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Drive safely during holidays




Now that the Christmas, New Year’s holiday season is fast approaching, it’s time to do a little homework. First and foremost, we want it to be a happy season. If a loved one gets out on the highway and gets injured or killed it will no doubt not be a happy time, and gasoline or diesel fuel does not mix with anything, which will impair one’s judgment, especially alcohol or drugs. If you go to a get-together where alcohol is served, by all means have a designated driver beforehand — preferably one who does not partake of the devil’s pleasures.

When out on the road remember all the safe driving measures we have all been taught. Maintain a safe speed at all times. If you are doing the legal speed limit and are coming upon a blind curve, never assume that you can safely negotiate that curve. Sure, you may take the curve at a greater rate of speed than posted. But, use your head for something besides a hat rack because you have no way of knowing what lies around that curve. Could you stop in time?

Cars don’t have the ability but the operator of a motor vehicle is supposed to have the ability to think. If your ability to reason is impaired you are as dumb as whatever you are driving.

Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and hopefully the one following you will do the same. If you follow a vehicle too closely and they suddenly apply the brakes and you remodel the rear end of their vehicle as well as the front of yours, guess who will be at fault — you. You should be so many car lengths behind a vehicle for every 10 miles per hour you are doing.

At night it makes matters even worse if you follow too closely and blind the driver you are following, because that driver will do the only sensible thing there is to do — slow down — thus causing you to take longer to get to your intended destination. If you follow at a safe distance you will make a lot better time.

If you meet an oncoming vehicle and the operator doesn’t know what a dimmer switch is for, don’t switch your lights to high beam just to get back at them because two blinded drivers are worse that one.

If you go through a checkpoint don’t signal oncoming traffic to this fact because you may save a life on down the road — yours. Our law enforcement officials do all they can but cannot be every place they are needed at a given time. If you see a driver who you suspect is impaired get on the phone if you have one and notify the nearest law enforcement agency. If you don’t know what to call, dial 1-800-222-5555 and they will assist you. It will make you feel good just knowing you have done your civic duty.

Some drivers driving late model vehicles get lulled into a fake sense of security because there is padding everywhere and they think nobody could possibly be injured in an accident. But guess again, because all that plastic and padding crumbles on impact.

I have been driving 47 years, having gotten my first license in France in 1961. No doubt I have made my share of mistakes but I haven’t been in a serious accident.

Well, that’s all from the funny farm till next time.


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