Arriving Safely In Nyack

Dated: August 15 2014

Views: 2615

When I worked for a large chemical company, we went through intensive, 3-day safe driving courses every couple of years. The course was taught by retired NYC policemen who drilled the 5 rules for safe driving into our heads. 

Since I have a new car (old one died last week), I'm more sensitive to the lunacy on the highways because I'm trying to keep the new car looking new for as long as I can! Anyway, as some driver was running up my tailpipe today (figuratively - not literally) as I was doing 40 mph coming off the Orangeburg exit from the PIP, I invoked rule 3 of 5 and let him get around (and away from) me. Funny thing is, that we were headed to the same place and he pulled in 5 seconds ahead of me, but he was in a much more agitated state because he was getting angry with every driver on the road (me included) who was driving the speed limit and "in his way." 
Anyway, the 5 rules for safe driving are:
  1. Aim High - always be looking 12-15 seconds ahead of you, not staring at the tail lights of the car directly in front of you. This helps you to stay centered in your lane and to know what is coming up. Trust me, if the tail lights ahead of you flash red, it will catch your attention.
  2. Keep your Eyes Moving - every 5 seconds you should scan rear view and side mirrors. It breaks up the monotony, keeps you from becoming fixated on what is immediately ahead, and lets you know what's going on around you. Also, my side mirrors are set like the race car drivers set theirs so the blind spots are minimized, if not eliminated. 
  3. Leave Yourself an Out - maintain proper (2 second) following distance (a lesson the "gentleman" in Orangeburg could have used this afternoon), always think about where you'd go if you had to safely get away from the car(s) around you or if a car crossed the line and came at you. Biggest question: median or shoulder? It's always safer to hit something traveling in the same direction as you instead of hitting something that is coming toward you (trust me - I've been a passenger in 3 head-on collisions in my lifetime - NOT fun.) 
  4. Make Sure Others See You - this includes staying out of other people's blind spots, driving with your headlights on at all times, and honking (just a polite tap-tap of the horn) if you think someone is unaware of your presence.
  5. Get the Big Picture - Know where each and every vehicle around you is (see rule #2). Understand the road conditions (think NY pot holes this past winter), what the weather is doing, and how your vehicle is behaving.
If all of this sounds like work, then you get the picture - driving is your ONLY job while you are behind the wheel. Put the phone away, pay attention, and get where you are going safely so that you can enjoy life. 
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Diane Mitchell

I am a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker and work full time helping people to achieve their dreams of home ownership or their dreams of selling their home or both. I love working with buyers and s....

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