Life, Safe Driving

Jackass Driving

I know that my Safe Driving Blogs comes over Krass, Blunt and insulting at times. However, over the years I have learned that if you speak to people intelligently and they still act the Fool, you treat them accordingly. Also my goal is to insult you into changing your Driving habits, and so decreasing the Highway Fatality Statistics. Bottom line saving Lives. After fifty years of Driving with two Accidents that weren’t caused by me, I have come to the stark reality that the numbers aren’t going to change. Because very few of us deals with criticism in a positive way, too many of us prefer to have our Egos fluffed, as in blowing smoke. That is why bad Drivers gets behind the Wheel and loose their rationality. Mild Mannered people gets behind the Wheel and Morphs into NASCAR Drivers, and so gave Birth to Road Rage.

Highway Statistics haven’t thought old Dogs any new Tricks. What makes me think that I can. From here on I am focusing my attention on new Drivers, people who don’t want to continue one hundred years of catastrophic Driving conditions. Year after year I have watched the Highway Fatalities steadily rise, even with smart Cars equipped with Sensors antilock braking, self braking and a dozen or more Airbags. None of these safety apparatus is going to bring the numbers down when you Drive like a Jackass. Jackass Driving is a practiced way of Driving, totally ignoring all the safety apparatus on our Roadways, such as speed limits, Stop Signs and running red lights, weaving Rush Hour Traffic, not properly signalling, always Driving like a Pizza delivery Driver or a Taxi Driver.

Driving is supposed to be fun, not a Hair raising event. ( adjective

extremely alarming, astonishing, or frightening.

“hair-raising adventures”

synonyms:terrifying, frightening, petrifying, alarming, chilling, horrifying, shocking, scaring, spine-chilling, blood-curdling, appalling, dreadful, fearsome, nightmarish; )

As the saying goes ” not because you have been doing something the same way forever doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly stupid”. Albert Einstein said it best ” it’s only a fool that does something the same way, each time looking for different results. If you Drive like a Taxi Driver, having near misses after another, you are doing it all wrong. Trust me I know all about Taxi Driving, that was my first job out of High School.

Driving like a Jackass was how I Booked five Hundred Dollars Daily. Total disregard for safety and my fellow Drivers. Eighteen years old taking home a Grand a week, you would think that I would keep the Job for a good while. After one year of Driving like a Jackass I quit the Job. Smart people are the ones with Foresight, I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I killed someone, crossing four lanes of Traffic and stopping on a Dime to pick up a Passenger. Not even checking my Rearview to see if I was going to get rearended. That my friend is Jackass Driving. Taking half an Hour to cover a one Hour trip to the Airport is how I made a Grand a week and how you killed other people and yourself. I was only eighteen years old running Manhattan’s Streets like my name was Dale Earnhardt.

That one year of Driving like a Jackass honed my Driving Skills to perfection. When I quit Driving Taxi I embarked on a mission to be the most contentious Driver on our Roadways, putting to use all I learned of how not to Drive like a Taxi Driver for the rest of my Life. Having the best Driving Instructor in the World could have been what motivated me to drive Taxi with one year of Driving experience. Driving Taxi in Manhattan was putting the finishing touches on my Driving Skills.  He told me to always Drive like I was the only one out there that knows what I am doing. Advice like that misconstrued is dangerous advice, it creates overconfidence. Overconfidence is one of the Biggest killers on our Roadways. Fifty years later looking back at all the bad accidents that I have witnessed, I realize that they were all the outcome of people driving like a Taxi Driver.

Whatever the reason for them driving with total disregard for their safety and others, boils down to Jackass Driving. I have seen Decapitation from people driving too fast going around a blind Bend when the Traffic was at a standstill. That’s not my way of leaving this World, so I never overdrive, overdriving is driving faster and beyond what you can see, especially at night and bad weather. I admire Engineers and Scientists, they are always looking to improve things. More with the sayings, ” if it isn’t broken don’t fix it”, trust me, the way you Drive is broken. Thrill seeking and Adventurism doesn’t belong behind the Wheel. Sometimes I think that I am the only one privileged to Data on Highway crashes and Fatalities. After years of living in New York and Pennsylvania where the Traffic in the Tri state area can be intimidating.

One day I packed up all my belongings in a Rented Truck and drove to find the Beaches of western Florida. I landed one Mile off the Gulf of Mexico in a place called Tampa. It didn’t take me long to realize that there were something Deathly wrong with the way the Natives Drove down here. Everyone is a Taxi Driver with an Attitude, which compounds the bad Driving. And so the Ambulance chasers become incredibly wealthy. Ambulance chasers are Attorneys who specializes in Auto Accidents. Within four years of living in the Bay Area there were over one Hundred fatalities involving Pedestrians Bicycles and Motorcycles, all ran over by bad Drivers who thought they were cool, driving like Taxi Drivers. My favorite Television Program is watching the morning News at nine A.M.

There is not one Day that goes by and there isn’t five or six Rush Hour crashes, some with serious injuries or worse, no one wants to get up half an hour early and have a safe pleasant trip to work. Remember it is only a fool who does things the same way, looking for different results. I blame two things for the Chaotic Driving conditions in this Area. The Number one reason is No fault Insurance, there is no penalty for Driving like a Fool everyday looking for different results. Traffic Laws don’t provide for long Prison terms for people who take Lives Driving like a Taxi Driver. I have nothing good to say about Taxi Drivers, been there, done that, so take it from the voice of experience, you are doing it all wrong. If Henry Ford could have  perceived what was ahead as far as Highway Fatalities statistics, the Model T would still be on the Drawing Board. Today we have smart Cars and Dumb Drivers, go figure. Like Spock said, totally illogical. I should have started Blogging about Safe Driving the very first year I started Driving. There was one setback, there were no Internet and Blogging was unheard of. Maybe I would have insulted several Generations into becoming better Drivers. Guess what, it’s never too late to start a 🔥.

Life, Safe Driving

Common Sense

Common Sense

Taking into consideration that nothing is Built to withstand the test of time like the Pyramids or Gothic Architecture,or even a 1967 Buick Skylark. That car was Built to withstand a collision At fifty five with minimal framework damage. Today’s Automobile with the same Collision amounts to totalling the Vehicle, sending it to the Junkyard. Not to mention Bodily injuries or deaths. With that said as far as I am concerned once you get behind the wheel common sense outweighs everything and is far more important than the Seatbelts, or antilock brakes. It even override great Driving Skills.The best Highway Safety Blog don’t emphasize the great need for exercising good Judgement / common sense.

Defined!

good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.

“a common-sense approach”

synonyms:good sense, sense, sensibleness, native wit, native intelligence, mother wit, wit, judgment, sound judgment, level-headedness, prudence, discernment, acumen, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, canniness, astuteness, shrewdness, judiciousness, wisdom, insight, intuition, intuitiveness, perceptiveness, perspicacity, vision, understanding, intelligence, reason, powers of reasoning;

This Blog was spawned from my Commute home last night. Twelve O’clock at night, mostly produce Drunks making their way home or Commuters who work evenings, especially on weekdays. Two cars travelling on a deserted roadway, I’m following, usually I’m the lead car. The reason for me always leading is because sad to say I don’t trust my fellow Drivers to do the right thing. So I usually travel ten MPH Over the speed limit to avoid clutter. Not following my driving habit of leading, he took me to the stop light slowly enough for me to miss the Light. At the intersection one car made the right turn, now there are three of us on this deserted Road. When the Light changed I proceeded to the next light where I found them both positioned side by side on a two lane road. Now I was stuck behind two Drones travelling side by side at the same speed. It totally behooves me why people don’t understand that traffic needs to be staggered, whether twelve at night or rush hour.

Fifty feet from the next light the Drone who made the right turn decided or realized that he needs to be in the left lane to make his left turn. After travelling mindlessly for a half a mile in the right lane, it never occurred to him that he could speed up in front of the one on a joyride at 12 am, or just slow down and and fall behind, knowing that his turn was coming up. Instead he forced me to break hard to let him in, almost causing an Accident at 12 am with three cars on a deserted Road. Did I mention that Common Sense rules Education, Common Sense is calculated Logic. Sad to say the average Person does not possess it.

Harry was smart all his Life, Breezed through School like the rest of us were Idiots. When he grew up he became an Educator, he was smart enough to be a Professor, yet when it came to Driving he was dumber than a Bunch of Rocks, zero common sense. Harry only Drove top of the Line Performance Cars, and Crashed every last one, sometimes causing Bodily injuries. His last Accident was Monumental. How he Lived was all up to God, he never mentioned the other people involved, or whether it was his fault, however his Track Record tells us who caused the Accident. There are Millions of Harry’s on our Roadways, devoid of common sense. They drift through time and space until their number is up, taking good Drivers who uses common sense with them.

Getting back to East Lake Road, the deserted two lane country Road four months ago almost the same scenario of me following lead cars late at night just about sightseeing. There was a Pick up Truck slowing down the traffic flow. Just about the time I decided to leave the left lane and pass on the right. The Truck slowing down the traffic abruptly leaves the lane, he moved into the right lane and kept going right off  Road. The Truck rolled four times. Being a good Motorist I pulled off the Road and ran to their aid. When I got to the Truck I smelled Gas, I immediately asked the Man and the Woman who crawled from the wreck if everyone was out of the Vehicle. It was that moment the Woman scampered back into the upside down Vehicle and handed me a Car Seat containing an Infant.

So you don’t exercise common sense for your own safety, what about your Passengers. Whenever I come upon an Accident scene I always try to reconstruct the situation that developed prior to the Accident. It appears that the couple were fighting and she delivered a surprise punch to the Driver, while her Infant child almost become the Victim of her lack of common sense. When I am a Passenger, I assume the role of Co pilot and Navigator and do my very best not to distract the Driver, that’s what Common Sense is all about. Whatever the Driver is doing that can cause distractions it is for you to assist them, such as reading the G.P.S. or pouring Coffee from the Thermos. For you the Driver, exercising good Judgement far outweighs having the skills of a Jedi Pilot, any day of the week.

I know that I am always using graphic Details and Languages in my safe Driving Blogs. However there is a reason for that, my English Literature Teacher told me that a Writer that doesn’t stir Emotions or create reactions,  is wasting his time and yours, also his opinion isn’t worth the paper written on. So here is one more effort to stir your emotions and make you react to me challenging you to use common sense when you are on our Roadways. Three years ago in my Neighborhood on one of the busiest Roads at four PM, a young Mother with her three years old and an Infant in a Stroller decided to cross in the middle of the Block. Common Sense would command the use of the Crosswalk, knowing that you can run only so fast pushing a Stroller, trying to avoid someone on the Cellphone with the gas pedal burried. The outcome was devastating, the Infant lost it’s Life, Mother and Son Scarred for Life. The Driver left no Skid marks. The Driver was not Charged because no one reported seeing him on the Cellphone seconds before the Accident. Using the Cellphone while you are  behind the Wheel is one of the Biggest of Buffoonery, which a lot of so-called smart People do everyday. Common Sense, either you have it or you don’t. The lack of it is equivalent to diving in a Swimming Pool not knowing the Depth.

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.