by Cedric Hughes, Barrister & Solicitor with weekly contributions from Leslie McGuffin, LL.B.

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Safety Features Saved Us

Road Rules recently reported that the Informed for Life risk index gave the highest safety rating to the 2009 Acura RL 4-DR.  One of our readers (Mr. M) recently survived a side-impact (T-bone) crash thanks in no small part to the safety features of his also highly rated 2007 Acura MDX, a midsize luxury crossover SUV.  Mr. M. speaks with considerable authority about this event, being a retired claims manager with a career that involved many years dealing with motor vehicle accident claims.

Yield to Emergency Vehicles

Traffic control at roadside situations attended by emergency vehicles is an important priority. Emergency vehicles often need access that interrupts the normal traffic pattern in the area and they may need extra space. Emergency personnel also need protection from the surrounding traffic. One oft-cited statistic: —Between 2001 and 2007, 21 emergency workers were injured or killed on BC roads –12 of them at the roadside.

Burning Calories Instead of Gasoline

The third annual Bike to Work Week —also Bike to School and, this year, Bike to Vote Week : May 11–17, 2009—sponsored by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) is a kick-start for seasonal cycling commuters. The VACC website www.vacc.bc.ca lists the myriad benefits of increased cycling but “burn calories instead of gas,” from their summer 2009 newsletter is a good succinct summary.

Measuring Safety With So Many Models

The Ford Model T, ten years after it was first introduced in 1908, was one out of every two vehicles in the United States. By 1927, over 15 million Model Ts had been produced, a record for a single model that stood for the next 45 years. The Model T was the first assembly line creation and the subject of the most famous saying about assembly line production: any colour the customer wants so long as it’s black [black paint having the shortest drying time].

Finding the Safest Car

Alexander Pope’s epitaph for Isaac Newton—

Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;
God said “Let Newton be” and all was light.

—was not an overstatement. To this day, many automobile safety features, as Road Rules also discussed in last week’s article, attempt to minimize the effects on moving vehicles and their passengers of Newton’s laws of motion.

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