I have spoken with many people who have complained to me that they have a difficult time determining if the oncoming vehicle will stop at the red light or the stop sign. They also can’t determine if the parked vehicle will pull out in front of them or if the driver will change lanes in front of them without a signal. It’s a good thing they asked me, because I have some helpful advice.
Considering that most crashes occur at or near intersections all across North America, we really need to determine if drivers are running the red light or stop sign before we get there. The easiest way to do this is to compare their movement against the stationary objects the driver is passing. If you don’t notice any changes in their movement, you know they won’t be stopping. If you see their movement begin to slow as they pass the stationary objects, you know they’re slowing down. You just have to decide if they’re slowing enough for you to continue through the intersection.
The same technique can be used with parked vehicles. Glance at the front left wheel of any occupied parked vehicle and if you notice the wheel begin to move compared to the ground, you can honk, brake; or both. Knowing what to look for will make it easier for you to respond quickly.
We all know people rarely signal a lane change, so when you’re close to other drivers who are in the next lane, make quick glances at the distance between their tires and the lane markings. If you notice the driver getting closer to the lane markings, it’s time to reduce speed and perhaps honk. This will reduce the chance that they may move into your lane.
I hope these techniques will help you stay out of possible crashes. Getting a jump start on drivers making errors is always a good thing!