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How do I …Safely admire a car while driving

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A couple weeks ago in the Wheels section, we gave advice on how to capture the perfect photograph of a classic or cool car, and also provided some tips on how to appreciate vehicles – remember, look but don’t touch – when you are at an auto show or car meet. But what should you do when you are driving and see an eye-catching vehicle rolling down the highway?

Cool sports cars and classics make for some interesting sights on the roads. Interest from other drivers is one thing but speeding up to follow someone to check out their ride comes with responsibilities.

Older cars generally have tiny mirrors and giant blind spots, so do not, under any circumstances, pace a vehicle (speeding up and slowing down along with them) while sitting in a blind spot off their rear flank. It is not only inconsiderate, but the driver will eventually want to change lanes, and that can be dangerous.

Second, if following a vehicle that is obviously more capable — like a minivan following a Ferrari — don’t get so close as to cause a safety issue with stopping. The Ferrari driver is paying attention to the traffic, you’re paying attention to the Ferrari, and if that driver slams on the brakes for any reason you will likely have zero time to react.

We have heard this concern from a number of classic car owners that we have interviewed. Andrew Goodwin, owner of a Canadian-made Batmobile, told us in May that, “As cars pass us, you’ll hear a screech and a bang, because they’re staring at the car as it goes by, not paying attention to the guy in front of them, who is also stopped to stare at the Batmobile and they rear end each other.”

Last, put the cellphone down and pay attention to the road. Districted driving, which includes the use of hand-held devices, is illegal in Ontario, with the province noting on its website a driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road.

You definitely won’t like the view of that eye-catching car if you cause it to get into an accident, so be observant, respectful and safe.  – Wheelbase Media with files from Torstar News Service

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