Yesterday I talked about Driving By Traffic, a common practice by drivers living in places where enforcement, laws and rules are lax or may not exist. To survive, you must keep your eyes open to avoid danger and quickly move out of the way of other vehicles.

Drive-By Vision is also another way some drive.
Eyes wide open, scanning the road ahead of you vigilantly for anything that may cause conflict, including potholes, changing road surfaces, or terrain where I cannot see far ahead. Drive-by Vision also works well in places with no law enforcement, like when I drove in China.

Steep blind corners and wyndy roads with terrible mudrocks and sand found me driving seriously slow, giving time for my eyes to navigate the vertical blind corners and the dangerous road surface to ensure I don’t slide off the road in the unstable, constantly changing surfaces. Speed was never a concern. I was just fighting to keep the car in control. I had no time for high speeds or trying to go fast. My brain and eyes were very busy!

Similarly, some roads were massive, comprehensive, and wide, with long, wide open spaces, zero blockages, zero areas where something could hide and near no places where another vehicle could surprise me or suddenly appear. Again, speed was not a concern because there was no enforcement, speed limits, or police. Speeds in villages and cities were posted, and cameras sent you a bill in the mail. Here I Drove by Vision.

Outside the cities, I drove at the level my Vision could handle, making the speeds irrelevant. The laws and speed maximums were not a factor at all. So then, what regulated my highest rates? ANSWER HERE is Vision first and Car Safety second. How much speed could my car handle safely? This answer was the speeds I drove in China on wide-open clear roads. So what were my top speeds?

I drove a big Toyota van. But the van was a partnership deal with a Chinese company. So the engine transmission and guts of the van were made in Japan and hence built with world-famous quality standards. But the van was assembled with body doors etc., made and built in China.

The max speed I felt somewhat ok with was about 120 km/h.
At 110 km/h, I felt I had maximum control.
Beyond 120, I did not trust the car.

Yes, it was brand new, just built, and cost about USD 35,000.
The limiting factor of the top speed was the safety of the car itself, mainly the road noise and the thin panelling of the van’s body. Again I did not trust it. It did not feel safe at higher speeds. To try and help my concerns, I purchased top-quality, very expensive tires to ensure maximum grip and contact with the road. This made both the ride and the control super smooth and enjoyable, but still, at more than 110, the construction of the vehicle body, windows and doors would vibrate and feel very thin with high road noise.

So you could say I was Driving by How Safe The Car is. This was the limiting factor to my speed. Vision on the big wide new Chinese highways was excellent, and the highway design certainly could handle higher speeds. My vision was not the limiting factor here.

Drive-by Vision.
Drive-by How Safe The Car Is.

Drive by Traffic.
Yes, there are many ways to drive a car.
Was this part of your driver’s education?

120 km/h


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Materials presented here are for education purposes only referencing two ICBC materials,Tuning Up Drivers Manual, Learn To Drive Right Manual, training material from the 3 week Driving Instructors Licensing Program and amterials from the GLP classroom certificate Program. and Todd Cooper are not responsible for any consequences that may result from use of this material. Throughout these posts references are made to acts and regulations that govern driving in British Columbia.

In the event of a difference between the material here and any of these acts or regulations, the acts and regulations shall apply. For specifc help related to these acts please refer to a professional lawyer or a police office.