Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Road Safety at

This blog is the beginning of some of my thoughts and maybe some rants about driving and road safety in general.

I've been lucky, I have never been in a reportable accident. In fact the most damage that I have done to a vehicle myself was with an ice scraper when I broke an expensive piece of trim while trying to free the wiper blades after an ice storm.

It's not because I don't drive much or only drive where there is no traffic, I've accumulated well over a million miles, mostly driving a straight truck in metropolitan areas like Toronto, Buffalo, Hamilton or Detroit as well as the desolate areas in between.

I believe the main reason I've been so lucky is that I LIKE TO BE SAFE. I don't knowingly take chances if there is any possibility of getting hurt or damaging property.

I didn't always think that way though. I lived in The Bahamas when I started driving. In Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, there aren't freeway or highway systems like the "Interstates" or "Kings Highways" There was Sunrise Highway which was more like a driveway for the amount of traffic that was there, and that was about it.

When I was young in the Bahamas, I took risks, I did do things that were unsafe and dangerous until witnessing a really horrific accident where a pedestrian was hit by a speeding car and his mangled lifeless body came sliding to "our" feet. Forty years after that accident, I can still see it in slow motion like it was last week. That same year my grandmother was killed in a car accident and within a few years a couple of my friends were killed in separate auto accidents.

I have known several people that have survived serious accidents only to go out and survive more serious accidents, unfortunately alcohol sometimes plays a roll. Why are some people so unlucky?

I think it boils down to a combination of ones perception of safety and/or tolerance of risk. In other words, they may think they are safer than they really are or are more willing to take a risk than others.

Personally, I play it safe for the most part, in fact one might say too safe. I like to have a three second break between my car and the car in front of me driving 75 miles an hour on a busy highway. This way, when a tailgater is one quarter of a second from my rear bumper, I have enough time to warn the asshole on my bumper and still slow down without "spilling my coffee".

All in all, everyone is responsible for their own safety on the road to a large extent, though freak things do happen and even the safest drivers can be at risk of mechanical failure, mistakes of other drivers or even road or weather conditions.

More on road safety at

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