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  • Writer's pictureTerry Groves

Learning Curve

I remember reading about another horrific crash on The Malahat, a steep and curvy section of the Trans-Canada between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and home of many fatal accidents. Three dead (at least one young) and five injured. The local fire chief commented that the accident was entirely preventable had there been highway dividers.

To me, his comments highlight so much of what is wrong with the mentality of people today. While dividers might have prevented a second vehicle from being involved, it was speed that was to blame, more-so, a lack of speed of thinking in the driver, and too much speed in the vehicle. Having highway dividers would simply add to the problem, in my opinion, by giving a false sense of safety to the driver and occupants of speeding cars.

Most people won’t jump off a four story building but they will drive, without fear at 100 km/hr. Jumping off the building would result in less speed by the time they hit the ground. I fail to understand the logic in this.

Since it is known that this stretch of highway is dangerous, just like it is known that jumping off a four story building will likely end in death, why do people continue to think they can drive it at speed? Likely the same type of logic that makes people think they can make it safer without increasing the driving talent of those navigating it.

I spend a fair bit of time on this highway and that gives me plenty of opportunity to observe the driving skill of those who use it. I have to say, I don’t have a lot to observe, with excessive speed (frequently stupidly excessive speed) being the number one indication of lack of skill and common sense. Going fast does not take skill, any idiot can step on a gas pedal.

For the sake of the families that are left behind to deal with the carnage of these accidents, I hope common sense becomes a little more prevalent in our approach to driving. Otherwise, I invite those drivers to step off the planet.

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