Originally posted by MiamiDon
Originally posted by Tedbear
Incidentally, in case anyone is interested, I have driven for approximately 37 years/500,000 miles without a vehicular accident.
That's just plain weird. You must send out invisible repulser rays. I have been driving for 39 years, and have been crashed into repeatedly. One guy even backed up across a road to hit me while I was stopped at a stop sign. The last one was three years ago, when some fool tried to cross three lanes of traffic on US-1 from a Burger King parking lot. He made it across two of them, before I hit his car at about 30mph. Didn't even see him until he crossed my lane about 20 feet in front of me. Now I too have experienced the pleasure of air bag deployment!
I have definitely had a few very close calls, but so far, so good in terms of accident avoidance for the past 37 years. A few weeks ago, if I had not exercised caution at a green
light, I would have been broadsided by a speeding flatbed truck, and I think that I might not be here to talk about it if he had hit me. The lesson of that experience is--even when you have a green light, take a look at the traffic approaching perpendicular to your direction of travel. I did, and it saved me from being creamed.
A few years ago, I was driving on Rt. 1 in Linden, NJ, and suddenly a car hopped the very low divider and crossed all 3 lanes--right in front of me--hopped the curb, and crashed into a building. This was really just a matter of luck, since he would have hit me if I had been driving just 1 or 2 mph faster.
Back in April of this year, I was a passenger in a car that was hit broadside by a woman driving a Lexus SUV. My SO's Honda Accord sedan was damaged enough to be declared a total loss by the insurance company, but neither of us sustained any real injuries. The idiot woman told the police that "the harder I stepped on the brake, the faster it went". Yup! That's because she was flooring the GAS pedal, rather than jamming on the brakes--as confirmed by a certified mechanic's examination of her SUV afterwards.
That type of accident could have happened to anyone, since we were not even on the highway when we were hit! We were actually on the property of a Shell gas station, preparing to exit it when this idiot woman managed to hit another vehicle, continue through a red light, drive up on the grass adjacent to the road, and broadside us on the gas station property
. So, I could have been the victim of this person who does not deserve to have a driver's license, but just by chance, the true victim was my SO who was forced to buy another vehicle by this circumstance.
All of this being said, I could be involved in a very serious accident tomorrow, since some accidents just involve being in the wrong place at the wrong time when crazy or intoxicated or inattentive or unskilled drivers crash into you.
I know that, to a great extent, I have been very lucky, but I also have to think that my driving skills also have played a role in my driving record. My advice is:
*Maintain your car at least
as well as the car's manufacturer specifies, if not better. This will help to avert accidents caused by failure of brakes, or tires, or other parts. This maintenance includes the condition and the inflation pressure of your tires. Tire pressure should be checked at least every few weeks, and in the process of getting "up close and personal" with your tires, you are more likely to spot damage to a tire before it causes a problem.
*Keep to the right on highways, except when passing.
*Use your headlights as soon as the sun starts to go down--Don't wait until it is really dark. Also, be sure to use your headlights during periods of rain, fog, and snow. Even though the law requires headlight use when your windshield wipers are on, apparently very few people seem to be aware of this regulation. The bottom line is that if your car is more visible, it is less likely to be hit by another car.
*Use long following distances when driving behind other vehicles, and make those following distances VERY long if it is raining or snowing. By not tailgating, you are automatically giving yourself a much greater chance of stopping in time if the person in front of you does something really unexpected.
*Never be the fastest vehicle on the road. Feel free to exceed the speed limit by a bit, but never be the fastest one.
*Use winter tires during the winter months--even if you have all-wheel drive. I have AWD, ABS, traction control, and vehicle stability control (anti-skid system), and I still use winter tires for an extra edge of safety. Most people think of winter tires in terms of being able to get going, while I advise their use for their ability to allow you to stop in a significantly
shorter distance on snow and ice than so-called all-season tires will allow. Winter tires also help to keep your car on course when you make a turn.
*If you see a deer cross the road, slow down to a crawl or stop your car. Experience shows that the first deer is frequently followed by a second, a third, and perhaps four or five more deer.
*As mentioned in an earlier post, make a right turn on a red light only after coming to a complete stop.
*If you have to stop your car on the shoulder of the road, get the car as far away from the road's travel lanes as possible. I can't believe how many disabled cars I have seen parked--literally--on the line separating the shoulder from the travel lane.
*Do not drive in another vehicle's blind spot. If you are passing someone on a multi-lane highway, don't take the leisurely approach. When you want to pass them, do so as quickly as possible in order to limit the amount of time that you are in their blind spot or next to them.
*When on the highway, if you see traffic slowing ahead, activate your 4-way flashers in order to "wake up" the drivers in back of you to the need for them to hit the brake. By giving them an extra bit of warning, you are reducing the possibility of being rear-ended. (Incidentally, if you are tempted to tell me that this use of 4-way flashers is illegal, I want you to know that I am aware of this, but will continue to do it anyway in order to reduce the chance of being rear-ended. A ticket is cheaper than an accident. Incidentally, it has been over 10 years since I have received a traffic ticket, and that was for making an "illegal turn" in NYC, at an unmarked intersection. I chose to pay the ticket, rather than taking time off from work to fight it.)
Happy and safe motoring to all!