EDITORIAL: Traffic safety is in our hands

Riding someone’s tail on the highway or elsewhere simply isn’t cool, or safe

It’s becoming endemic. And many of us do it every day.

Tailgating.

Whether we engage in this dangerous and potentially deadly driving habit without thinking, or because we’re always in such a hurry as to  think riding someone’s bumper will get us to our destination faster, doing so can have catastrophic consequences.

Ask the people who commute daily along the Trans Canada Highway how many fender benders they’ve encountered along the way, or worse, crashes that require medical attention for those involved, and it’s easy to understand just how widespread this problem has become.

With the winter weather creating slicker streets in our region, and the lack of daylight making it tougher to see, we should all be taking more care when driving.

Giving people a little more space and giving yourself a little more time to reach your destination can never be a bad choice to make.

Many people are also at a point where we’re teaching our children how to drive, riding with them as they gain road experience, or maybe just watching them drive off in the family car, their ‘N’ firmly attached to the rear of the vehicle. How would we feel knowing that someone else was hanging off their bumper, putting them at risk and stressing them out when they’re trying their best to adhere to the rules of the road?

Likely not very impressed.

Of all the interactions we have with other people during our day, driving is the one that involves putting the most trust in others to do the right thing and act responsibly.

Try to remember that when you’re running late for an appointment or getting to work. Other drivers are assuming you’ll do the right thing on the road. And let’s not forget that not everybody remains calm when someone else is causing them stress by tailgating.

There’s a popular phrase out there that goes something like this: A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on everyone else’s part.

It may be a rather well-worn message, like “don’t drink and drive,” but we still think it’s important to consider the safety of others when we’re behind the wheel.

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