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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Autos Bill Love

MONDAY, JAN. 20, 2014

Looking for errors

The majority of vehicles I encounter are piloted by good drivers. Mostly, other drivers will see me and know when I have the right of way for example. Usually, drivers will stop at stop signs and not put their vehicles in places I already occupy.…

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MONDAY, JAN. 6, 2014

Emergency vehicle approaching

Approaching emergency vehicles can be intimidating, especially when drivers are uncertain of how to react. A note from reader D.D reflects this quandary. He wrote, “I was first in line at a left turn lane, at a red light, with traffic also stopped in all…

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MONDAY, DEC. 30, 2013

Resolve to improve

We often make plans to better our lives at the start of each succeeding year. Since that time is upon us for 2014, let’s all give better driving a top spot on our list of resolutions. After all, vehicular crashes are the number one cause…

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MONDAY, DEC. 23, 2013

Readers' pet peeves

I’m regularly a “sounding board” for readers’ pet driving peeves. A couple good examples of these irksome driving deeds made it to my email inbox last week. Reader B.L. griped, “Last evening as I drove home, a huge pickup truck with those new flashlight-sized headlights…

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MONDAY, DEC. 16, 2013

Driving by wire

“By-wire” technology, as it applies to automotive engineering, is a concept in which a vehicle’s traditional mechanical functions are electronically linked and controlled by use of sensors, computers and other components. The principle has quietly been making its way into our cars and trucks for…

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MONDAY, DEC. 9, 2013

School busses and crosswalks

Many drivers seem uncertain of the laws regarding school bus interaction. Reader H.P. has given the matter some serious thought, writing and wondering, “I have a question about school buses and 4 lane roads. On 2 lane roads there is no problem. When a bus…

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MONDAY, DEC. 2, 2013

Readers relay thoughts and questions

Reader input regularly “steers” this column — a condition exemplified by the following responses. B.M. reported some good luck with truckers by writing, “My wife and I recently completed a 4,000 mile road trip to Illinois and back home. All except maybe 100 miles were…

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MONDAY, NOV. 25, 2013

Use lights to be seen

While driving northward on Highway 195 just before sunset last week, I noted varying driver behavior. Besides the typical driver speed variance — some fast, some slow, and some all over the place — there was a wide distinction of timing for use of headlights.…

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MONDAY, NOV. 18, 2013

Lane closure ahead

When a lane ahead “disappears,” requiring traffic to merge to adjacent lanes, it’s often anything but orderly. I’ve discussed here how the process regularly turns into one of conflict and anger, occasionally “regulated” by self-appointed referees who attempt to create order via traffic direction and…

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TUESDAY, NOV. 12, 2013

Heed the Chief's advice

This year, our daytime temperatures fell from 90 degrees to 60 degrees seemingly overnight. With similar suddenness, we are now experiencing temperatures below freezing and facing the threat of accompanying snowfall. It’s assured that slick driving conditions will arrive and that many motorists will have…

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MONDAY, NOV. 4, 2013

Narrowing roads and permanent potholes

Driving subjects from the past few columns have generated a wealth of reader email. That’s a good situation, and here’s a sampling. A note from reader P.Y. addressed an issue by writing, “An item in your October 13 article caught my eye. It had to…

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MONDAY, OCT. 28, 2013

Disproportion of vehicle size

Size disproportion is a prominent traffic safety topic. A recent discussion here about the interaction of large semi trucks with smaller vehicular traffic struck some nerves. Some automobile drivers relayed stories of trucker intimidation, while some truckers recounted tales of automobile drivers’ lack of consideration…

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MONDAY, OCT. 21, 2013

More on turning

As is typical, traffic and driver topics previously explored in this column have generated some new reader inquiries. J.H. remarked and asked, “My friends and I were discussing the intersection at 2nd and Thor the other day and couldn’t agree on whether or not the…

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MONDAY, OCT. 14, 2013

MONDAY, OCT. 7, 2013

Hot topics from readers

As always, I appreciate getting your comments via email — that way, I know what’s really on your minds. This week, a few readers relayed points of interest. N.E. complained about some seriously slow driving when he wrote, “I’ve noticed in the past 2 weeks…

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MONDAY, SEPT. 30, 2013

Sharing with big rigs

It’s inevitable that you and your passenger vehicle will interact with “big rigs” and their drivers in both city and rural settings. Proper and safe behavior during those interactions is required by both parties for harmonious coexistence. A recent column addressing the “rolling roadblocks” created…

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MONDAY, SEPT. 23, 2013

Expect an emergency

Reflecting again on a recent 6000-mile road trip through 16 states, salient points come to mind. While the majority of those miles passed without threat of difficulty, certain events required emergency-readiness. Successful drivers must avoid becoming lulled into complacency during uneventful moments, and adopt an…

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MONDAY, SEPT. 16, 2013

Ramp behavior revisited

I’ve often entered freeways at less-than-advisable speeds. That’s because, at those times, I’m following a vehicle whose driver is not taking advantage of the lengthy access ramps designed to allow freeway speed prior to merging. I’m not alone in this dilemma. I’ve ridden with Washington…

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MONDAY, SEPT. 9, 2013

Rolling roadblocks

An email from reader R.R. recently caught my attention. As I had just spent 100 hours in the driver’s seat on 6000-mile road trip, his note struck a familiar tone. He wrote, “One pet peeve I have is this: on a 2 lane each way…

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 3, 2013

Stifle driving aggression

You can’t control the anger and aggression of other drivers, but you can and should regulate your own. Statistics show that aggressive driving is the root cause of over half of all motor vehicle accidents, so curbing those tendencies makes sense. The relative anonymity, comfort…

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MONDAY, AUG. 26, 2013

Distraction reaches crucial level

The good news is that cell phone use has brought the topic of distracted driving to the forefront. The bad news is that the handy electronic device nearly all of us are addicted to has itself become the main distraction. I’ve written of driving distractions…

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MONDAY, AUG. 19, 2013

Can your car be hacked?

In theory, given the proliferation of computer-controlled systems within automobiles, newer cars are subject to hacking. As with tablet, laptop, notebook and desktop computers, unscrupulous evil-doers could wreak havoc with the well-being of you and your vehicle. But they probably won’t. Andy Greenberg, of Forbes…

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MONDAY, AUG. 12, 2013

Pedestrians crossing streets

My commentary on pedestrian safety a couple of weeks ago stirred up additional thoughts and questions from readers. Some wondered when and where pedestrians have right of way while crossing streets, and reader G.W. wondered why those afoot often push the limits of that right…

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MONDAY, AUG. 5, 2013

Asked and answered

Feedback from readers reveals what’s on drivers’ minds. One following note involves a previous column topic and another arises from a local publisher’s remark. B.W. reinforced my assertion that hand signals from drivers who refuse to take the right of way are unwarranted and potentially…

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MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Pedestrians facing danger

As infants begin walking, they quickly learn of things that may impede their success. Slippery floors, loose rugs, misplaced toys, dark rooms, stubbed toes and much more comprise the trials and tribulations a new walker must deal with. But even when efficient footwork becomes second-nature,…

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