Mallard Duck

Be safer on the road thanks to these tips...

     Bottom line- Driving safer  safes lives and $ for us all!

     Just because I spent six grand to get my CDL does not make me an expert out there on the open highway, but it has made me much more alert. If just one of these tips sticks in your mind, and keeps you or your loved ones safe, then the three weekends it took me to put this website together was worth every minute.

     Stepping out of a big truck and into my low to the ground mini-Saturn gives me the feeling of driving a motorcycle surrounded by windshields. As I'm driving down the highway in this up scaled version of a go-cart with my butt dragging on the ground, I am thinking to myself, "Why didn't I ever notice how dangerous this car is? I would not let my kids drive a go-cart at seventy-five miles an hour. They would have to wear a helmet. They would definitely be wearing a seatbelt- NASCAR style. What lulled my senses into believing I was safe in this thing? Let me out of here! I want my Big Truck!"


    $How many times have you hopped in your car and just taken off? Give your car a quick check. Put on the four ways and headlights. Give the tires a look over. Make sure your windshield inside and out is clean. (Ever drive in the sunlight with a dirty windshield?) Your mirrors are clean. Drive off and know you are safe. Your life is worth it and so is mine.

    $Keep a space cushion. Keep three car lengths, or truck lengths, in front of you. That space cushion is your ticket to life! Guard it like it was gold! In that space cushion you will find the precious seconds you need to avoid a funeral. That simple. Tail gating is a guaranteed way to get flowers from all your friends.

     $Rain, Rain, Go Away. Singing won't make it go away, no matter how bad you are at singing. The first fifteen minutes of fresh rain on the road mixes with oil, dripped fuel and everything else. Water and oil equal a quick trip to skid row. Slow down and turn your head lights on! In October of '06 a fellow trucker ignored at least ten comments on the radio to slow it down. I was doing thirty-five in a sixty-five when this guy flew past, barely keeping control. Want to take a guess what I heard ten minutes later? You got it. "Back it down. Back it down! That idiot just jack knifed and is blocking the entire road!" Fortunately for me, I saw the next exit and took a detour. No sooner did I hear this and behind me, ten miles, some idiot in a car thought he could spin dry. He stuck himself under the tandems of a rig he was passing and blocked the other side of the highway. Not twenty miles further my detour got a little longer because of a multi-car accident. I wished I could say this was unusul. What part of water plus oil and hydroplane is not reaching people?

    $When approaching on and off ramps use extreme caution. This is where a majority of accidents take place. If traffic is heavy try to move over to the left lane to let traffic on well in advance. Triple check your mirrors before maneuvering over. Slow down or speed up to let in traffic, but don't slam on your brakes! When coming off the ramp into traffic use the entire length of the lane. It's best not to dart over as you may have missed seeing a car in your mirror.

And never try to get past the guy in front of you because he is slowing you down with his too cautious entry onto a highway. Stay behind him and grit your teeth. Veering around the slower car may put you in his entry path and make you a whole later! Worse, a speeding car you were too impatient to see, may slam dunk you and make a basket case out of traffic.

     $Lane changes- Play it cool and smooth. Don't yank into the lane. This is not the Indianapolis 500. The only thing you will win on the highway for zigzagging in traffic is a ticket to lose your license or a front row seat at the coroner's office.

     $Look ahead of you by fifteen seconds of travel space. Keep your eyes moving! Check mirrors to know who and what is where. If your mirrors are small, replace them or add another.

     $Always, even when no one is around, use your turn signal! How many times have you sat, ready to make a turn, and you have to wait because you think the guy coming at you is going straight. How many nice words do you have to say when he slows and turns instead?  Your turn signals are communication devices. Also remember to turn them off.

     $S-l-o-w D-o-w-n! Almost every accident on the road can be attributed to excessive speed! If you are traveling at eighty miles an hour you require more distance to make sudden stops. Most cars were not meant to handle like Ferrari's and they will "get loose." Once this happens, most drivers cut the wheel to the right or/and left (over steer) too far, then travel butt-over-tin-cup in to the meridian. Worse, they can't stop, and they are up someone else's butt so far it takes a tow truck to pull them out.

     $Replace shocks and struts between 50,000 and 80,000 miles. They are not just designed for a smooth ride. They keep the tire on the road, reducing wear on tie rod ends, ball and CV joints as well as tires. Bad struts can add 12 feet to your stopping distance at 50mph in a car.

     $A big rig's tire is traveling on a piece of rubber the width of a size nine man's shoe! At higher speeds the outside wall lifts off the ground; in a fashion.

 Guess what the size  a car tire's path is? You got it. Now add pools of rain on the road surface. Getting the idea? Slow Down for wet weather conditions. Hydroplaning is caused by excessive speed. Do not be intimidated by macho aggressive drivers. Be safe and smart. Slow down when you see water pooling even in small quantities. After all, how much ice does it take to land you on your backside when walking on a sidewalk?

     $Turn on your four ways in heavy rain or fog, especially when you travel ten miles an hour slower then the set speed limit. If your car is fluorescent orange or Miss Piggy pink you probably can ignore this one.

     $Do not assume you know what the guy ahead knows what he is doing. I watched a motorcycle slam into a van recently. The lady turned on her signal, the biker assumed she was going straight for some reason, throttled it and when she turned he couldn't turn with her fast enough. As his body slid past my driver's door I thought to myself, "That was pretty stupid. Where's your helmet buddy?"

     $If you must talk on the cell phone, use a head set and keep your eyes extra alert! They say talking on the cell phone reduces our attention as if we were drunk. Do you know anyone that wrecked while on the cell phone? How many times have you come close to being hit by a driver on a cell phone?

     $Phone in drunk drivers! If a vehicle is weaving all over the road or slowing down a lot call 911 and get these people off the road! If you decide to pass them use extreme caution.

     $Drive with your headlights on all the time. If your car is grey, bronze, white or black this really applies! In the truck these are the colors that when I look down blend into the highway, heavy rain or fog. After noticing this, I drive my black car with the lights on! I don't care what anyone else thinks!

     $Do not drag race through heavy traffic. A steady pace will keep your blood pressure at safe levels. Most trucks are governed at 68 mph. Dragonflies are caused by load weight. The load drags the truck down going up a hill and sends it flying going down the hill.

     $Big trucks have an eight to ten foot blind spot in front of the tractor. Pedestrians should make eye contact with the driver to be sure they are seen! Do not "slip" your car in front of the truck as the driver may choose that moment to speed up because he/she thinks the path is clear.

     $Big trucks traveling at 55mph need the length of a FOOTBALL field to come a complete stop. In rain double it. In snow triple it! If you make a sudden stop in a car guess what is not going to stop behind you? Hmmm.

     $Remember, there is nothing; no job, no appointment, no mail, no load worth your life. Drive safe, and get there in one piece. If you have an accident you slow everyone down.

     $As more and more drivers hit the road it gets more and more dangerous. We have aged drivers, teen drivers, and drivers who drive their car from the city once every three weeks. Ironically, we have less education on how to handle driving situations. Hey, that's a hint. How about some training courses like the police force get, Mr. President? Mr. Governor? Mr. Congressman? Oh, that's right, I forgot. I pay for your limo with my taxes. I was having a blonde moment there. (Hit my forehead.) You don't know how to drive either! Okay, I am doing my Yoga now. Uuummmmmmmmmmm. I will not say taxes and government spending in the same sentence. Uuuummmmmmmmmmm--rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...


      A friend sent me this email and I forwarded it to everyone I knew:

     When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the car jackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.
      And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car. So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!
      If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just
drive away._
Remove the paper later._
And be thankful that you read this e-mail.


**Notice** The $ signs. Every truck accident costs between a quarter and a half million dollars. Every funeral costs seven-thousand dollars. The cops need a larger police force. The insurance rates go up. Guess what folks, it all runs down hill and we, the individual, are at the bottom! It's our pocket that pays for speeding. The price of that truck wreck gets covered by increasing the price of goods. That teenage car accident just upped everyone's insurance rates. That angry office worker who tromped on the accelerator and caused a fifty-two car pile up just put my tax dollars to work in twelve fire departments, four police departments, fifty-two insurance companies, two state Hazmat departments and so on and so on.


Bottom line- driving safer safes lives and $ for us all.


$Last Tip: Share this page with as many people as you can. You will save yourself a lot of money on flowers for your friends and family. Who knows, maybe the national deficit will get paid off? That was stretching it- wasn't it?


"The Pictures only a mother would put on her website. I love being a parent! Snicker."

Blonde Thought: "Someone let all the air out of this one."

   Teen Cruelty-I added ferrets and she went in    willingly. Who knew caging a teen was so simple?

Pictures of: Ship at Port Covington, MD; Truck I drive- had a little fun with the trailer; WWII air show plane.