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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the risk of sounding like an overprotective mother, I want to tell you a story. A short time ago, a 16 year old girl from my church, Janine, was killed in an auto accident that seems like it was preventable if she had only looked to her left. She was pulling out into an intersection to make a left turn because she had a green arrow. Obviously I wasn't there, but it seems like she must not have looked to her left or she would have seen the semi truck running the red light. Yes, the truck driver made the biggest mistake, and he also knew better than to drive a truck with only four out of the twelve sets of breaks in operable condition, but if she had looked left, it might have just been a near miss.<br><br><br><br>
I always considered myself a good driver, but I don't think I ever made a habit out of looking both ways at intersections even if I had the right of way. Since Janine died, I've been retraining myself to glance down every side street as I approach it, check both ways at all traffic lights, and just be more aware of what's going on around me. Keep it in mind when you're driving, too, please? I love all of my VB friends, and I don't want to have to fly out to California or England to attend your funeral. I'd much rather make the trip to see you in full working order.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks y'all!
 

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Ever since I got hit by a drunk driver I've been extra cautious when driving. I mean, I wasn't ever a crazy driver, aside from the typical stupid teenage stunts when I first started. And now, after seeing the result of a car running a stop sign at an intersection (I posted about it awhile back) I'm extremely cautious and totally anal about looking both ways before I cross an intersection. Even when the light is already green, I try to get a quick view of both sides to make sure some idiot isn't deciding to run it, because last summer I saw some guy blow right through an intersection and smash into the back end of a van, making it spin out. I don't know if the guy had his head up his ass or was just drunk.<br><br>
I'm getting to the point where I don't even want to drive anymore. Everyday I witness some careless and stupid stunt pulled by one of the many dumbass drivers in my town. I feel like one of these days I'm going to end up getting in an accident that I won't walk away from. Hopefully, that's not the case, knock on wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wish I lived in a place where I could walk or bike everywhere I need to go, but so far that hasn't been practical for me.
 

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I was riding my bike about 95% of the time when I wanted to go somewhere this summer, and at one point I wasn't driving at all for about 2 months. Now I have a job where driving is a part of what I do, but hopefully I can just totally forget about ever driving again after I move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The one thing I know I can do in a car but not as well on a bike is donuts in a snow covered parking lot. An empty lot, of course.
 

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it sounds hokey, but how you are originally taught to drive often sticks with you, so the key is selecting an excellent school or teacher. they cost more, so most people don't want to go with that option, but it's worth it.<br><br><br><br>
every intersection i approach, i look "left, center, right" before entering it.
 

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I look several times, after having hit someone who did pull out of an alley im paranoid about it. I dont drive very often; im almost afraid to at times. I walked home from work the other day about 12 miles, i lost track of the number of times cars pulled out of driveways, parking lots whatever without looking to see if someone was on the side walk. I even had one person, whom i gladly flipped off, make a right turn 3 ft in front of me, at a fairly fast speed for a 90 degree turn, as i was walking in the crosswalk. If something happened and she lost control of the wheel for a second, i would have been decoration on her hood and windshield. If i never drive again, i dont think i would be sad, and i use to love driving.
 

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I constantly have one eye peeled at all times. Checking the rearview, the side mirrors, watching intersections as you approach, paying special attention to ice cream trucks, playgrounds, schools. The best defense is a great offense. Also, for you younger drivers. Get in the habit of checking your blind spots <b>before</b> changing lanes. I know several people who have fallen into the habit of glancing over their shouder <b>while</b> they are changing lanes only to realize quickly that their path is obstructed with another vehicle and have to jerk their car back into the original lane. This is a bad but very easy habit to get into. It's a 3 step process. 1. look 2. signal 3. change. Don't mesh the process into one as some older folks have managed to do.
 

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majake i know how you feel. i've never driven actually, and have no real desire to. i'm considering getting my liscence this year only for convenience and cause everyone i know bugs me about not having it at this age. my mom didn't get her liscence til i was like 6 or 7, and she's still a very nervous driver and won't go on highways unless absolutely necessary, won't do long trips alone, hates driving at night, in the rain, snow, etc. and avoids certain intersections in town. she'll sometimes go the longer way around just to avoid certain areas that make her nervous. and she lives in a small city. i can see myself being the same way.<br><br>
i walk everywhere i can, and yeah i don't even bother trying to count the number of times in a day that i'll get cut off by a car pulling out of a driveway and not looking both ways. i almost get run down every time i leave my house basically. one i remember, this guy was on his cellphone and pulling out to turn right. he was looking to his left and didn't even turn his head to the right at all before pulling out into the crosswalk. he missed me by inches, and saw me from the corner of his eye after the fact. i seemed to startle him and he gave me a really dirty look as if it were my fault. he was going just fast enough that if he'd hit me i probably would have been thrown into traffic cause he pulled right up to the very edge of the crosswalk before stopping.<br><br><br><br>
i always always stop and peek around corners like that one when i'm walking now. especially in busy streets like that where you can't really hear if a car is pulling out cause of all the traffic sounds.<br><br><br><br>
seems lately that there are a lot of pedestrians being run down, sometimes i almost think driving would be safer
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by MsRuthieB</i><br><br><b>I know several people who have fallen into the habit of glancing over their shouder while they are changing lanes only to realize quickly that their path is obstructed with another vehicle and have to jerk their car back into the original lane. This is a bad but very easy habit to get into.</b></div>
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my bf did this once with me in the vehicle, he wouldn't have seen the other car at all if i hadn't screamed at him. he'd only been driving for like a year so i wondered why he picked up that habit. then we went to toronto with his parents, and his dad did the exact same thing on a very busy street. bingo, guess who taught him to drive. i don't think my bf's done that since, it scared the crap out of him<br><br>
though one day he was waiting to turn left at a really busy intersection and he finally spotted a break in traffic and was so intent on the traffic on his left side that he didn't see that another car was turning left the opposite direction and was stopped directly in front of us trying to get through traffic also. he almost t-boned her, i screamed at him yet again and he stopped just in time. scary.<br><br><br><br>
i don't ever ever ever want to drive <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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I've been in enough accidents and near-misses (mostly due to my own lack of attention) that now, when I do drive, I am extremely cautious and aware. I've witnessed so much bad driving from the vantage point of my bicycle, that when I do drive, I make a serious effort not to contribute to the overall stupidity on the roads...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm glad to hear y'all are so careful. My dad DID teach me to check all potential hazards, but when I got out driving by myself, I usually wouldn't check. I'd really gotten to being a lazy driver. Except I never ever did what MRB was talking about-- I always checked my blind spots before pulling into them. And rail road tracks. I was so freaked out from countless video clips of train/car crashes in drivers ed that I am always cautious crossing tracks. Now, though, I'm a lot less likely to be surprised by something coming at me.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by skylark</i><br><br><b>..And rail road tracks. I was so freaked out from countless video clips of train/car crashes in drivers ed that I am always cautious crossing tracks. Now, though, I'm a lot less likely to be surprised by something coming at me.</b></div>
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That's another thing that makes me uneasy, crossing railroad tracks. No matter if a train is coming or not, I always get nervous while crossing them, and hearing the horn blow gives me a chill. I guess it's from seeing the damage they can do when they hit cars. I also don't like the fact that a lot of the crossings out in the country have no gates, and most of the time, not even lights. All crossings should at least have lights, I think.
 

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I hate that one day SOON I will have to drive. I'm 25 and have never had a driver's liscense. It's time to get realistic and get one, but I'm really scared. It just seems like so many people have no concept that they could die in a split second....or kill someone else. I don't want to be at these stranger's mercy! I was in a public bus once, and it was just beginning to cross the railroad tracks, when the arms began to come down. He tried to reverse the bus and it wasn't working. We were trapped in the center of the tracks...finally, like in a movie, he was able to back up the bus at the last moment. It struck me as completely insane that we all just sat there waiting for this guy to back us up out of harms way. Part of me had wanted to yell at him to open the back doors to let me out, but embarrassment kept me from saying so. I realized that if he hadn't backed up the bus, embarassment would have meant my death. How sick is that? *shudder*<br><br><br><br>
Oh, and if the thought of accidents scares the crap out of you...don't watch the movie Final Destination. I noticed that there's a part 2 coming out soon...and because I guess I'm a bit of a masochist....I'm going to watch it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Herself</i><br><br><b>I was in a public bus once, and it was just beginning to cross the railroad tracks, when the arms began to come down. He tried to reverse the bus and it wasn't working. We were trapped in the center of the tracks...finally, like in a movie, he was able to back up the bus at the last moment.</b></div>
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That seems like a rather dumb move on his part. If the bus was already half way through you'd think he would have just kept on going. That would've been quicker than putting the bus in reverse, and less risky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As careful as I am about crossing tracks in a car, I greatly enjoy walking along the tracks that run behind my house. In fact, down by the tracks is one of my favorite alone-places. There are a few uses for the old ties that the lazy RR company leaves behind- if they're stacked right, they're good bench seats.<br><br><br><br>
Is it or is it not technically illegal to walk along/next to rail road tracks? My ex insisted that it was illegal, but my family has done it for years on occassion.
 

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The property the tracks is on belongs to the railroad company. I'd bet that the property next to it (to a point) belongs to them as well. So, technically you'd be tresspassing which is illegal.
 

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Yeah, most of the time they post "No Trespassing" signs around the land near railroad tracks. That really doesn't keep most people from doing it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have never ever seen a No Trespassing sign near RR tracks. I know for certain there is none within a mile of my house. The only signs at all are the little "W" markers so the conductors know when to blow their whistles.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by skylark</i><br><br><b>I always considered myself a good driver,</b></div>
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For me thats almost the biggest mistake one can make.<br><br><br><br>
People tend to think this and overestimate them selves.<br><br>
Im a less then average driver and car-free for several years now.<br><br>
If I drive a car now, Im painfully aware that my eyes and mind dont scan the road in the way I was used to.<br><br><br><br>
Im a former car mechanic and have seen lots of accident cars.<br><br>
I <b>never, ever</b> drive without safety belts, not even backing up.<br><br>
Ive done excessive speeding in my younger days, always thinking about where I was, what time of day it was and so on. Also I always (try to) focus on the driving and the car itself, not talking to passengers or think about what I have to do next.
 
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