The Scoop on Skillfull Driving: White Line? What White Line?

Continuing our Safe Driving series, in conjunction with Skillful Driving School:

Always stop before, (that is behind) the first white line No white line? Then stop at the pole of the stop sign. Why? (Aside from it being the law, of course…) There are a few reasons for stopping before the white line at a stop sign.
First, large vehicles, such as a trucks or buses and sometimes cars, will often cross over into your lane as they turn the corner. If you simply race up to a stop sign and don’t stop at the white line or stop sign, there is a good chance of a collision with a vehicle making a turn.

This is the reason why the white line for a “left turn only lane” will often be further back than the line for those going straight ahead.

Here’s another potential problem. What if the front bumper of your vehicle is way past the white line and then you notice a vehicle rapidly coming up behind you, probably not stopping in time? Now you have no leeway or cushion of safety — nowhere to roll or swerve to avoid a collision. Basically, you are trapped by not giving yourself any “out.”

Rushing up on a stop sign is frightening for everyone because other drivers who have the right of way have no way of knowing if you will actually be stopping. Approach a stop sign slowly to avoid problems.

In bad weather, be aware that your vehicle may slip and slide. Think ahead – brake early just in case your car slides. Then if it does slide, you are prepared.

If you drive close to the right side of a lane, it may seem that you are either about to pull over and park, or turn right. What if a bicyclist or pedestrian is passing on your right? If someone does not stop at the proper place (before the shoulder or sidewalk) and stay in the driving lane, there is a very good chance that a pedestrian/bicyclist will be struck as they are passing by. Just ask Hatzalah how many children as well as adults are struck near corners for this very reason!

Tip: Stop by the stop sign line or before the pole. Look both ways even if you cannot see clearly and entirely both ways down the street.

Roll up slowly but only as much as is necessary to see clearly. Then STOP again and look carefully once more before moving forward or turning.

Never rush a turn! A lot of variables need to be noted and taken into account to turn safely, and this just simply canNOT be done if one is rushed when making a turn. Slow down! Turn slowly!

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  1. I’m curious how things are going to change after this article. If the Ravs or Vaad would speak about it or post signs in shuls and batei medrashim, that might be more effective. Not holding my breath on this one. A sakanah is a sakanah. Time to get with the law. I’m sure there’s a psak here. אין ספק.

  2. Skillful driving….certain people in this town need to learn how to drive first before anything else. I really feel my life is at risk every time I drive in this town!! Please help!!

  3. And I will continue to honk at anyone who zooms up to and past a stop sign before stopping. How the h–k can I know his intention is to stop? (and many don’t bother stopping at all)

  4. There are many cars driving around town without fully functioning brake lights, not to mention blinkers and headlights. I was behind one vehicle that had all three brake lights out. How did I know when he was stopping? I was able to see the brake lights of the car in front of him. I shudder to think what could have happened if I hadn’t been able to see the other car’s lights.
    Please, people, check to make sure all your lights are functioning properly. It only takes a few minutes, but it can save your life. Have your wife or an older child go around your car and look at the lights to make sure they’re working.
    A good time to check is every Rosh Chodesh. Create a reminder or mark it down on your calendar. But, please check your lights.

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