Lack of knowledge and empathy: survey finds we could brush up on the rules of the road
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Lack of knowledge and empathy: survey finds we could brush up on the rules of the road

Last Updated Aug 28, 2018 at 11:28 am MDT

Image by Justin Slimm
Summary

'We can all look inward': A look at a survey meant to turn down the heat before conflict, accidents happen

September traffic is just around the corner. Are you ready for it?

A survey suggests many drivers, pedestrians and cyclists could brush up on their knowledge of the rules of the road. It also finds Canadian politeness ends at street level.

When you add that abrasiveness to an apparent lack of knowledge among some road-users, its a bad combination.

The survey for RSA Canada — an insurance provider — finds 50 per cent of pedestrians don’t always know when cyclists have the right of way. It also suggests thirty-three per cent of cyclists have seen an unfamiliar road sign recently.

RSA’s Rohini Mukherji says with kids heading back to school next week, the survey is meant to help turn the heat down for potential conflicts and accidents.

“We all just need to do our bit to be educated, to know the rules, and also show some courtesy and empathy to the others sharing our roads.”

Mukherji suggests knowing when to yield to others and showing understanding toward other road-users plays a powerful role in stopping in what she calls that gut reaction of rage.

“It’s hard when you’re a cyclist, a pedestrian or a driver and it seems that everyone else is the party at fault. The reality is that we can all look inward. While certainly cars have historically had the largest share of the road, and shoulder a lot of that responsibility around education, it is about everybody staying safe.”

The survey also finds 57 per cent of cyclists and 44 per cent of pedestrians believe their cities should invest in driver education.

“It’s not just about technology, but also about education and really showing that empathy,” Mukherji adds. “Because that is really going to be the first step in ceasing the war on our roads, if you will.”