Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tailgating again !

Do you ever look in your rear view mirror

while exiting a busy highway

in a snowstorm

downhill on a curved exit ramp

and see

three feet from your bumper?

I hate that !

I won't mention the name of the food distribution company who's truck must have come within three feet of my bumper on a very snowy exit ramp forcing me to exit much faster than I felt safe driving in those conditions.

As Safety and Compliance guy for a trucking company several years ago, I took a call from a lady about our driver bearing down on her in heavy traffic, she was terrified for herself and two kids in the car, she said she thought she was going to die. She later wrote me a letter passionately describing her ordeal.

Unfortunately this happens all too often and does sometimes cause drivers to panic and make a mistake which on the highway can be deadly.

It doesn't have to be a truck though. Some drivers can be intimidated into making a foolish mistake they would not have made otherwise by a car tailgating them or it could develop into a case of road rage.

Don't Tailgate!

Most of the accidents I see (and I see a lot) are from people following too close! Unfortunately we all pay in higher car insurance costs because of it.

Without the stupid accidents, our auto insurance rates would most certainly drop.

Leave at least TWO to THREE seconds between vehicles - in good conditions.

More in poor conditions, better safe than dead!

More on road safety at
Forklift Safety at
See Truck photos or my other photos at
or see optical illusions or web animations

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tailgate party on the Freeway

I haven't written much lately about my favorite pet peeve - "Tailgating"

If the guy in front of you stops real quick,


Maybe not so easy in the winter.

I was on the highway yesterday and couldn't believe there was not a serious accident.

A pack of cars (maybe six) came flying onto a highway ramp behind a slow truck. Several cars were severely tailgating as they entered the highway and panic ensued as they caught up to the truck. A couple of them managed to merge across into a middle lane but one guy who may not have seen the truck till the others moved, slammed on his brakes and spun off the road in a cloud of smoke and dust. I think he hit a road sign but I'm not sure as it was happening behind me now.

If this had happened today in the snow, the one car that spun out wouldn't be the only one to lose it.

On the highway in the snow, dangers of a collision are increased exponentially so you have to add that "exponential" factor to your defensive driving techniques.

This winter has been pretty brutal in some areas so far but there's still more to come so take care out there.

More on road safety at
Forklift Safety at
See Truck photos or my other photos at
or see optical illusions or web animations


Monday, January 26, 2009

How about those oil prices

I keep watching that oil price widget in my sidebar thinking any day that it would start back up a steep incline towards those record highs around $147/barrel.

Thankfully that has not happened yet, I guess too many speculators that were driving the price so high lost BILLIONS of dollars (I hope) and are not very eager or able to play right now.

Whatever the reason, it's great to see the lower gas prices, it's just too bad that the economy had to crash first because of the greed of the people running up the price of oil in the first place.

Time to use options other than fossil fuels anyway, my option would be hydrogen for cars.

There is an absolutely endless supply and the exhaust from combustion with oxygen is pure water.

Why use anything else?

Just wish I could afford it.

Drive carefully out there whatever your fuel, especially in winter conditions.

More on road safety at
Forklift Safety at
See Truck photos or my other photos at
or see optical illusions or web animations

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm back!

I had my Cardiac Catheterization procedure done this morning but they didn't do the Angioplasty and Stent that I was expecting because the artery in question is 99% blocked and blood flow has already bypassed the artery naturally to some extent. The local muscle is very healthy and the scarring from a minor heart attack a few years ago was barely detectable. Now the concern will be to keep the blood supply to that area flowing well hopefully through diet, medication and exercise.

The procedure went quite well, the worst part of my experience was the dreaded I.V. cause I really hate needles as it is and the nurse (in training) that tried to put in the I.V. was having a real hard time of it for about ten minutes till another nurse took over.

By this time there had been a fair amount of blood dripping down my hand onto the bed, the floor and all over the nurses hands.

The I.V. incident didn't do a whole lot to calm me in anticipation of having the catheter inserted into my arteries while still awake.

The actual procedure on the other hand was far more bearable than I thought it would be, I didn't even feel the insertion. The surgeon did it while I was talking to the nurse adjusting the sedative in my I.V., I thought the movement that I felt on my other arm was a second nurse stapping my arm down and prepping the area then I saw the monitor and realized the catheter was already in and approaching my heart.

They did a "radial" entry through my wrist which I am so glad about since most are through the groin so walking and getting around is no problem at all for me, I just have to pretend I have a broken arm for a couple of days. I just wish it was my left arm though.

So, I guess I'm happy with the results, (no more procedures at this time) my Cardiologist will adjust my drugs and I'll adjust my diet, it could have been much worse.

Thanks to those wishing me the best and passing on their blessings.


Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm having Cardiac Catheterization (Angioplasty)

I'm having Angioplasty on Wednesday

I haven't been driving commercially for the last month, I'm taking some time to maintain the ticker.

I had a very mild heart attack a couple of years ago but now occasionally suffer from Angina so I'm off to have an Angioplasty procedure done on Wednesday.

It was about this time last year I first discussed the possibility of the procedure with my Doctor because I would have Angina symptoms whenever I was in very cold winter air. Nitroglycerin works wonders to instantly to relieve the tightness and discomfort I felt so I put it off a bit.

I've had all the tests now that verify Angina so my Cardiologist wants to put a stent in just to be safe.

The only thing that bothers me about the procedure is that they do it while you are awake, sedated but awake. My Mom had a similar procedure about twenty years ago and my Brother had it done last January and they both said it was no problem, didn't feel a thing, but it still freaks me out a bit.

I still don't think this procedure will make me like the cold weather though.

Wish me luck.

More on road safety at
Forklift Safety at
See Truck photos or my other photos at
or see optical illusions or web animations

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ahhh Summertime . . .

Summer . . .

A warm ocean breeze under a cloudless blue sky.

Warm ocean waves

even road construction and traffic jams everywhere

Then a nice steak on the BBQ when I get home with a cold beer of course.

Ahhh . . . Summer

Oh yeah, I gotta go shovel the driveway, The coldest air of the season is settling in for a few days and the still slushy snow is very quickly freezing into crackling crunchy ice and that can be pretty wicked to walk on when the driveway is not flat.

Stay indoors for the next few days if you can (in northern areas) Exposed skin can freeze in just a few minutes in the right conditions. If you must go out, drive to the conditions. Give yourself extra time if weather is a concern.

More on road safety at
Forklift Safety at
See Truck photos or my other photos at
or see optical illusions or web animations