Planning on imprefection

Runaway lanes save lives

One of the things that struck me when driving through the mountains of British Columbia were the ‘runaway lanes’.

They are there so that should the brakes on a big vehicle fail, the tractor trailer has a place to run off the road.

They are there ideally to save lives.


Ideally, brakes shouldn’t fail.

Ideally, we shouldn’t need runaway lanes.

Ideally, this is true.

We do not live in the ideal world.

We live in the real world.

Unfortunately a lot of people who see me have an idea of how things ‘should’ be.

They’re living on highways where the brakes ‘should’ always work.

They live without a runaway lane.


The lanes are there.

It’s sometimes difficult to admit that the breaks are failing and that you need to get off the road, let the tires sink into the soft gravel, and use the runaway lanes to prevent disaster.

Once there?

Someone will find you.

Once there?

It won’t be long till you’re on the road again.