Driving my moving weapon defensively
Communication between driver and driver as well as driver and pedestrians should be more than just a courtesy, it should be essential to security on our roadways. Driving my car, my four thousand pound weapon, safely is paramount. It deserves all the respect and attention I can muster. Turn signals, traffic signs and stop lights are different ways to help all involved communicate and protect not only our loved ones, but others too.
Turn signals have almost become a thing of the past. You can still find the lever on the left side of your steering column. It can easily be found if you look hard enough, but I wonder how many actually look. My feelings are, turn signals were invented to let others know what my intentions are. If I’m turning onto to the same road that you’re turning off of, I can use my signal indicator to inform you of my decisions. At that point you can go about your business and I can do the same.
Slowing down and coasting through a stop sign, is not coming to a complete stop. Coming to a complete stop and scanning every direction gives me the chance to hold off any possible accidents. While only slowing down to look to my left, while I’m still moving to the right, gives me a perfect opportunity to run into the back of a broken down vehicle or another driver that doesn’t use the acceleration lane for its intended use.
When a traffic light is green, it means I have permission to move my four thousand pound weapon through an intersection, but it does not mean it’s safe to do so. Just because the other driver has a red light doesn’t mean they’re going to stop. Twice in my life, as I started through an intersection, I was within inches of being broadsided. In my opinion both times were near death experiences. I was probably close to a heart attack both times as I saw my life pass before my eyes. As a result of these close encounters, I learned to look both ways, before I cross the street just like mom tried to teach me.
When I first received my learners permit in 1969, there was a television ad relaying, “Watch out for the other guy.” This meant, I might hold off an accident by staying vigilant of other four thousand pound weapons. As time goes on, the amount of cars and drivers on our highways grows by leaps and bounds. The saying ‘Watch out for the other guy’ should be more prevalent in today’s busy world, than any other time.
Jim McDonald, Port Tobacco