One of the many benefits of having kids is that you get to reexamine many aspects of life you easily take for granted. Because of the low level of driving skill and sometimes reckless attitude of local drivers, teaching my Little Weeds to safely cross the street terrified me. In our sleepy suburban neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ontario, it is not too bad, but when it comes to major intersections the concequences for a miscalculation are dire. No matter how well you teach your kids, they also rely on drivers to keep them safe. Here in Scarborough we have terrible drivers. Teaching my kids how to safely cross traffic intersections has been long in the making, Here is what I tell them.
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How to Cross a Traffic Intersection in Toronto, Canada
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Ten bad driving habits, by Chen Xin, People Daily, equally applicable here in Toronto, Canada
As a lifelong resident of Toronto I can attest that many fellow Torontonians wonder out loud why Chinese drivers are so terrible. I am one of them. As I live in Scarborough, a heavily Chinese area of Toronto, there are certain major intersections that I avoid due to a very high proportion of Chinese drivers that approach 100%. As my ethnic background is Chinese, I have ruled out genetics. Moreover I know many Canadian born Chinese, or Huayi, that are excellent drivers. Further, anyone from Hong Kong can attest to the prowess of their local driving skill. So why are Chinese drivers so terrible?
Without a doubt the “right turner” is the most dangerous situation a motorcyclist faces while riding. Statistics show that more motorcyclists get hurt and killed at intersections by a right turning driver than any other cause. Why do car drivers exclaim “I did not see him/her” when the weather was clear and there were no other cars in the intersection? It is not just motorcyclists in danger, as bicyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles also bear the pain of inattentive drivers. Is it true that these drivers are so lacking in skill, so blatant in their disregard for their fellow humans that they are grasping for any plausible explanation, or is it something else? There is a theory that humans filters out objects that are deemed not dangerous, which leads to the subject of “inattentional blindness”. Maybe these lame explanations from drivers point to a visual impairment that is innate with all human beings.
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The Dangerous “Right Turner”: Inattentional Blindness
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