Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Friendly Driving Tip

The Morning Commute

I guess I should always throw in a disclaimer that I am no expert in highway safety. This is partially a rant about local drivers, that I've experienced in other places, but this is also partially a friendly driving tip.

Driving in snow is not that bad. If it's a dusting to an inch of snow, most tires are equipped to get you from point A to point B. The traction that we all know and love is for the most part gone mostly when it comes to stopping once a good amount of speed is built. Think about driving a boat. Unless you drop anchor, the boat's pilot gives plenty time and space to allow for the momentum of their craft to slow down with the help of good old American physics.

It's a cliche nowadays locally that people do not have a problem driving in adverse weather, it's the fear of other drivers. My feed is jam packed with traffic news when there's a slight sprinkle, much less a snow event. My friendly advice is this:

Consider the cars behind you.

We are responsible for driving with no distractions in bad weather. It is so very important to pay attention to what is happening in front of us. We need to always identify and predict things that are going on ahead of us. We know this, right?

What we leave out in all of this is a mindful eye to the people who are driving behind us. There are a lot of large vehicles on the roads today and I'm not referring to semis or military vehicles. I'm referring to SUV's and mini vans. People behind these drivers do partially rely on the people in front of them to help communicate what's going on outside of their visual range.

Waiting for the last second to brake for slowing traffic is a bad idea. In bad weather, it's a sure insurance claim.

Common sense can apply here. It does not take extra effort to mind those people behind us on the highways.  A tap of the brake light when traffic is slowing, giving a little visual room for the car behind us to see what's going on ahead, and not tailgating the car in front of us will all help those cars behind us.

Why people turn on the stupid in bad weather is beyond me. It just takes a little focus and 10 minutes out of our lives to save us all from a load of inconvenience.