Sunday September 18, 2005

You can learn to drive: Part 3

Driving school. Steve can have his Traffic Clinic, but we’re all for doing the time ( 4-hour defensive driving course) if you do the crime (51 in a 35). This is great – you’re forced to sit in front of a computer for four hours and get lectured at in plain text (with animated spinning bullet points!), followed by a test. It’s pretty standard mind-numbing stuff, but a couple of nuggets do emerge:

Try to keep a 2-second distance behind your car. Distance behind your car is the hardest to maintain because other vehicles may tailgate or follow to [sic – the whole thing is full of gramatical mistakes] closely. If you are being tailgated, increase — do not decrease — the space between you and the car ahead.

We love this – they’re saying that you respond to tailgating by slowing down, which we’ve always believed to be the correct response. There’s nothing like a little sharp braking to put a tailgater in her place.

In Canada, where daytime running lights are required, there was an 11 percent decline in two-vehicle different-direction crashes during the day. (…) If your car is not equiped with daytime running lights it may be a good idea to turn your headlights on when you encounter any type of limited visibility situation or if you just want to make yourself more visible to other drivers.

Nice. We’ve experimented with driving with lights on during the day – it makes us feel more important. And who wouldn’t want to be more visible?

An average 170-pound male would need to consume four drinks in one hour on an empty stomach to rach a BAL of .08 [BAL = blood alcohol level; .08 is the legal maximum].

So if you have four drinks with a meal, you’re probably legal. If you’ve ever had four drinks with a meal, you know there are some legally drunk-ass people out there on the road. Watch your ass.

In approximately 44 percent of violent traffic altercations the perpetrator used a weapon such as a firearm, kinfe, club, or tire iron. In 23 percent, the aggressive drier used the vehicle as a weapon. More unusual weaons included pepper spray, egges, golf clubs, and, in one instance, a crossbow. (…) Never underestimate another driver’s capacity for mayhem.

Yikes! Scare tactics in time-lapsed html are pretty intimidating. But the truth is, not that many people die in road rage. Mostly it’s about intimidation. Don’t get intimidated.

[ Previously: You can learn to drive: Part 2 ]

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  1. MisterE    Mon Sep 19, 03:26 PM #  

    I have had 4 drinks with a meal on occasion. When that occasion is breakfast, I am not capable of driving anything more formidable than nails. And only when somebody else holds them.

  2. The Daily Sketch    Tue Sep 20, 11:23 AM #  

    Don’t forget Miami’s most important and unforgettable rule: Never, ever…signal. Just cut, baby. Cut.

  3. Sal & Sol    Wed Sep 21, 05:52 PM #  

    Yes, and always avoid making eye contact with other drivers just in case they might want to communicate something significant.

  4. U. Reka    Wed Sep 21, 05:55 PM #  

    When I retire, I’m moving up north and driving slow in left lanes.