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Another Crashed Witnessed

Posted May 28th 2011 4:18PM

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As a professional driver transporting motorcycles, I'm usually on the road for about 10-12 hours a day. Each day I, like most drivers on the road, am left shaking my head at some the stupid and crazy things I observe on our roads. Witnessing such things is especially frustrating for me because I'm also an advanced driving instructor, focusing on ProActive driving and situational awareness, as well as advanced car control skills not taught in most other schools.

Every day I witness acts of carelessness, recklessness and plain old stupidity such as following too close, applying make-up, eating, talking on cell phones, texting, reading books or newspapers and even impaired drivers. Like many other drivers, I've seen the crashes on the roads and passed by wrecked vehicles as emergency vehicles attend to the scene. However, considering how much I drive, every once in a while it happens directly in front of me. On May 24th, 2011 at 9:14 p.m I caught it on my 'dash cam'. The following is my account of what happened and was sent to the police as my official statement:

I was driving southbound on Bayview Ave with my trainee and when nearing York Mills, we observed a dark coloured Honda Civic driving erratically. The vehicle was heading southbound on Bayview about 80m ahead of us in the #1 lane (left lane) and repeatedly drifted into the centre turn lane and the #2 lane (middle). He nearly collided with one vehicle which was in the centre turn lane (was pointed southbound waiting to turn east) and several times crossed the centre lane nearly into oncoming traffic (those heading north). Some northbound vehicles needed to swerve to avoid being hit.

Just south of Post Rd, there is a centre median E-barrier to divide oncoming traffic. The driver of the Honda attempted to change lanes from the #1 lane into the #2 lane but only crossed halfway at which point the road bends to the right and crosses over the valley below. The driver didn't make the bend and collided with the centre barrier at approximately 65km/hr at roughly a 30degree angle. The driver didn't apply the brakes until after the impact. After the hit with the wall, the driver came to a stop in the #3 (curb) lane about 200m later.

My trainee made the call to 911 at 9:14 p.m. I stopped behind the Honda and turned on my hazard and rooftop beacon lights in my truck. I got out of my truck, approached the vehicle and while the driver inspected the damage, I put his car in park, turned off the ignition and removed the keys. I put the keys in my pocket.

Over the next several minutes, we observed the driver behaving oddly (seemingly impaired) as he walked around the scene and rummaged through the passenger area of his car and the trunk. Paramedics where first to arrive and although none of us smelt alcohol, we all suspected that perhaps he may be impaired by some other substance. During this waiting period for the police to arrive, the driver did admit to us that he was also talking on his cell phone while he was driving. He also admitted this to PC Smith. This would likely be a contributing factor.

Once the officer arrived, I provided my initial statement and pointed out to him various interest points at the scene and statements made by the driver and the fact that I was able to capture the incident on my dash cam (which he requested that I forward to him via email along with this more detailed written statement).

This is why I have a video system running in my truck at all times and I'm sure this won't be the last one I capture.

Shaun de Jager, Founder of RoadAwareness.org & Pro Driver, speaks out about road safety and road related issues

Category: Videos, Safety

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