Why ‘Nice’ Isn’t Always Right on the Road

When is being nice and courteous not always the right thing to do? When you’re on the road. Waving something through traffic or a busy intersection at the wrong time can cause injury or worse. And it makes no difference whether it’s another driver, a cyclist, or a pedestrian. Following the rules of the road is better than being polite.

An incident this summer in North Vancouver shows what can happen when a driver tries to be nice. A driver had stopped early to clear an intersection and then waved through another driver. Unfortunately, the other driver crashed directly into an oncoming cyclist.

“The bike and the cyclist did a cartwheel over the hood of the car,” an RCMP spokesperson said, “and the cyclist hit his head into the car.”

Fortunately, the cyclist was released from the hospital the next day.

It might go against our nice guy, polite Canadian nature, but you should think twice about waving others through or around you.  You could be directing them in front of oncoming traffic or another person or object that you just didn’t see coming.

Being safe is better than being nice.

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Michael Slater, K.C.
Michael Slater K.C. is the founding partner of Slater Vecchio. The majority of his practice is confined to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury cases.