Blog

Life, Safe Driving

Staying Alive

Severe Impact

I have been Driving for fifty years, from day one I have made it my business to get better every time I get behind the Wheel. The reason is simple, I love Cars, the freedom they provide, the Technology put into them and the feeling of controlling and maneuvering them in adverse conditions. Like the time I Drove into an Atmospheric Disturbance, wreckage littered The Highway. At the Crest of this Mountain heavy Snow had blanketed the Roadway. Handling the Steering Wheel like a Joystick I avoided rearending a Truck, The Vehicle following me rearended the same Truck. The thrills are long gone, they were taken from me at seventeen when a group of us went party hopping one Saturday Night.The Drivers were two young Men barely twenty who acquired brand new Cars at the same time. Non of us drinking long enough to know how to say when. We stayed at each party long enough to consume two or three mixed Drinks. On the way to the last stop the Drivers decided to Race. We hit speeds of up to 115, when we entered the exit Ramp I glanced at the speedometer, it was showing 90, our car was on two wheels.

That one night crafted me into the most contentious of Drivers on our Roadways. I learned what can happen when you mistreat Horsepower. From that Day on I learned to love and respect the capability of the Automobile. My first car was a Buick Skylark that had seen Better days it cost me six hundred dollars and needed lots of work. Nonetheless I treated it with respect, the Engine and Trannie didn’t know their ages, they ran like new. Why wouldn’t I respect it, the car that allowed me to practice and become a skilled operator. That Car was Built like a Tank, once I got rear ended, the other car went to the Junkyard, I drove home. Back then Cars were crafted from American Steel. The Frame was Built to withstand severe impacts and drive away.

My first Car, Buick Skylark

Today’s Automobile is totally entwined with Technology, from manually cranking the Engine to Remote start. Sometimes I feel like a Kid when I press a Button and a voice comes over my Bose Speakers telling me to say a Command, I say Navigation and it ask me for the Destination. Today’s Automobile has the Soul of an unmanned Satellite, with little to no protection. As a result of Greed Car Manufacturers have chosen the cost-effective routes in building Cars. The result, very expensive Garbage on four Wheels. 1988 I bought a brand new inexpensively manufactured car, today the Brand sells like crazy. I believe that it was around then that Styrofoam and Plastic was introduced to fabricating Bumpers. One day while sitting in park, a Van backed into me while Parking. The damage was extensive, to the tune of twenty seven hundred Dollars. That’s what you get when they are made with cheap materials. Can you imagine the Devastation impacting at sixty MPH, I would not be here today telling you that they need to be driven carefully. No matter how much you spend they are nothing but inexpensively manufactured Death Traps.

The Car I Drive today cost me thirty five Thousand Dollars, Remote start, heated seats, Sensors all around, WiFi and a Computer that Talks to me, it also tells me if the car needs Windshield Washer fluid. Nonetheless an inexpensively Manufactured Junk. Being an Avid Do it yourself Mechanic since I was a Teenager, I do all the work on my Vehicles. Doing my first Oil change on this Vehicle, I Jacked it up and crawled under it. What I found blew me away. The Engine and the Transmission was made from Aluminum, so was all the Front end Parts. FYI, Steel bends, Aluminum shatters. To my surprise one of the most Technologically crafted Cars was nothing but a Heap.

The Speedometer says 170, If I took this Car on a Racetrack to Road test it and I made a Mistake, I would not be Towed away, instead I would be swept up. Now we get to the Crux of it all, knowing all that I know about these Inexpensively Manufactured Death Traps why would I go testing Fate when I sit in an unprotected Console, kicking the Gas Pedal like I was on a Test Track. Knowing that if I crashed it People would be Talking about me that he was a good Man. I have tried every approach to get your attention that operating a Vehicle mindlessly is nothing short of hurrying your Demise and others. Seems that my words have fallen on Deaf Ears, so I have decided to take you the Reality Route.

The Auto Industry is like the Gun Manufacturing industry, they are not concerned with Collateral Damage, their goal is to sell their products. How you use them is all on you. The Automobile should come with a Disclaimer just like a Pack of Cigarettes. ” Please operate safely, may cause injury or Death”. In my Mind is a Video on re-play of two young men Racing on the Vanwycke Expressway colliding at 80 MPH, the Roadway was Littered. The two Cars were Brand New inexpensively Manufactured Cars, they disintegrated on impact. If not for my expertise I would be part of the Calamities.

The Flashbacks keep me safe and sound every time I get behind the Wheel, knowing that they are not built to withstand severe impact. Having confidence in your abilities is good but how can I have confidence in a Vehicle that was made to do 170 yet built with Styrofoam Plastic and Aluminum. The only two accidents that I had in fifty years of Driving was caused by careless overconfident Drivers, why shouldn’t I always be mindful of the Dangers. I am an enthusiast and an Avid Mechanic, before I take my Car on a 2200 miles Road trip I change the Oil upon return I do the same whether it’s needed or not. Why? I am sort of a Technocrat, I love Automotive Technology, I love Today’s Automobile even if it’s made inexpensively and unsafe.¬† Today’s Automobile is not Built to withstand Impacts, that’s why you have anti- locking Brakes and your Computer breaking for you. In conclusion when I Drive them I use the utmost of Mindfulness of the way they are Constructed, and so should you.

P.S. Happy Motoring, Drive like your Life depends on the way you Drive.

Life, Safe Driving

Speed Control

Speed control

Speed control is the greatest aspect of Driving, let’s go back to square one. If you are buying a used Car, here are a couple of simple steps to let you know if the Vehicle is in good working conditions. One, not giving any Gas, turn the Ignition, if it starts with no hesitation and runs smoothly that’s a plus, especially if its been sitting on the lot. Move the shifter into drive, still no gas, if it pulls forward strong, the Motor and Trannie is in good working conditions. That is exactly how you operate a Vehicle in a parking Lot. In CPR we have a saying ” only do for the Victim what he can’t do for himself”. If you apply that same principle to the way you operate a Vehicle, you are on your way to becoming a Motorist. In a Parking Lot if your Vehicle is in excellent working conditions you never need to give it Gas.

If it does need Gas, very little is all that’s needed. I have seen Valet drivers ran Messaratis at fifty and sixty in a parking Garage and backing up at thirty. That’s overconfidence to the max. Still the average Driver goes too fast in a parking Lot. It takes a Moron Mentality to go zipping through a parking Lot, knowing that backing out of a Spot has limited visibility and that bad Drivers walk the same way that they drive, mindlessly. How can you be looking out for the other Guy if you’re not looking out for yourself. Safety is a consciousness all to itself. When it snows then turns to ice you walk slowly, cautiously and carefully to your Car. Yet you get behind the Wheel and you forget how threacherous walking to your Car was.

You refuse to space yourself ten to fifteen car lengths on bad Road surfaces. Furthermore if you do there is always some mindless Driver who will put his Car in the gap. Safe Driving is a practiced way of Driving, It’s a mindset of being contentious all the while you are behind the Wheel. Far too many of us develop the mindset of Flighty Teenagers who haven’t yet developed a sense of responsibility. 90% of Drivers on the Road knows nothing about speed control, from the first moment they apply Gas they never take their foot off the Pedal until it’s time to stop or slow down. Running up on someone’s Bumper and then applying your brakes within fifteen feet of rearending them if flighty Driving. A True Motorist take their foot off the gas Pedal within twenty five or more feet of approaching a Vehicle or a stop sign.

Movable parts such as Breaks can fail you without a moment notice, waiting until the last minute to apply your brakes under any given circumstances is bad Driving. Speed control is a form of overdriving, overdriving is driving at night with poor visibility, you can’t see fifty yards in front of you, yet you continue burying the gas Pedal. Many of my Blogs about safe Driving interplay, but how else am I going to Drive the point home that safe Driving is no joke. It was a clear day travelling I 81 through Mountaintop PA. Descending the Hill from Hazelton is a speed trap, 80, 90, 100 is always tempting. Where I.81 and I.80 intersect is a blind Bend, I always practicing what I preach about overdriving. I couldn’t see around the Bend so I took my foot off the Gas, that move saved my Life and many others.

I was doing no less than 75 when I came around the Bend to find 100 cars at a standstill, I only had thirty feet of stopping distance before pushing a VW that was already embedded under a Truck. The Driver of the VW had overdriven himself to his death, his Head was laying by the roadside. I have written about this Horrific accident before in another Blog dealing with overdriving, if I don’t constantly paint you a Picture how are you going to take me seriously that safe Driving is a must and not an elective way of operating a Vehicle. I have been fortunate or unfortunate to have witnessed at least twenty Fatalities on the Roadways. I have fashioned my Life down to a science to learn from other People’s mistakes and it has worked for me.

Sometimes I feel like a Fool always yapping at you about safe Driving knowing that most people don’t want to be told of their fallacies, especially Driving. Then it occurs to me that the original reason I started Blogging about Safe Driving was to save just one Life. That one Life could be the Life of a Family Man whose family totally depending on his income to keep them off Welfare or the Streets. The average Maniac haven’t a clue the Devastation caused when a Loved one don’t return home in one piece, Burial cost Foreclosures and Homelessness just to mention a few. I know that I am a Doomsday Blogger but how else am I going to scare you that your Driving is Scary and that you need to be more mindful and not mindless when you are behind the Wheel.

I am not doing this for your likes, comments, following or ten seconds of fame, Blogging is my Retirement Project. I will owe IRS till the day I die. I am trying to create a consciousness to save Lives, to change the Mindset that most Drivers have that they are good, so they can afford to take risks that creates¬† Orphans. Jerry is a Widow with a badly damaged infant. It happened one night on a Mountain Road covered with Frost. His Wife was on her way to join us at the Company’s Christmas party to show us their Newborn baby Boy. She was Driving too fast for the Road conditions, a Deer was in her Path, she swerved to avoid it, went off the Road into a Tree. Both her and the Infant was ejected from the Vehicle, the Infant survived badly injured, she Didn’t. Bad Driving isn’t a matter of if your day will come it is a matter of when.