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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Monday, June 5

Defensive Driving - My Thoughts Might Save You

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Lately, it seems that more and more often, I find myself in a close call on the highway or local city streets. I am compelled to just encourage all of you to drive more carefully. The nature of my business gives me a little "inside insight" to the actual dangers on the road many people probably do not think about. I don't have to be first, and neither do you.

On a daily basis, I actually see the driver quality and mechanical soundness of hundreds of people and vehicles on the roads. Truck drivers are a hard commodity to find these days. I cannot believe the condition of many people actually hired by companies to drive their vehicles each day. These big trucking companies fill spots with warm bodies, and send them out cross country, and may not see them again for some time. I see men and women daily with no teeth, obviously "on something". Many are tired, strung out, fed up, and quite simply not people of much character to begin with. It's really disheartening. I hear them on their cell phones in the driver's lounge (our little break room) having ridiculous conversations, lacking any positive attitude, and simply just along for the ride and the paycheck.

I also have conversations daily to truck owners about the safety and mechanical stability of their vehicles. I understand that commercial vehicle repair is expensive, but it is a necessity. So many companies either do not have the funds, or just choose to piece together equipment strictly on an as needed or only “if we must” basis. Trust me; there is a LOT of unsound equipment traveling our roads each minute, at every light, in every intersection. Simple things like brakes and suspension parts are often overlooked until it HAS to be done. I tell you, it makes me think and drive a lot differently.

Big trucks or passenger vehicles pulling trailers simply cannot stop on a dime. Their swerving abilities are limited, and often the vision of commercial drivers is blocked by the size of their machines. PEOPLE HAVE TO STOP PULLING OUT IN FRONT OF AND CUTTING IN TOO CLOSE IN FRONT OF THESE VEHICLES. It always seems to me too that young people, women otherwise preoccupied, and the elderly are the guiltiest parties here. My own husband is a more aggressive driver than I am. Many times we leave our shop close together. Occasionally, he will go around me on the highway, and soon is out of my sight. Invariably though, we will pull up in the driveway within seconds of each other. Being “first” doesn’t really get you there any faster in the long term.

Just take a few minutes to think about it. If you knew the guy coming down the road barely had any pad left on his brake shoes, or that his alignment was way out of whack, or that the guy behind the wheel has been awake for a couple of days, I know you would wait that extra few seconds and let him go by so that you don’t have to drive close to him. Remember that heavy vehicles cannot stop quickly, nor can they swerve effectively to miss you if anything goes wrong. Drive defensively; be “second”, and live to tell about it :)

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