Precision Driving

Who contributes: Bill Love

Impetus to drive well

In a past column I wrote that we all tend to double-check our driving behavior when a police cruiser is within eyeshot. I have noted this effect to be so strong, that even drivers already travelling at the posted speed limit often slow down further… Read more

Driverless cars headed forward

We’ll be able to see the results of modern motor vehicle manufacturing at the Spokane International Auto Show this year. Many advanced driver assist features will also be on exhibit there this February 13th, 14th and 15th. These assists (lane departure warning, adaptive braking, et… Read more

Semantics, semantics, semantics

When evaluating real estate, it’s regularly recommended, redundantly, to consider location, location, location. Concerning the dissection of the legalese within traffic laws, a similar, applicable mantra might be, semantics, semantics, semantics. In an earlier column, I wrote that “passing, by any other name, is still… Read more

Resolutions: 2015 edition

Many of us use the beginning of a new calendar year as a prompt to make resolutions that might improve our lives. Diet and exercise are perennial faves, but try to think of some that might improve your driving this year. I have a few… Read more

Reexamining lane use

The emailed comments and questions regarding lane use are seemingly endless, so let’s reexamine the topic. Reader R.H. commented, “I would like to broaden the conversation with regard to your recent article on the use of the inside lane when driving on freeways. The law… Read more

Passing, by any other name…

A line from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” is often referenced to imply that labels don’t change what things really are. Similarly, passing, by any other name, is still passing. A reader once told me… Read more

Lust for the left lane

Regular readers know that I exercise a crusade against wrongful left lane use for roadways with at least two lanes provided for each direction of travel. I will continue to do so, as I regularly find evidence of drivers with an innate lust for the… Read more

The passing lane

When referencing the lane to the left of and adjacent to the right hand freeway lane, “passing lane” would be preferable to “left lane.” That designation better defines its primary purpose: to accommodate vehicles overtaking slower vehicles. An email from reader D.P. exemplifies potential confusion… Read more

Pay-by-mile insurance

Metromile is trying to change the way low-annual-mile drivers pay for auto insurance. The 2014 San Francisco startup offers customers a free device that, when plugged into a vehicle’s OBD-II port, sends mileage data to the company via a smartphone app. Vehicle data, relayed to… Read more

Driver etiquette lacking

I could easily relate to a reader’s recent note. Within it, P.Z. pointed out a couple of pet peeves that bother him, me, and many other drivers. The first gripe described a typical, annoying and unsafe driver habit: the inability to make an expeditious pass…. Read more

Adjust to winter driving

Soon, we are likely to experience additional driving challenges. With the advent of winter’s rain, fog, ice, snow and additional hours of darkness, we must adjust our driving behavior accordingly to be safe. First, never drive “over your head.” If weather and road conditions deteriorate… Read more

Scrutinize those driving tips

I received a reader email with a couple of driving tips that especially apply as winter approaches. Sometimes, simple reminders like these may thwart an accident or save a life — just be certain that it’s good advice before you heed it. Reader R.L. actually… Read more

Applying the B.R.A.K.E.S.

Tragically, an inordinate number of teenage drivers — some 5000 annually — lose their lives in automobile accidents. We all hear about those disasters in the news, but when one father, NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert, lost his own two sons in a 2008 highway… Read more

Many are driving well

What if every driver had a sign affixed to the rear of their vehicle asking, “How am I driving?” Based on the driver mistakes discussed here and the countless peeves reported by readers, the toll-free number typically following that question would be very busy with… Read more

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

At the risk of appearing ancient, I’ll admit that the 1971 hit song “Signs” came to mind the other day as I drove east on 29th Avenue. When I approached a green light at the intersection with Perry Street, a vehicle going north on Perry… Read more

Open to interpretation

Each state has formed a lengthy list of road rules, attempting to govern every driving scenario with a required course of action. Within those laws, one can find a prescribed behavior to match nearly every traffic situation. At times, however, those specifics of required driver… Read more

Exceptions to the rules

I previously recounted a reader’s episode experienced while passing a left-turning vehicle within the city limits of a small town north of Spokane. In that instance, the driver of the turning vehicle attempted to thwart the reader’s pass with a blocking move. My reaction was… Read more

Self-driving features go mainstream

We all know that machines can be assembled and electronically programmed to exceed certain human capabilities. A couple of those capabilities are surveillance and reaction time — two skills used over and over while driving. That reality creates the main impetus for research and development… Read more

Controlling others invites havoc

Trying to control the actions of other drivers is generally ill-advised. It’s especially wrong when the perceived correction or “enforcement” is based on faulty knowledge. Last year, I witnessed a driver who made the effort to move into the about-to-be-closed right-hand lane of a construction… Read more

The science of window tint

A recent column about vehicle equipment standards prompted a message form reader R.C., who commented, “I am sure I could find the state code site (for Idaho, since I’m in Idaho) but an article covering the subject might be appropriate since it’s quite involved. I… Read more