Archive for October, 2009


Backseat Driver or Co-Driver

Do you have a favorite backseat driver, or maybe passenger seat driver, that helps you while you are driving down the road? Do you consider them a pest or a tool like your electronic navigation system? You know, up there on the dash, giving you directions and telling you where to turn (or go)?

Every situation is different, but more often, a backseat driver is considered as giving unneeded and unwanted advise to the driver. Maybe a spouse or a friend that might comment on the speed at which one is driving or the route you are taking, or just makes little moans and shrieks about oncoming traffic.

Some backseat drivers exhibit this type of behavior simply because they feel unsafe or out of control since they are not driving the vehicle and therefore are nervous and jumpy and overly eager to give suggestions and criticism about the driver’s actions.

On the other hand in today’s fast paced, run here and there, get it done society, is it really a bad idea to have a second set of eyes watching the traffic around you? Maybe these individuals are not backseat drivers, but instead, co-drivers. Could we possibly be better off having a co-driver to assist and improve our safe driving capabilities?

I am sure that my wife sometimes perceives that I am annoyed by the driving instructions that she administers to me while we are on the road together, but many times she makes timely observations about things that she sees before I do. Where many times I may see the same hazard that she does, sometimes I may get distracted while driving and she acts as an extra set of eyes on the road, helping to avoid a SUV pulling out of a driveway or a truck speeding through a yellow light at an intersection.

Don’t get me wrong I consider myself a good driver, don’t we all, and as a good driver wouldn’t it be prudent to listen to others around me that have my best interest in mind. Not to mention, the precious cargo I may be carrying if my family members or friends are in the vehicle depending on me to get them somewhere safely and without incident. I take that responsibility very seriously.

Maybe it’s simply a change in attitude. I welcome co-drivers, their eyes and there advice aboard my vehicle. Of course, sometimes I may listen and not take the advice, but listen, because we are all in this together.

Does that make sense? Aren’t we better off with more eyes on the road?
Down The Road – Mike


Precious Cargo


Sometimes the cargo can distract you



On the way to work one day this week one of our employees hit a deer. He was driving down a two lane highway at about 5:00am when his wife said; “deer.” To which he answered; “yes honey.” She said “DEER!”, and pointed at the several deer running out of the woods on the right side of the road. To which he answered; “OOOOH!”, hit the brakes and veered left. The buck’s head hit the passenger side headlight and then the body wrapped around and hit the passenger door causing a pretty good dent in the door.

Tactics to Avoid Deer Accidents                                                    DeerCrossBuck

When you see the road signs, they’re not there for the tourists; they mean that the area you are traveling through is deer territory and that you need to take extra care. Deer and other wildlife cross roads for a wide variety of reasons and at different times of the year. Often they want to get to another part of their habitat. Rutting season and hunting season also cause them to move. November is one of the most active months for deer movement.

Deer are most active at night and just before sunrise. Use your high beams when driving at night, it allows you to see them easier. If you see one deer, there’s likely to be more, so SLOW DOWN at the first sight to avoid accidents. Deer get confused and blinded by your headlights, so don’t assume that it sees you and will not cross your path. Most deer are looking right at the car when they cause an accident.

Actively scan the sides of the road for any signs of wildlife as you drive. If you have passengers, get them involved but ask them not to shout out as this is very startling and can cause the driver to react incorrectly. Ask them to gently tell you that they see deer. Look on the road sides, the shoulders, down into ditches (they love the grass there) and median strips. Watch both sides of the road.

Do not speed when you are driving through deer country. You’ll still arrive if you go more slowly and you’ll have more time to avoid an animal if you spot it. Wildlife experts have recommended 55 mph as a maximum suitable speed for wildlife zones in good weather conditions, as it provides you with some reaction time to stop.

If you spot a deer in the road, slow down immediately and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten it away. Most motorist deaths and injuries occur when drivers swerve to avoid hitting the deer and strike a fixed object, such as a tree or another vehicle. It may seem powerless, but simply applying your brakes while you’re buckled up, gripping the steering wheel with both hands, and coming to a controlled stop (if possible) can actually help minimize damage and injuries.

If you see that a car accident with a deer is unavoidable, do not swerve, brace yourself for impact and apply your brakes. Most accidents involving deer only leave minor cosmetic damage, however it can damage your radiator leading to overheating and serious damage to your motor. If you think your damage may be severe, use caution getting out to inspect, as an injured deer may regain consciousness and attack. Otherwise, drive a safe distance away, pull off to the side of the road, and then inspect. If your radiator is leaking fluid, turn your vehicle off immediately and have it towed to a garage.

Down The Road – Mike


Three Sixty Walk Around

The order in which you do things can change the entire outcome.

I have counted three accidents this year where a driver in a Chevrolet one-ton flat bed or larger truck backed into or over something causing damage and down time. I have one declaration for this, PREVENTABLE.

A 360 Walk Around is the process of completely walking around your vehicle just prior to moving it. It includes looking for hazards such as a vehicle parked behind you, beside you, a child or other person, or an obstacle, such as a pylon, or other object that could be in your vehicle’s path.

It’s also always a good habit to look for an area that provides “drive-through” parking spaces. Avoid backing up as much as possible. If you must back up, ask someone to direct you from the side at the rear.

Down The Road – Mike

360 WalkPic-crop

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other followers