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#199943 - 04/09/10 08:20 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: Arney]
sybert777 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 299
Loc: 62208
Heres a safety tip....DONT GET A TOYOTA!!! that'll cut down your worry ALOT!!


Edited by sybert777 (04/09/10 08:20 PM)

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#199946 - 04/09/10 09:18 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: sybert777]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
The biggest things I can think of are these.
1: Slow Down.
If the weather is bad, if it is an area with people, if it is on back roads with deer or if there is anything odd going on, slow down. It is much easier to stop and you have more time to react. (Trust me about deer because they can jump 20 feet out of the woods and land right in front of you, and there is nothing to wake you up quite like hitting a moose at night either).

2: Leave lots of space between you and the other cars. Even when you pull up behind a stopped car you should leave enough space that you can steer around it. When in traffic you want much more space than that in case the car in front decides to stop in a sudden fashion.

3: Keep your windows clean.
People argue over windex, ammonia or vinegar, but whatever you use is not as important as having clean windows is. Grimy windows are hard to see out of, especially when driving into the sun or when facing headlights at night. You should include making sure you have good windshield wipers and that the washer fluid is full.

4: Learn to use your mirrors and learn how to adjust them properly. You want to eliminate as many blind spots as possible.
Also you should adjust them so a set of headlights behind you don't reflect directly into your eyes. After a while the head motion to check your mirrors should be so automatic you forget that you are doing it but notice immediately if the mirrors are out of place.

5: Do your vehicle maintenance like a religious act of devotion.
Before starting the car all fluids should be checked along with a tire inspection. You should be checking that all your lights work at the same time. Most drivers don't check that often and some only check after the idiot lights come on. If you are not going to check every time you start a trip then at least do it each time you fill the gas tank.

6: Drive or don't drive, nothing in between
When you get behind the wheel you should have a clear idea of where you are going. Read the maps before you get in the car. If you need to check a map or make a call pull over some place and stop to do it.
You need no extra distractions when driving.

7: Don't drive tired. I have seen 8 accidents caused by people falling asleep behind the wheel, 3 of them resulted in deaths. If you are tired pull over and have a rest, even take a nap if you must.

Finally: Did I mention slowing down?
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#199947 - 04/09/10 09:34 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: Adventureboy]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I just remembered this website that I bookmarked quite a while ago. My bookmark says "93 rules to live by" but the author seems to have pruned his list because the current list is down to 70 rules.

I was just re-reading through some of these tips. Really great stuff. I wish I had been made aware of these different topics when I was a new driver.

70 Rules of Defensive Driving

"Drive Safe with Uncle Bob!"

And he's from Arizona, too, just like the OP.

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#199949 - 04/09/10 09:57 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: Arney]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Arney

A rough guide to the way I later learned to position my mirrors is to point the center straight back. For the left side mirror, rest your head against the side window and then position the mirror to just see the edge of your car body. For the right mirror, lean your head to the centerline of the car and adjust the mirror to just see the right edge of your car body.


I always adjust my mirrors so I can just barely see the side of my car from my driving position. I feel that gives me more confidence to determining the position of what I see in the mirror relative to my car. And yes, that gives me a significant blind zone which I need to check before changing lanes. (BTW, do you know where your blind zone is? It may not be where you think it is... hint: It is NOT the 5 o'clock direction - your mirror has that one covered.)

Not really safety related, but I also use my mirrors extensively when I go backwards. (Summer vacations spent as a lorry driver, without a rear view window you learn that pretty fast and that lesson sticks). The mirrors would be close to useless for this purpose if I did not have the edge of my car as reference.

I might try out Arney's method just to see if there's something in it to me. But old habits die hard, and I would be very surprised if I switch.

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#199951 - 04/09/10 10:55 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: MostlyHarmless]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: MostlyHarmless
Not really safety related, but I also use my mirrors extensively when I go backwards. ...The mirrors would be close to useless for this purpose if I did not have the edge of my car as reference.

Ah, that's a good point. I back tail-in in my garage so I face this situation all the time. For me, I lean my head over either left or right (depending on which side of the garage I'm backing into) and then I see the "normal" view in the side mirror--with the mirror pointing straight back and the side of the car visible. Parallel parking is another situation where it's a little tougher to use the side mirrors, but just a little head re-positioning should allow you to use the side of the vehicle as a reference.

One other advantage to this mirror position is that it reduces getting blinded by bright headlights from behind. When your side mirrors are pointed straight back and some relatively tall truck/SUV or European sedan with really bright HID headlights is behind you, the reflection is aimed at your face. If your mirrors are pointed more outboard, light from behind reflects away from your face. And bright lights from a car in the next lane generally won't blind you unless their headlights were actually pointed at an angle towards your side mirror, which generally only happens with misaligned headlights.

I was looking for a picture that hopefully makes the geometry of the mirrors more understandable. I found one page just now. If you look at the picture and wait a bit, it will change from showing the side mirrors pointing in different angles.

One commenter on that page makes the astute observation that the mirrors could be swung even wider out. The method I describe involves just barely overlapping the center and side mirror fields of view. But this guy's point is that the side mirrors do not necessarily have to overlap the field of vision with the center mirror at all. You simply need the fields to be close enough that you don't create a blind spot big enough for a vehicle to hide inside. If you did it that way, then you could cover even more area around your vehicle. But I find that many cars don't allow their side mirrors to swing out as far as the "too wide" picture shows anyway so it may not be practical.

The picture and another description of this mirror positioning can be read here:

MostlyHarmless--changing the mirrors certainly does take getting used to. I wouldn't be surprised if you feel disoriented and really hate it right off the bat. It felt really strange in the beginning for me, but now I'll never go back.

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#199952 - 04/09/10 11:31 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: Adventureboy]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
Two points in particular stand out.

1. Laws of physics change based on what you are driving. A short, tall 4x4 like a jeep will not make it around a curve at the same speed a car will.

2. Wear your seat belt. Most places have passed laws requiring this but this is one I agree with. Hanging upside down by your seat belt will make you a believer in a hurry. BTDT I wore it before because I was supposed to. The car doesn't move out of the driveway without it now.

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#199953 - 04/10/10 12:20 AM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: UTAlumnus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7306
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: UTAlumnus
Hanging upside down by your seat belt will make you a believer in a hurry.


Same experience with me. I believed intellectually in the value of a seat belt, but became a true believer after the driver of a car I was riding in failed to make a curve, leaving me hanging...Pretty interesting experience.
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#199982 - 04/10/10 10:06 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: ]
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 557
Loc: Orlando, FL
There is a great deal of good advice in this thread. The only thing that i can add is drive like one of your parents are in the car with you. Quite a few things in life work better if you think that mom or dad will find out about it.

Sorry about your car Izzy. Hope you get a cool car that is in keeping with your status of the most eligible bachelor in Deland.

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#199985 - 04/10/10 10:19 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: Arney]
MarkO Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 137
Loc: Oregon
Concentrating on speed alone is not helpful. Speed is just one factor; weather, traffic, your personal readiness, condition of the car etc all come into play as well and are just as important.

I've felt comfortable and safe sometimes driving 2x the speed limit and there are times I've not felt comfortable at 2/3rd the speed limit. I'm very comfortable driving in heavy, heavy rain but avoid driving in snow at all costs.

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#199995 - 04/11/10 12:55 PM Re: I Need Driving Advice [Re: MarkO]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7306
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: MarkO
I've felt comfortable and safe sometimes driving 2x the speed limit and there are times I've not felt comfortable at 2/3rd the speed limit.


You make a good point here, and I agree that you have to consider local conditions in determining your speed, but I can't think that driving, say, 80 MPH in a 40 MPH zone is ever a good idea.
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