Why do so many people these days have to drive so terrible? Are we really in that much of a hurry to get somewhere that you are willing to endanger your life and someone else's life just to arrive five minutes earlier? If your answer is yes then there is something wrong with your head, in my opinion.
- Do you believe that following me too closely is going to make the person in front of me go any faster?
- Do you believe that I can read your mind into knowing which way you are going to turn so that you do not have to spend the great effort in pushing the turn signal lever?
- Do you believe that you can stop your car on a dime? (I.E. quicker than other people can stop their cars)
- Do you believe that traffic accidents only happen to other people and that it will never happen to you?
I practice what I preach. When I tell others not to follow too closely, I do my best not to follow too closely myself.
Here are some common types of bad driving and why each is wrong:
School zones. I drive through a school zone on a 2-way highway on my way to work every day. I don't always have my commute during the school zone's 20-mph time period, but when I see the warning light flashing, then I slow down at the line to 20-mph (or hey, just barely over). Every time I do, there is always somebody that rides my back bumper and comes up fast from behind. I was riding with someone else one morning when my car was being repaired and we were even passed by a very rude driver in the school zone during the school zone time! Again, this is a 2-way highway, not a 4-way! When I get to the end of the zone and see the "End School zone" sign and point to it, I have drivers behind me shrug, or wave like "so what?" or do nothing. They sure don't improve. If you see a school zone in your town that is not obeyed, please call the school board and request law enforcement. It's not for you, it's for the children!
Following too closely. How far does your car travel in one second? Ok, at 60 mph your car is travelling at one mile per minute. Therefore in 30 seconds you have travelled half a mile, in 15 seconds you have travelled one quarter mile, etc. Basicly your 4000 pound car can travel 20 feet in the span of one second in time. In the time it takes to move your foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal, your car has moved 20 to 50 feet closer to another object before you even begin to apply the pressure on the brake pedal to slow the car down and stop. Think about that the next time you drive your full-size pickup or SUV behind a small compact or sub-compact car with children in it.
Not using your turn signal. That lever on the side of your steering wheel can save a life everytime it's used. Telling other drivers around you where you are about to turn towards keeps them from crashing into you or others. Too many people these days drive like they don't give a damn about anybody but themselves. Not using your turn signal proves that. Letting it flash only once or turning it on after you have already started your turn or lane shift does not do a bit of good. If you want to help others read your intentions and be effective, let your signal flash three times before you begin to turn your wheel on that turn.
Driving too slow on two-way road. Believe it or not, driving too slow can cause an accident! If you are on a two-way highway and are driving much less than the speed limit, other drivers will bunch up behind you and wait for an oppurtunity to pass you. Some drivers will wait for a safe place and some will not. One morning some redneck driving a pickup with a tall camper-sleeper in the truck's bed passed me and other driver who was going too slow. But the problem was that he started his pass at the bottom of a hill and didn't pass the slower car until he had started to go over the top of the hill. I was completely shocked at that. Everybody there was lucky that somebody else didn't come over the hill and collide with him. That is an extreme example but you know that some are careful passers and some are not. Please at least drive the speed limit on a two-way highway. If you can't then take another route with slower limits or get someone else to drive you for your sake and that of others.
Construction zones. Every year 1000 people die in accidents that take place in construction zones. Many of those people killed are the workers simply doing their jobs to repair and improve our roads and make travel better for us. And we repay these workers with blatent disregard for their safety. We speed right by them at much more than the construction zone limit, we drive faster than we should on uneven pavement, and we curse construction vehicles that block our path. Please respect those drivers that want to obey the speed limits in a construction zone. Impaitent drivers will follow-to-closesly and cause an accident.
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