Life, Safe Driving

Blogging My Life Away

 

Solitude

 

 

Blogging My Life Away

Seven years ago I made an impromptu move to Florida. One Month prior to the move I communicated with my superiors about my intentions to leave my Job. I asked them if they could arrange a transfer, It was not properly Orchestrated. My Supervisor at that time was a very Haphazard Person, I should have realized her Ineptness. Unbeknownst to her that I was talking about her, I once told her that I could spot a Slacker one Mile in the Fog. She repudiated the thought, thinking that I was just kidding. Just before I left Pennsylvania She got Promoted to Regional Manager. I said to myself, the Company made a big mistake promoting her to that Level, she is not qualified. Six months after I moved to Florida with no Job waiting for me, she was fired, for the Ineptness that no one else saw.

Being a Happening Person, I have always believed that it was better to make Fifty Cents per Hour, than Zero Cents per Hour. My reasoning for that is, while you are unemployed, you still need Cigarette and Gas Money. By bringing the same level of Energy everyday, I located one of the Company’s Subsidiarys in Tampa. They offered me a Job as a Valet. Remembering that Pride cometh before a fall, I took the Job. While parking many High End Cars, including Rools, Maseratis and top of the line Mercedes Benz. I noticed how Callous many of my Coworkers were handling quarter Million Dollars Cars. It was then that I realized that bad Drivers outnumbered good Drivers by an Astronomical disproportionate Number.

It was then that I realized that a Safe Driving Blog was calling my name. Even though I knew nothing about Blogging or operating a Website, I started Scribbling in a Notebook. I knew nothing about what constitutes a good Blog. Being an Avid Doo it yourself person who thought myself to fix just about everything by Reading. I said to myself, ” I can do this”. I said to myself, the first time I picked up a Wrench was when my Mechanic threw out a perfectly good Carburetor and replaced it with a bad one, when all that was needed was a Two Dollars Fuel Filter. So I went out and bought the Chilton Auto Repair Manual, subsequently I bought one for every Car that I ever bought.

Being determined about writing Blogs about safe Driving, led me to the Library. I borrowed Two Books on writing Blogs. The first Book that I decided to plunge into was written by a World Class Blogger who wrote many Books. She began by saying that all that Blogging was about, is expressing your Thoughts on any given Subject. She continued, only write about the things that you are familiar with. She went on by saying that the Number one Sin in Blogging was Writing about yourself. That didn’t stop me from writing about myself. As I got Deeper in the Chapters I realized why she was Successful. She Emphasizes the Importance of Writing Column Post Blogs, (Blogs that People come back to  and read). Column Posts are Support Pylons that keeps a Structure from Collapsing. Most Importantly she said that you are not a Writer until you have written a Million words.

I am not sure if I am a Writer yet, but I know that I am a Blogger. The same way I learned to fix Things I Immersed myself into Writing and the Shoe is beginning to feel Comfortable. As far as only writing about things that you are Familiar with, I have stayed the Course. Driving is one of my Passions, I am a Natural, Fifty years of Driving, One Speeding Ticket during my first year of Driving. Two wicked Accidents which were caused by the People that I write about ( Bad Drivers) and Bad Mechanics who forced me to let no One but myself fix my Brakes. While I am on the subject of Brakes I will just run with the Ball. Five Minutes after buying my first decent Car, a Dodge Challenger, a Car whose Body Weight that didn’t compliment  its big Engine. Five Minutes from Driving it off the Lot, I found myself on a busy Sidewalk trying not to kill Fifty People.

The Inept Mechanic didn’t do his Job, he allowed the Car to be placed on the Lot without Diagnosing the faulty Brakes. That’s one of the reasons why I made it my Business to learn Automotive Repairs. My second bad Experience with bad Brakes came later while Driving a Company Truck, delivering Construction Materials to thei’r jobsites. The Truck had just passed Inspiration. Descending an Eighty Degrees Hill with an overweight Truck, I found out that the Brakes weren’t working. The Truck was equipped with Air Brakes, the Compressor wasn’t filling the crossover Tank. Knowing that at the end of this wicked Hill was a busy Intersection. I had to reach deep into my Ditty Bag of Witts and Skills.

Pumping the Brakes had no effects, I Kew that I had to slow the Vehicle and somehow stop it before I got to the Intersection. I knew that if I panicked that many People would be killed. I started slowing down the Truck by taking it off the Road, banking it into huge Dirt Embankments taking out Trees. By the time I made it to the bottom of the Hill I was coasting at Two M.P.H. still enough to kill People. I saw a private Yard to my right, my Ditty Bag ( Bag of tricks) didn’t fail me, it told me that the only way to avoid Catastrophe was to flip the Truck. After flipping the Truck, falling out of my seat and Bodyslamming my Panic strickened Passenger, the Truck slid within five feet from taking out the House, then stopped.  Thirty years later, I still see the Face of the Ten years old Kid looking out the window at the approaching Death Vehicle. Does anyone still wonder why I chose to write Safe Driving Blogs. So let me leave you with these few Thoughts. When you are out there Driving like your name is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Consider this,  Brakes, Tire-rod, Calipers, Idle-Arm, Rack and pinion and Bushings all go bad over a period of Time. Have your Front-end and Suspension checked yearly.  When you need them, they better be working. If your Brakes makes noise, replace them Immediately. Most Importantly you are not a Racecar Driver, just someone who needs to get over Themselves.

Safe Driving

How To Be The Best Driver

How Be The Best Driver

To be the very best Driver on the Road takes one and only thing. Focus on the Other Guy, not yourself and your Skills. That amounts to not Showing off how good you are. Once you have Mastered the Skills of operating the Vehicle, it is not necessary to show your fellow Drivers the Skills you possess. That will come when the other Drivers you are sharing the Road with, screws up, the ones who haven’t reached your level of Consciousness. Knowing that Three Thousand pounds of Steel travelling at a Seventy Miles per Hour, Impacting, parallels with a Stick of Dynamite. Traveling at high speeds in a Congested Area doesn’t prove to anyone how skilled you are. It only tells them that you are a Ticking Time Bomb, Speeding towards Calamities.

Being Vigilant all the Time while you are behind the Wheel, is what it is all about. If you are always putting the Pedal to the Metal you loose Focusing to a great Degree. You are spending way too much time focusing on your Hood and don’t see the Big Picture. US19 is one of the most Dangerous by Design Roadways in Pasco and Pinellas County. Within Seven years of me using this Road there have been a Minimum of One Hundred Fatalities, Pedestrians, Motorcyclists and Cars. Dangerous by Design, twenty five Miles of Road Jam packed with Stores on each side, Stop Lights every half a Mile, six U-Turn Lanes between each Lights, yet it is posted 55-MPH, average speed 65-MPH.

Five years old not a scratch, like it left the Showroom. I have been Driving the same way for fifty years.

The Numerous times I have come up on Accident Scenes and have seen someone on the Pavement covered up, tells me that Being vigilant and focused is the Key to saving lives. Always Hotdoging it behind the wheel is testing Fate, eventually you will find Disaster, worse, you will be the on who created it. Most People do not possess the Coordination of a Wide receiver, nor the Skills of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Yet they run a Three Thousand pounds Vehicle in congested areas at high speeds every time they get behind the wheel, even just to go one mile. The only time I run my Engine is when I am Traveling Hundreds of miles, on open Roads. Doing eighty MPH for four Hours straight, separates foolish Vehicle Operators from Seasoned Motorists.

Traveling eleven Hundred Miles I have less fear of having an Accident, than Traveling Twenty five Miles on US19. Because those same foolish Operators Fly when it comes time to travel eleven Hundred miles. Doing long Hauls I spend little time looking out for the other Guy, I focus on staying alert. Commuters are the most Amazing Drivers, you would think that taking the same Route every Day for Twenty years, would make them the safest and skilled Drivers. Not so, instead of having a pleasant relaxed experience everyday, they have a Nail-biting Hairraising run of the Gauntlet. Twenty years of Driving like that takes years from your Life. Not to mention the Havoc you have created. Looking out for these People every Day for fifty years with no Accidents, gives you Bragging Rights. That is how you stand out not Driving like them and being part of the Problem.

One of my Neighbors killed himself and his two young Sons, his Wife has permanent Scars
The Driver of this Maserati killed himself and his two young Sons, his Wife severely injured.

The Stats speak for Themselves

Tampa may not have as high a number of traffic accidents as some other Florida counties, but it still has its fair share of them.

Here is a closer look at some of the accident statistics from Tampa and the surrounding Hillsborough County in 2018:

Total Number Of Crashes – 29,037

Injuries From All Crashes – 20,114

Fatalities from Crashes – 179

Total Bicycle Crashes – 519

Total Bicycle Fatalities – 10

Total Motorcycle Crashes – 628

Total Motorcycle Fatalities – 29

Total Pedestrian Crashes – 625

Total Pedestrian Fatalities – 54

In Pinellas County there were 28,000 crashes 100 Death’s 4400 injuries. The estimated Economic Cost of crashes, Injuries and Fatalities in Pinellas County for 2015, $1,500,835,100.  I decided to omit my County, Pasco, however I pay an extra $40 Monthly for people who don’t have Insurance. Here is the Overall Stats for the State of Florida.

Florida motor vehicle accidents decreased in 2018 over 2017, but only by a little more than one percent. Statewide, agencies reported there were 397,812 total accidents reported in 2018. This includes 251,970 injuries and 3,004 fatalities. This is an improvement over the previous year. I don’t know how it is in your Neck of the Woods, but you can see that I have no other choice. I focus on who I am sharing the Road with, I cannot afford to Drive like them. Life is too short and Precious for me to throw Caution in the Wind. Finally please do not become one of the Statestics. Drive like your Life depends on your Vigilance, it Does.

Safe Driving

Logic Behind The Wheel

 

Logic Behind The Wheel

The Onboard Computer in my Car receives Signals from different Sensors  throughout the Car. It then calculate and sends me a warning to fix it. The other Day my check Engine Light came on, stressing to some Degree, I had it Diagnosed. The Problem, a broken Solenoid plugged into the Top Cylinder of the Engine. The Camshaft Intake Solenoid, I replaced it after Researching where it was Located. I was never one for Artificial Intelligence, in High School we Discussed Big Brother and watch Si- Fi with Mister Spock talking about Logic. Never did I imagine owning a Car that Talks to me, Diagnosed itself and gives me Text Messages.

With slight adjustments my Car can Drive Itself, it already has On star. Anyway that’s enough of the Shop Talk, even though this is a Driving Blog. That is Plenty enough Technology for me. But what are you going to do with it. Watching a Riderless Horse wins a Race tells me that we Impede ourselves making Judgement Calls when we are Driving local, or Riding long Distance at the Interstate Allowed Speed. Both have cost Lives, that’s why I Drive with Logic behind the Wheel. The first and most Serious lack of Logic is, Traveling side by side at 85 MPH, a Recipe for Disaster. The Roadway is wide open, all you have to do is find yourself a Pocket and it’s smooth sailing. When I Travel eleven Hundred miles that’s how I Drive. Sometimes I go Hundreds of miles without having to use my Brakes.

Ever since Day one of me Driving a Car by myself for the first time. I’ve always asked myself what is it about Staggering the Traffic Flow, that the Mass do not Understand. Wheather it’s City or Interstate, there is always Clutter. Now we have Smart Cars, there should no Accidents, because the Car automatic Breaking System compensate for our bad judgments. It tells us the need for Staggering and to always Focus. It’s Front and Rear Sensors tell you that you are doing something wrong with a Chime. Welcome to Computer Assisted Driving, my Car is smarter Than I am. Without me sitting inside it using what I call Dumb Logic, it could Drive Itself safely indefinitely, with no Accidents. Yet with all this Technology I see Cars far more Equipped than Mine, in Bad Wecks.

Roadside Grave

I am forever Beating my Gums about the Bad Wrecks you Created, using Dumb Logic, Thinking that when you get to the Intersection, if the Light beats you, you are still going to take the Turn. Or for another matter beating the Railroad Crossings. Racing your Engine from one Light to the next is being on a Flight of Fancy. Taking off on a Flight of Fancy behind the Wheel is Stupid. It doesn’t Matter, even if you are my Favorite Racecar Driver, R.I.P.  One O’clock in the Afternoonon on the Van Wyck Expressway, two Brand New Cars blew my Doors off doing Ninety, they were Racing. Two Hundred and fifty Yards in front of me, they both Simultaneously decided to enter my Lane , the middle Lane. They bounced off each other, Rolled several times then Disintegrated, littering the Highway.

At fifty MPH I could not Differentiate the Bodies from the Debree.  This happened Forty years ago. Whenever I think about it, the Vividness is still clear, yet you wonder why I waste my Time writing Blogs about safe Driving? Whatever I say to you doesn’t Resonate anyway, because bad Drivers are like Alcoholics, they don’t think they have a problem. Today we have Smart Cars and Dumb Drivers. In my Hometown  in less than four Years, Thousands have lost their Lives on the Road, including one Hundred Bicyclists and more Pedestrians. Hello! Remember the Riderless Horse. Within the last six months two People went on Flights of Fancies on the Howard Franklin Bridge driving at speed approaching 100, in Rush Hour Traffic. The outcomes, Catastrophic, six months later one Body still haven’t been recoved.

And you still wonder why I Drive like a Jedi in a Meteor Storm. People Drive with everything except Logic, their Emotions, their bad Attitudes and nasty Temperaments rules. Where do you believe that Road Rage comes from. I have never recounted this Story to anyone because I am not proud of my behavior. Once Traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike going to work. I must have inadvertently made a Trucker mad. He followed me closely trying to Rearend me for Miles. Realizing that my Life was in Danger I began to change Lanes frantically. That didn’t work, Working in Construction there were alwaysTools and Materials all over the Car. I began unloading them onto his Windshield.

Not even a Can of Paint smearing his Windshield deterred him wanting to Rearend me shoving me off the Road. However when I raised a two pounds Hammer he backed off, knowing that my aim was precise, hitting his Windshield with everything that I had thrown. Thank God I didn’t travel with a Gun. Others who weren’t as Resilient as I was have lost thei’r Lives on the PA Turnpike from Diesel Dummies in a Fit of Rage. As did the young Mother who was ran off the Road into a Tree by a Trucker she cut off. Thirty years later I am Driving a Car that is a Technology Wonder, that does 170. If I had it back then, there would be no need for tossing things. Equipped with On Star and it’s own Telephone, all I had to do was call 911. Driving a Truck for many years I didn’t invent the Word Diesel Dummies. That’s what good Truckers call Inept Drivers. Better than fifty percent of the People on our Roadways use dumb Logic or no Logic at all. Because of this I am Driven to Write Blogs about Safe Driving, wheather I want to or not, someone has to carry the Torch. I have seen the Damage done from Mindless operation of a Motor Vehicle far too many times.

Life, Safe Driving

Distracted Driving

 

Backseat Drivers

There is no one more Qualified than myself to be a Backseat Driver. I guess I should call my Safe Driving Blogs ” The Backseat Driver. One reason is that I am always observing my Fellow Drivers on my Daily Commute. Many times they are so bad, all I can hear in my Head is the Song ” I don’t care what you do, I wouldn’t want to be like you. For instance Carpooling with one of my Coworkers. The Fog was so Dense you could not see twenty five feet, yet I looked at the Speedometer and he was doing seventy. After calling him stupid and asking him to pull over and let me out, he then reduced that Idiotic speed. That’s what a Backseat Driver is supposed to do ” call them out”. Years later I found out that the Fog Speedster had three bad Accidents, each time he was thrown through the Windshield.





That is my greatest problem with bad Drivers, they could have many near death experiences. It doesn’t send them a message that there is something wrong with their Driving.

Once I had car trouble so we had to make do with one car. I thank  my Wife for letting me dropping her off at work, then  going on to my Job. I was always late and always leaving early. I also thank my Boss for Appreciating what I did and not  watching the Clock. One Day on one of my early Departures, a Supervisor asked . How come Tony can be late and leave early all the time. If Tony goes so do I . The Project Manager told him , if you leave, you are Fired. He elaborated, if Tony works for me for five Minutes, that’s quality Time. That is more than I get from all of you.



Roadside Grave



All my Life I have always tried to do a Quality Job at whatever I did, including Driving. I once noticed the words written on a Monument, ” Whatever thy Hands touchet do it with all thy might” That’s why I will never stop writing Blogs about Safe Driving. It is too important of an Issue to be Undermined.

I have not posted a Blog on Safe Driving in Months, every time I think that the Subject is covered, I am proven wrong. Knowing how you Drive forces me to Drive like a Jedi in a Meteor Storm. It is a practiced way of Driving, knowing that whatever can go wrong always do. Yesterday going to work I entered the Bridgespan that allows me to Clean out my Fuel Injection System and Combustion Chamber. Twenty yards on the Span I cleared the Congestion, some people do not understand that when the speed Limit say fifty five, it doesn’t mean that we all should do 55. For that matter 70, that’s what causes Clutter.








Staggering Traffic is the Smart way to Drive. Not only spacing yourself front and back but side by side also. I covered the Bridgespan travelling ten miles over the Limit, leaving the clutter behind. At the end of the Bridge there is an ongoing Construction Project for over one year. Commuters using the Bridge daily knows this. I took my foot off the Gas to accommodate the 45mph speed Limit, now all the Daydreamers I left behind was now blowing  my Doors off. They were  doing sixty on the Bridge and now they were in a Construction Zone doing the same speed, tightly packed. I learned my lesson about spending years ago travelling through New Jersey.








I was clocking on this Highway that was under Construction, all of a sudden one of the Workers darted across the Highway. As a result of always Driving like a Jedi I missed him by six feet doing seventy. In my Nightmares I see Body parts littering the Roadway like when I hit a Deer doing the same Speed. That my Friend is, whatever that can go wrong. Driving in North Country at Night you have to be extra vigilant, looking for Deers crossing the Highway.  A Friend of mine who wasn’t being Vigilant ended up with a Deer in his Lap. The Impact pushed him and the Deer into the backseat. When you are behind the Wheel, it should be as comfortable as playing a Video you have Mastered, that’s how I Drive. Never deviate from being Safety Conscious, never Overdrive, you can’t see around Blind Bends. Tailgating does not give you enough room to do evasive manoeuvres.







Condolencing by me saying that Speed Kills, I see the Memorials by the Roadside on my Commute, they weren’t there a Day ago. I call these Markers Roadside Graves, some poor Soul who didn’t make it back Home. Wheather it was their fault or the other Guy it doesn’t matter, they made their last run. My Driving Instructor will forever be my Backseat Driver, he told me to always drive like I am the only one out there that knows what I am doing.

 

This is Rush Hour on Ulmerton Road

 

 

Related

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

Life, Safe Driving

Be The Driver

Be the Driver

Every time I think that there is nothing left to be said about careless and recklessness behind the Wheel, you prove me wrong. Stay at Home Rule is in effect, the Roads are less congested by more than fifty percent. Yet this morning I woke up to the News that there was an early morning Fatal Crash in my Area. This brings to mind a Joke I told my Wife when I was teaching her to Drive. I told her that it doesn’t matter what time of Day it is, no matter where you are, Highway,  Rural or City. Always know where you are on the Road, who is in front, beside and behind you. The Joke went like this, I could be in the Desert at three A.M. no one in front of me for five miles and no one behind me for five miles yet I would still have an Accident.

She asked how so, I replied, they would fall from the Sky. No word of lie that’s how it is out there. These Days I go to work at the Courthouse, there is no Traffic on the Road, no Court in Session, yet there are Cars in the Parking Lot. The only Employees allowed to come to work are Clerks collecting Money for Fines. The only People coming there are People whose Fines are past Due. With no Traffic on the Roads People are still killing themselves and others,  by yielding to the temptation of Speeding. These People who are always heavy footed are clueless when it comes to Evasive Maneuvering. For instance your Car ends up on two Wheels, your Passenger side is in the Air, they don’t know that turning your Steering Wheel slightly to the right will set the Car back down on all four. Over compensating will flip it on the Passenger side.

One of my Neighbors killed himself and his two young Sons, his Wife has permanent Scars
The Driver of this Maserati killed himself and his two young Sons, his Wife severely injured.

Yet these same People are always Driving at Breakneck speed. In an earlier Blog I wrote about Harry, he Drove at Breakneck Speed all his Life crashing BMWS and the likes. All his bad crashes were caused by excessive speed, yet he learned nothing. His last and final crash, they had to cut the Car apart to remove his badly mangled Body from the Car. He broke his Neck in two places, his License revoked for all the other crashes that were charged to his recklessness. I am forever amazed by People like Harry blowing off my Doors, in a hurry to Calamity. My Car will be five years old in two months, I change my Oil religiously and frequently add Fuel injector cleaner to my Gasoline. The Car runs better than the Day I drove it of the New Car Lot, in Idle the Tachometer never leave 750 RPM.

One Night around two A.M. all by my Lonesome on the Bayside Bridge, I decided to exercise the Lifters and blow out the Combustion Chamber. I punched it slightly at sixty five, in the bat of an Eye the Speedometer read over 100. With all that Power I am still one of the most Civilized Driver on the Roadways. Traveling from Florida to South Carolina the Speedometer never passed eighty. Yet there were People leaving me in the Dust. The same ones who don’t know how to set the Car back down, avoiding a rollover. I think that it all Boils down to Respect, they don’t respect the Vehicle, it’s Engineering or its Capabilities. Most importantly they don’t respect their Privilege to Drive and their fellow Drivers. Why do you think that there are so many incidents of Road Rage.

It doesn’t matter if it is two A.M. or two P.m. you will always find these same Flighty People on the Roadways creating Havoc. Your Job is to know that they are out there in the Nevada Desert waiting for you at two A.M.  It’s for you to be (The Driver) the one who save Lives, the one who always make it back Home to the ones who love you. What I love most about writing Blogs about bad Drivers is, bad Drivers are like Alcoholics, they don’t like other people telling them about themselves. They resents it to no end. If you think I’m lying, next time you are the Passenger, ask why is he Driving like that. When I was a Teenager, whenever I was driving too fast, my Mother  would always ask me where is the Fire. Those words  always Irked me, Back Seat Drivers I mumbled to myself.

Nonetheless they taught me not to create Anxiety in my Passengers. My Friends call me Repetitious when I remind them of our young and Reckless Days. I do the same to my Readers in hope that one of them comes away with something that will save a Life. So here we go again. It was late Night on a Saturday. Five young Men partying the Night away. The oldest being twenty two, the youngest being me at seventeen. The two older Guys had just acquired Brand New Cars. We were Party hopping, each stop the Drivers had one to three mixed Drinks. After three stops on our way to the last, which almost became our final stop on this Earth. The Drivers decided to Race each other.

This was nothing short of The Young and Reckless, no respect for the Odometer reading one Thousand Miles. Sitting in the Passenger Seat I couldn’t help noticing the Needle teetering 115 MPH. When we got to the Exit Ramp we were going way too fast to negotiate the Ramp. Halfway through the Ramp I was sitting in the Drivers Lap. The Car was on two Wheels, I accidentally touched the steering Wheel to the right, which sat the Car back down. Eyes still glued to the Speedometer reading 90 MPH when it entered the Ramp, Halfway through, it only dropped down to 50. Well it must be true that the Lord looks out for Babies and Fools, otherwise I would not be here writing this Blog. I feel compelled to Reminisce these Tragic events hoping to save a Life. This one is for you Precious, my Friend Precious lost her Life at nineteen years old. The Driver taking her Home from a party was Intoxicated, he hit a Light pole sending her through the Windshield. Speaking out about Reckless People is something that’s been Bottled up in me for fifty years.  Parting words, ” Be the Driver, Be the Responsibile one” there are enough Reckless Drivers out there.