 comment:

anyflower said...

I also think that if people were driving more courteously, there might be less accidents. There is really no need to be in such a rush, taking time to check dead angles before you change lanes, waiting for your turn at the stop sign, let people on foot cross at the intersections... all those small things would make driving a more enjoyable experience, therefore encouraging patience.

I think many unconfident drivers drive faster because they are being "pushed" on their tail by unpatient drivers. Unconfident drivers should recognise that weakness and adopt strategies to avoid "overpassing" their driving abilities that, I believe, may cause accidents. Sticking to someone's ass on the road is stressful/enraging for the one ahead plus the overall effect is unuseful. One more thing: if you are driving 80 km/h on the highway because you didn't buy snow tires, please keep your right! I have the most performant snow tires and I can still roll 100-110 without putting you in danger when there is a few cm of snow on the asphalt.

Even though I would have much more to say on the matter, I'll stop here for today, have other stuff to do. Thanks for bringing that up!