OUR VIEW: Season calls for road safety

We say: Making smart decisions can reduce risk, stress and tragedy

We might be quickly closing in on the most wonderful time of the year, but with our dark and wet roads, it is also one of the most dangerous.

This combination has already claimed the life of one Nanaimo resident this fall – a 28-year-old male cyclist died after a collision with a car on Wall Street Friday.

As the Christmas season approaches, we find ourselves hustling in all directions. Normal work and family obligations become more complicated with the need to shop for presents and attend social events. Everything speeds up. Unfortunately, it is at a time when our roadways become the most dangerous.

In dark and wet conditions, it is virtually impossible to see that pedestrian crossing the street in a marked crosswalk, or that cyclist moving toward you as you try to make a left-hand turn, or that deer running out from the ravine. But steps can be taken to not only be safer on the roads, but to also reduce the stress level of people on the move.

Driving the speed limit is a good start. At 50 km/h, drivers can often react in time to a avoid an unexpected cyclist, pedestrian or animal.

Making sure your tires are up to the job of winter driving also helps. Cyclists can reduce their risk by ensuring they are visible, and are in a position where drivers can see them by riding in a predictable manner. Even pedestrians can reduce accidents by crossing the street only when it is certain that drivers in both directions are aware of their intentions.

Making smart decisions, like planning effectively and not drinking and driving, can also reduce risk and stress. The Christmas season is a busy one but with a little care and attention to how we move around, we can ensure that everybody makes it home safely to enjoy the festivities.

– Black Press

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