Help everyone to have a safe holiday

Yesterday we got word that our friend’s 21-year-old stepson was killed in a car accident. A life unfulfilled, a family destroyed in just a few moments of someone’s careless or reckless driving.

I don’t know the details about how the accident happened, but in our area there seem to be serious accidents on almost a daily basis, and watching how badly people drive I can understand why.

Today I spotted a woman in an SUV leaving the parking lot of one of our malls who ran every stop sign, and at a very busy intersection she sped through a light that had already turned red. It was frightening to watch her.

Another driver, a parent dropping their child off at school, pulled into the property right across my front bumper, even though there wasn’t another vehicle behind me for several blocks. All they had to do was wait for 5 seconds. I don’t know whether the driver was an idiot or just not paying attention – neither was a good scenario.

People, your vehicle is a 2-ton killing machine! If you’re not driving properly, what on earth makes you think your fellow drivers are?

If you’re doing any of the following things while you drive, you’re a danger on the roads:

  • Not even slowing down for stop signs; bottom line is that you should be stopping
  • Running red lights
  • Texting
  • Fixing your hair
  • Passing someone on the on-ramp to the highway
  • Changing lanes without warning or checking if there’s room for you to move over: YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY when moving into another lane!
  • Not signaling turns or lane changes
  • Not checking the speed of the traffic coming along in the lane you want to turn into
  • Tailgating – if I can’t see your headlights in my rearview mirror, you’re too close! This is especially bad if there’s water or snow on the roads, as your stopping time will be significantly reduced if the vehicle in front of you has to jam on the brakes or loses control
  • Dodging in and out of traffic
  • Breezing past a long line of cars and forcing your way into that lane
  • Moving across more than one lane of traffic at the last minute to get to your exit
  • Driving with your pet on your lap
  • Not cleaning the snow/ice off all of your windows – how are you going to see a 3-ton van that’s lost control and is heading straight for you?
  • Not cleaning the snow/ice off your roof – your snow is blowing off into the face of the driver behind you
  • Sliding: if your car is sliding on a snowy road, YOU’RE GOING TOO FAST FOR THE CONDITIONS
  • Paying attention to something other than the road

Driving is a cooperative activity – we all have to drive properly for it to be safe on the roads. If you decide you’re going to cheat, some day you’re going to deprive a family of one or more of its loved ones, and you’ll have to live with that for the rest of your life – if you’re still alive yourself.

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