TIPS for New Drivers, Part 1 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-15-2007, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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TIPS for New Drivers, Part 1

A few of my friends' kids came of driving age, so I wrote what was going to be a brief driving manual for them, stuff they don't learn in Drivers' Ed. Maybe you know someone this could benefit.

(Pls feel free to offer suggestions, but mind that this is only part 1.)


What You Didn’t Learn in Drivers’ Ed


I will try to tell you stuff you might not learn from more “normal” sources; no one ever accused me of that.

Vision: There are times you simply cannot see where you are going: Over hills, thru blind curves, passing trucks, etc. The next time you’re a passenger, pay attention to how many instances of this you find yourself in; it happens quite often.

Think about this: You crest a hill @ 60 mph only to find a traffic jam which ends just under the crest. You will not be able to stop in time; you will crash; you will spend quality time with your insurance agent. Not a good thing, insurance people are generally quite boring.

Target Fixation: If you’ve skied, biked, etc. you may have experienced this phenomena. You see an obstruction (tree, curb, car or the like) and you want to avoid it. But, you tend to go where your eyes are looking, so you run into what you wanted to avoid. This is Target Fixation. In/on any vehicle, I repeat, you tend to go where you are looking. So, always look where you want to go (i.e. past the tree). This is a racing technique, used in turns, and it always works. I will not, however, be teaching you anything about racing beyond what is useful on the street.


Tailgating: This is a frightfully stupid habit. It reduces your vision of the road ahead and your chance of stopping in time and increases the probability of a crash and/or a ticket. It also makes the driver ahead of you angry or nervous. Tailgating is an emotional response to wanting to make time. It will not get you anywhere faster and will not serve you well.

Stopping behind the car in front of you: First, try not to hit the guy. Second, always stop far enough back so you can see where his tires touch the road. That way, you’ll have enough room to swing around him effortlessly, in case he stalls or carjackers are coming your way. Although, it’s unlikely that the piece of crap you’ll be driving will attract carjackers. But, if they had taste, they’d be in another business.

Speeding: Surprisingly, this is often also an emotional response to being in a rush. It rarely pays off, especially for tyros. Do the math: speeding on a 30 minute drive couldn’t save you more than a couple of minutes. I used to joke that I saved 2 weeks a year by speeding, but it was only a joke. Speeding in residential areas is particularly dumb, given that there are always: stop signs, traffic lights, traffic. Consequently, you really get nowhere faster. And, I haven’t mentioned the other problems with residential streets: Pets, kid, drunken old ladies coming from their “quilting bees.”

I lived on a street with a kid who drove a Camaro. The street was 1 block long; a dead end. He would tear down the street at 40 mph. When we spoke (at my request), he said that he was in a hurry. Clearly not a math major. I explained the math and then, for good measure – whatever that means, I threatened him. Can you believe people like him (and me) are allowed to vote?


Maintenance: I’ll keep this simple for now. Check your tire pressures every two weeks; they’re the only part of the car that touches the road. Keep your windshield clean, inside and out, so SUV headlights and sun glare won’t blind you. Check the oil once in a while to keep Dad happy. Try not to bring back the car on “empty” or, if gas gauges were more accurate, “fumes.”


Distractions: Wow, there are a lot of those just inside the car. Frankly, there are times not to adjust the radio, heat, light a cigarette, check your fly, check someone else’s fly, pick your nose, etc. It’s your responsibility to recognize those instances, like intersections, parking lots, etc. And, don’t call your friends on your cell phone while driving. They will know that you’ve called them because you’re bored and they will resent it.


Later, we’ll talk about where to hold your hands on the wheel while being mindful of airbags’ ability to break your arms, driving position, adjusting your mirrors so there are NO blind spots (Hint: If you can see any portion of your car on either outside mirror, you and your mirrors are maladjusted. You may be as well.)

In the meantime, feel free to ask me any questions. Even stupid ones. Although, really stupid questions will be sent to all my friends so we can all have a good laugh at your expense.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-15-2007, 09:41 PM
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thanks for the write up. I agree will not save you much time, but it also depends on the type of route you have and how things are timed...in other words there are a lot of variables sometimes. For example, you could be driving along and get held up by someone and when you break free you come to a light that's red that would have been green if you hadn't been held up. Then because you were at the stop light you might encounter some other drivers or obstacles that wouldn't have been there before. My route to work involves a back road that has a small canyon section. On a good day...for me it can swing from saving 7 minutes to losing 7 minutes. Either way 7 minutes is HUGE. I also understand that I could have caught the green light and been held up later, but you don't know future events...you only know what is happening at that very moment. Even 5 seconds is big. Let's say something happens at work in the morning that if you were at your desk 5 seconds before you would not have gotten into trouble for not being "on call" at your desk. Some people also speed because it's enjoyable and not just that they're in a rush. Not arguing, just throwing somethin' in tha basket.

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shay2nak View Post
thanks for the write up. I agree will not save you much time, but it also depends on the type of route you have and how things are timed...in other words there are a lot of variables sometimes. For example, you could be driving along and get held up by someone and when you break free you come to a light that's red that would have been green if you hadn't been held up. Then because you were at the stop light you might encounter some other drivers or obstacles that wouldn't have been there before. My route to work involves a back road that has a small canyon section. On a good day...for me it can swing from saving 7 minutes to losing 7 minutes. Either way 7 minutes is HUGE. I also understand that I could have caught the green light and been held up later, but you don't know future events...you only know what is happening at that very moment. Even 5 seconds is big. Let's say something happens at work in the morning that if you were at your desk 5 seconds before you would not have gotten into trouble for not being "on call" at your desk. Some people also speed because it's enjoyable and not just that they're in a rush. Not arguing, just throwing somethin' in tha basket.
You're welcome.

On long trips, speeding can make a huge difference. I don't know how "huge" 7 minutes is; I don't know what % of your trip it represents.

Some would argue that it would be easier & safer just to leave early enough to ensure you are @ work on time. I can't argue that as I often leave w/just enough time and make up time by speeding. But, I still maintain that in traffic situations, it's hard to make up any real time.

Yes, speeding is enjoyable, but that's part of the pyschological component of speeding...and I do it too. I have tried to learn, tho, not to speed so often, just for the sake of speeding. I want to play the odds and if I speed everywhere, I will eventually get tickets which I'd rather have gotten by speeding where it's really the most fun. (I hope I explained this OK.)

Likewise, I obey ALL other traffic laws, to limit my exposure.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 12:12 PM
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well written, with just the right amount of humor!
the comments were so true.
and, if i'm in a hurry, i'll leave earlier.
short, kid infested streets as well as parking lots need a lower speed and increased vigilance.
you hit them all.
sam

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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well written, with just the right amount of humor!
the comments were so true.
and, if i'm in a hurry, i'll leave earlier.
short, kid infested streets as well as parking lots need a lower speed and increased vigilance.
you hit them all.
sam
Thank you, Sam. I appreciate it.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by glb View Post
You're welcome.

On long trips, speeding can make a huge difference. I don't know how "huge" 7 minutes is; I don't know what % of your trip it represents.

Some would argue that it would be easier & safer just to leave early enough to ensure you are @ work on time. I can't argue that as I often leave w/just enough time and make up time by speeding. But, I still maintain that in traffic situations, it's hard to make up any real time.

Yes, speeding is enjoyable, but that's part of the pyschological component of speeding...and I do it too. I have tried to learn, tho, not to speed so often, just for the sake of speeding. I want to play the odds and if I speed everywhere, I will eventually get tickets which I'd rather have gotten by speeding where it's really the most fun. (I hope I explained this OK.)

Likewise, I obey ALL other traffic laws, to limit my exposure.
yes, in freeway traffic situations, it will not work. However, I have noticed on certain sections of the 101 during heavy traffic certain lanes in certain sections will move faster, even if for a short time. There is one section where the 405 and 101 meet and you can gain save a lot of time. And this is pretty much an everyday occurrence.

And yes, you have to pick your speeding spots as I do not speed everywhere. I also obey traffic laws to the best of my abilities.

** save ~10 lbs gain 1 hp ** EQ: Y=(190*X) / (1984-X) where Y is (HP) and X is (lbs)

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shay2nak View Post
yes, in freeway traffic situations, it will not work. However, I have noticed on certain sections of the 101 during heavy traffic certain lanes in certain sections will move faster, even if for a short time. There is one section where the 405 and 101 meet and you can gain save a lot of time. And this is pretty much an everyday occurrence.

And yes, you have to pick your speeding spots as I do not speed everywhere. I also obey traffic laws to the best of my abilities.
Aren't you surprised by how many people don't see patterns at all?

Or, look for an alternate route? They will sit in the same traffic jam every day.

When I commuted to Brklyn from NJ, I had a few alternates to the Holland Tunnel, one of which req'd driving along (not across) RR tracks for a few feet (in a beater 510 Datsun).

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 05:56 PM
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amusing, today i realised that the "lotus slowdown" is wearing off.
while i was using the lotus, i watched my speed very carefully, (except the occasional zoom) and that carried over into my other cars.
the lotus has been put away for about a month.
today i was booming along at about 20 over and it seemed so reasonable.

this introspection IS ALL YOUR FAULT, GLB!!
sam

'06 ELISE now with hidden talent and dual cigarette lighter sockets!
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 06:26 PM
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On a recent 200 mile road trip in the Lotus this weekend, I shaved a full half hour off the estimated GPS time! (thank you V1) I also discovered that a Lexus ES 450H will go 130 MPH and could stay right on my tail even any time I downshifted and floored it! (Yet I still got better gas mileage than the hybrid)
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 06:50 PM
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Very well put thanks for sharing. Oh and this could save some lives and some clams and as you put it claims. OK enough thanks again. God speed.

The word "PASSION" should aways be uppercase.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 07:53 PM
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Great tips! I'll add my dad's bit of advice when I started driving:

"If you miss your exit, don't sweat it. Don't cut people off to make that exit at the last second. There's ALWAYS another exit. The earth is round...just keep driving."

Tom
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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OK, there are a few lessons here…besides the obvious one.

1) If you must look at your watch, phone, etc, hold it up so it is your normal view of the road.

2) Stay far enough back so you can see the contact patch of the rear tires of the car ahead of you. (Adjust for diff vehicles.)

This will give you enough room to swing out and change lanes.

If I get clocked, it will likely be where I pass a car waiting to turn left on its right side. People just don’t notice our little cars much.

And, if we’re behind another vehicle and we are both waiting to make a left, other drivers will assume there is no other car behind the first. (Happened to me this week, but accident was avoided.)

-------


'I Had Nowhere To Go' - Man Loses Wife And Mother Because Another Man Couldn't Wait


by Leslie Salzillo

Most of us have done it. Some of us are still doing it. Sure, we can say we don't 'text' while driving, but if we answer our phones or try to call someone on the phone, while driving, isn't that pretty much the same thing? We're taking our eyes off the road.
Sadly, on March 15, in Santa Rosa, California, one man took his eyes off the road to look down at his cell phone. Seconds later he plowed his pick-up truck into the back of a Toyota Camry, and crushed the backseat passengers to death.

“I could see him barreling right up on me, and I was terrified,” said Jay Hufford. “I had nowhere to go, and I couldn't if I wanted to, I'm stopped.”

The two people killed in the backseat of Jay Hufford's car were his mother, Sharon, and his wife, Sue. His father was in the front seat. How does one deal with something like this? They were all on their way to celebrate Sue's birthday.

The driver who hit the back of the Camry at about 60 mph, was 30-year-old Nicholas Tognozzi. He admitted he was using his cell phone, and it's reported he may have been on marijuana.


WED MAR 26, 2014 AT 03:07 AM PDT

More….
'I Had Nowhere To Go' - Man Loses Wife And Mother Because Another Man Couldn't Wait

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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CHAPTER TWO:

Other People: Don’t trust them, inside your car or out. Other drivers will signal when they aren’t turning and not signal when they are. Or, you think they are turning at your common intersection, but they are really turning after they go straight past you. If you assume they’re not, you will be hurt. Mentally, if not physically.

How to tell where another vehicle is headed? Watch its front wheels; they’re what turn the vehicle. When I pass people (common occurrence) I watch their front wheels to ensure they’re not going to encroach into my lane.

Don’t let people in your car affect what you know to be correct and safe, i.e. NO SHOWING OFF (1). Men use cars as dick extenders. This is dumb and lots of people can and do get hurt this way. If you want your dick to appear bigger, date a midget.

The two most common “last words’: “Watch this…” and “What the…” The most common last phrase: “Hold my beer for a second…”

(1) Note: Whatever car your dad is letting you drive is not fast. Don’t try to prove otherwise. Those pesky laws of physics.

Passing People: This is OK when done safely. But, not on the right, where people don’t check their mirrors. If you absolutely must pass on the right, keep your hand poised by the horn and watch their front wheels.

You know you shouldn’t ride in drivers’ blind spots, another reason not to pass on the right. But, if you pass someone – even on the left – don’t pull into their blind spot. Example: I’m on a 3 lane hwy. I pass someone who is in the middle lane. There is a car in the right lane up ahead. I don’t pull back into the middle lane until I am in front of the car in the right lane. He needs to see me.

Blind spots: As alluded to above, most people have no idea about properly adjusting mirrors on either side of their cars. Simple proof: as you go down a road, check to see how many times you cannot see the other driver’s face. If you can’t see him, he can’t see you.

If you are not sure of being seen, turn on your lights. Note, however, that flashing lights often mean to others that you want to let them in. Or, that there is a cop ahead.


Dealing with Police: Never argue. He’s holding all the cards plus your license and registration. Be nice, apologize but don’t admit guilt. After you’ve paid for two or so tickets and the accompanying insurance surcharge, we will revisit this topic…assuming you are still alive.


Dealing with Incidents: You, as a new, unproven driver will be wrong. It might not be said to your face, but we’ll all be thinking, “Stupid kid.” My friend teaches motorcycle riding. He tells each student: “If you’re in an accident, it’s your fault. No matter what happened, it’s your fault because you have the greater risk.” Now, I’m telling you the same thing.

No Surprises: Surprises on the road are like surprises in business, rarely good and often tragic. Do what other drivers expect; never what they don’t expect. If it’s your turn to go, go. If it’s your turn to stop, stop. Confused people make mistakes (i.e. my wife for marrying me). Mistakes in business are rarely fatal; this is not true in cars.

Always Signal: Even in NYC, where some people believe that if you signal, other drivers will try to stop you from getting where you want to go. I signal pulling out of my drive-way; it’s habit forming and it’s a good habit to cultivate.


Adjusting your Mirrors: This is best done when at a light, from the middle lane of a 3-lane highway. Or, a parking lot. Almost all cars have mirrors that, when properly adjusted, result in NO blind spots.

Continued…(Mirrors)

For example, when a car passing you on the right leaves your interior mirror, it should simultaneously appear in your side mirror. You can extrapolate this to the other mirrors and other sides of the car, can’t you? If not, don’t drive.

What this mirror stuff means is what I said earlier: If properly adjusted, your outside mirrors shouldn’t show any portion of your car.

It is not proper to have to turn your head to see what’s behind you, for a few reasons. First, in some (emergency) situations, there will be no time. Second, if your head is turned, you can’t see where you are going. Third, as you get older your head won’t turn so easily and your eyes can’t adjust quickly enough to changing focal points. Third, as you get older your head won’t turn so easily and your eyes can’t adjust quickly enough to changing focal points and you will get forgetful and begin to repeat yourself.


SUVs: Stay out of them, don’t drive them. If your friend or your friend’s parents offer to drive you in one, politely ask if they could take a safer vehicle. If they object, tell them that the smartest person you ever met (um, that would be me) told you to avoid them. SUVs: Have twice as many single-car accidents as cars; are 4 times more likely to roll over and rollovers kill 10k people/year and are among the most lethal type of accidents; can’t stop or turn or handle as well as cars; don’t necessarily protect you as well as cars (certainly not well enough to offset their other problems); cause more damage to pedestrians, other cars’ occupants, motorcyclists, etc. Did you know that in inclement weather, SUVs are involved in about 80% of the accidents? Plus, SUVs drivers help support terrorists, are selfish and most Republicans. I made up none of this.

Whenever I raise my objection to SUVs, their owners invariably say the same thing, “Well, I drive really careful.” Ignoring their grammatical shortcomings, I point out that in an emergency evasive steering maneuver, one simply must turn the wheel sharply and that’s when the SUV goes out of control. Plus, SUVs take about 2-3 car lengths longer than cars to stop from 70 mph.

AWD and 4 wheel drive only help for about the first two feet in snow. They don’t help you turn or stop better at all. In fact, because vehicles so equipped don’t remind you of how slippery the road surface is, their drivers get overly confident about the available grip. Story: My wife once borrowed my company car (4WD Tercel Wagon) in the snow. About 6 minutes after I warned her about the overconfidence 4WD engenders, she slid the car into a curb. Luckily, it was a company car, but it wasn’t my company.

Which reminds me of my definition of an All Terrain Vehicle: Any rental car.

Bottom Line:
Front wheel drive is the best combination of traction and handling.


Tires: I’ve already told you to check pressures often. Bear in mind that tires lose air pressure whenever the weather turns cold; every 10 degree drop is a bit over one pound, so make sure to check pressures in the fall and winter.

Tires have “wear bars’ in the grooves of the tread. When the wear bar touches the pavement, your tires are officially “bald” and illegal. Tires are pretty cheap on a cost per mile basis, so buy really good ones (you can ask me for help) and do not let them wear too far down. Any tire over 8 years old, no matter how it looks, should be replaced; the rubber gets hard and loses grip. Again, your tires are the only part of the car touching the road…unless your exhaust system needs work.



Driving Position: In air-bagged cars, sit as far back as is comfortable. In non-air bag cars, inflate an inner tube and slip it over yourself; you’ll probably have to move the seat way back.

Slide the steering wheel between your hands, i.e. do not cross your arms in front on it. If the airbag goes off, your arms will break.

Do not smoke a pipe. Would you want a Kaywoodie jammed down your throat when the airbag explodes (which is what they actually do)? BTW, I don’t know how to spell Kaywoodie, but it’s a funny word.

Yes, yes, keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Assuming you’re driving, otherwise you’d never get out of the car.

10-2, 9-3 position? I don’t care, just use both hands. With power steering, hand position is less important.


When Turning Left, or Right: Here’s one you probably won’t hear from anyone else. Most people pull into, say, the left turning lane with the wheels already pointed left. Not so good. What happens if someone hits you from the rear? You are pushed into oncoming traffic. This is not a positive development. Keep your front wheels straight until it’s actually time to move the car.


Remain Emotionally Neutral while in Drive: Don’t try to “punish” other drivers for their bad behavior. It won’t help, believe me. Other people have tried to “educate” the dumb driver and it clearly hasn’t change his/her behavior.

If someone is tailgating you, don’t slam on your brakes. Either move over and let the guy (it’s always a guy) pass or continue doing your safe speed and ignore him. Sometimes, I put on my flashers and tailgaters get the hint, or not. Don’t speed just because you are being tailgated. Act as normal as your teenage hormones will allow. Do not let the other guy control the situation or you.

Drive as if your photo, address and phone number are prominently displayed on your car. In other words, be polite. Act as if you were walking in a crowd instead of driving in one. (See “Defensive Driving,” below.)

If someone gets mad at you, as will surely happen given your meager skills and limited intelligence, try to look sorry or smile lamely or something. Do not retaliate; the other driver may be from CA or NYC and have a gun. Did you know that LA has handgun vending machines?

Thank people when they let you in. Let other people in. My rule of thumb is that everyone gets in ahead of me if they have their blinker on and they’re not driving an SUV so big it blots out the sky.


Parking: It’s easier than you think and I can’t teach you here. Use areas of your car as landmarks about when to turn the wheel.

Parking with a Girl/Boy: It is not proper to punch a hole in the exhaust pipe so he/she will be overcome by carbon monoxide. It’s unfair and you’ll be affected too. When I was young, the girl in the back seat threw up on the guy trying to kiss her. Sort of the ultimate defense system, like a skunk’s, but way funnier.


Controlling a Skidding Car: Learning to steer into a skid to allow the front tires to regain traction is best practiced in a large, empty parking lot in the snow. With your dad or some other adult with you. And, not in my car.


Driving a Stick Shift: It’s good to know how because you might need this skill in an emergency. Or in Europe where rental cars are manual shifts. A business associate of mine once had to pay for a 200 mile cab ride to meet me in Venice because he couldn’t drive a stick. Of course, a rental car is just the ticket for learning a stick. But, not in my car.

I have lots of hints about driving a stick, but given that you may never even see one, I won’t cover them here. But, should situations change, you can ask me.


Defensive Driving: I’m sure they cover this in school. But, I’ll remind you of a simple fact: If they’re not near you, they can’t hit you.

People are pack animals. It’s not as if they like carrying heavy things, it’s that they run in packs. Look at cars on the NJ Turnpike or GSP for example. They tend to bunch together; it’s the herd mentality which is how a jerk like Bush got elected (once).

I stay between groups of cars on the highway, going a bit faster or slower as needed. While this makes me more vulnerable to radar/laser guns, it ensures that that if I get into an accident, it’s entirely my fault and no one else’s.


“Sophmoritis”: After you’ve been driving a year or so, you will begin to think that you’re pretty good and know all you need to. Unless you’re my nephew, who crashes quarterly. Let me gently explain that you will be wrong and stupid. Driving is a lifetime of learning skills. Even a great driver such as your writer continues to learn.


Well, kids, that’s the end of what I can think of at the moment. Just bear in mind what I’ve said and that I will soon be contacting your folks. I will tell them that unless they send me lots of money, I will teach you to drive fast but not well.


Quick Quiz: What are the three sports that have “face offs”?

(Answer: Hockey, Lacrosse and Shark Wrestling.)
__________________

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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CHAPTER THREE:

Vision, Continued: I can’t believe I left out one of the most important rules. Yes, it’s so important, it’s a rule.

It is the natural human tendency to spend more time looking at what is nearest to us. This is fine when checking out “babes,” or whatever you young people call it these days. But, it is very, extremely bad when driving.

Look up the road as far as you can. This allows you to anticipate what might befall you: Car changing lanes, accidents happened or about to, emergency vehicles, lane closures, radar traps, broken vehicles not in the breakdown lane, etc.

This habit (and it surely should become one) will not inhibit your noticing what is happening closer to you. Trust me. What you want to do is lengthen your field of vision, so it encompasses what’s near and what’s far.

Try this: walk onto a long, straight street with cars parked on both sides. Stand there (not in traffic, mind you) and look up the road as far as you can. If any car right near you moves even a little, you will see it. You will see everything. You will become one with the world. No, strike that last part. That’s for my next religious treatise.

It is a known fact, known by me anyway, that most drivers scan only about 30’ to 40’ ahead. This is bad news when it takes the average car 130’ to stop from 60 mph.

My Lotus Elan once broke down on a road with no shoulder. I set up my safety triangles well before the car and turned on my flashers. (Of course, some flashers are more easily turned on than others. But, that’s another topic.) This was a 40 mph straight road. Cars almost hit my furthest triangle about every 2 minutes. These drivers were looking only at the car ahead of them and when that car moved out of the lane, those drivers were nonplussed. (No one is ever plussed, except for pregnant women and people with worms.)

This brings us to….


What You Should Carry in Your Car:

• A good, big flashlight, with fresh (not sassy) batteries.
• Latex gloves for changing a flat without getting dirty.
• A set of 3 Safety Triangles, avail at any auto parts store. Set them very far down the road ahead of you. It doesn’t help to put them so close to your car that another driver crashes into your triangles and you simultaneously. BTW, flares are no good; they don’t last very long and give other cars flat tires.
• A pack of Kents, in case you ever drive me somewhere.
• Tranquilizers, also in case you ever drive me anywhere. We’ll both be taking them; I am the world’s worst passenger. You have no idea. Really.
• One or two cans of Fix-a-Flat. Sometimes it’s safer to use this than change a tire.
• First aid kit
• Blanket, for victims of your poor driving and to keep warm when you break down in the winter.
• A spare tire actually inflated to proper specs.
• A “head light,’ which is another flashlight that straps onto your head so you can see what you’re doing when you need two hands. Can also be good for that fumbling, furtive sex you’re about to start having. This is optional (both the sex and the headlight).
• Spare fuses.
• Duct tape. Trust me.
• In old cars: Spare radiator hoses and fan belts.
• I actually carry 100’ of rope. I could use it for towing someone out of trouble, but I really decided to carry it after watching a horror movie. Don’t ask.

I’m sure I’ll think of other stuff for your trunk later. Perhaps I’ll even check my trunk.

Learn How to Change a Flat: Even if you have AAA, AA, whatever, you need to know this. Your car manual, which I’m sure you read, will tell you what to do. Here’s what it won’t tell you. If you’ve loosened the lug nuts and the wheel is stuck to the axle, lower the car and kick the tire. If that doesn’t work, put the nuts back on a tad loosely. Drive the car two feet. This will loosen the wheel. (It’s stuck because dissimilar metals tend to oxidize together. I use Anti-Seize to avoid this. You can ask me about it.)

Why do you need to know this? Sometimes you can’t wait around for help. Also, no one looks more like a pussy than a guy with a flat waiting for AAA. And, you might have to help some lovely young thing change her tire. Note: Do NOT puncture the tires of lyts to try to meet them. It’s just not fair.

Part Whatever continued:

Vision: Yes, THAT again. It’s important and why they don’t let blind people drive. Although, Ray Charles did a bit. But, probably not well.

This is another rule (i.e. vital). DO NOT outdrive your vision or lights. If it’s foggy and you can see only 30’ ahead, you must drive slowly enough to be able to stop in under 30’.

Otherwise, when you finally see something, you won’t be able to stop in time. You will hit that something. Probably hard.

Same deal with headlights. They go up the road only a finite distance. You must be able to stop in time when they illuminate something with which you’d prefer not to merge. Probably hard.

Common sense is, of course, a misnomer. It’s not common at all. Evidence abounds.

Do you know the difference between genius and stupidity? Genius has its limits.


Merging: Not the above kind, the highway kind. Don’t enter a highway too slowly. After all, you’re trying to merge with cars doing 60. It’s an obvious, but little known, fact that your brakes are more efficient than your engine. You can stop from 60 in about 130 feet, but you can’t accelerate from 0 – 60 in 130 feet. NOTE that this doesn’t mean you should enter the highway at 90; that causes other problems. Remember, no surprises.


Parking Brake: Use it all the time. Well, when you’re stopped anyway. I have a neat pb trick for when and if you ever drive a stick and find yourself on a steep hill (in a car).

To relieve stress on the parking pawl of your automatic transmission, especially on hills, put the parking brake on. When the car settles against it, only then put the car in Park.


Picking the Lane that Will Move the Fastest: Some methods for this are obvious, like getting behind the sports car and not the garbage truck. But, there are other techniques. Don’t get behind old people, especially old men wearing hats. Especially when it’s warm out. Also, don’t pick any lane on any road in Florida.

Want to know the best way to pick the best tollbooth lane? That’s easy: Just get into the lane next to the one I’m in. Actually, all toll collection areas have their own patterns and it pays to learn them if you find yourself there a lot. Usually, it’s the extreme right, but that can be dangerous and I know plenty of toll areas where it’s the extreme left.

Whatever you do, get EZ Pass – or its equivalent in whatever god-forsaken state you inhabit. But, remember to cover it in the foil bag if you are committing a crime and don’t want to be traced.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:17 PM
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This is very well-thought and very well written! Thanks for resurrecting this thread. ...All except that liberal boilerplate stuff you slipped in about the SUvs. I'd substitute a section about arrogant Prius and Subaru drivers who have so much attitude they need cars with extra bumper sticker space to tell us how much smarter and compassionate they are than the rest of us unwashed idiots.

The rest however is excellent. I drive thousands of miles per year as part of my job, and you don't get into your mid-fifties without learning a few things:

* Don't trust anyone or anything.
* At intersections always look one more time. Yes, 99.99% of the time it is unnecessary, but that .001 remaining percent can save your life.
* Situational awareness - keep a running mental 3-D image of all traffic patterns in your area.
* Always have a bail-out area in mind if you have to evade danger.
* Recognize and adapt quickly to changing conditions.
* Speeding and tailgating gain you nothing in the long run.
* Flow with traffic.
* Learn how to drive in rain, ice, and snow. It's amazing how many people have no clue that you can't operate safely at 75 mph on ice just because they drive an SUV... or a Prius that is saving the planet.

2005 BRP Elise Sport, Hardtop, Stage 2 Exhaust, CF side scoops, CF splitter, Composite Worx seats, gunmetal stripes
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GR82DRV View Post
This is very well-thought and very well written! Thanks for resurrecting this thread. ...All except that liberal boilerplate stuff you slipped in about the SUvs. I'd substitute a section about arrogant Prius and Subaru drivers who have so much attitude they need cars with extra bumper sticker space to tell us how much smarter and compassionate they are than the rest of us unwashed idiots.

The rest however is excellent. I drive thousands of miles per year as part of my job, and you don't get into your mid-fifties without learning a few things:

* Don't trust anyone or anything.
* At intersections always look one more time. Yes, 99.99% of the time it is unnecessary, but that .001 remaining percent can save your life.
* Situational awareness - keep a running mental 3-D image of all traffic patterns in your area.
* Always have a bail-out area in mind if you have to evade danger.
* Recognize and adapt quickly to changing conditions.
* Speeding and tailgating gain you nothing in the long run.
* Flow with traffic.
* Learn how to drive in rain, ice, and snow. It's amazing how many people have no clue that you can't operate safely at 75 mph on ice just because they drive an SUV... or a Prius that is saving the planet.
Hey, thanks. Glad you liked it. And, your suggestions are spot on.

Distaste for lg SUVs is cross-political. While they are now mandated to have stability control, for the typical driver they are not good.

The attitude of Prius drivers keeps arising. But, I know quite a few of them and have never (really, never) seen anything such as is typically described. At most, they like their cars....or they see all cars as appliances. (The plug-in have probably made that worse....)

Yes, about ice & snow...even here. The worst is men (never women, IIRC) who decide that snow on the road is their chance to "shine". They drive way too fast and seemingly know zip about physics.
----

YOU will like this story; combines plot lines:

A few years ago, the red intersection light turned green. But, it is my habit to make sure no one is running the red. And, it was snowing. To my left, a woman in a Subarus is honking her horn to warn that she somehow cannot stop her car!

Well, at least she honked....

Two weeks ago, my light turns green. I look to my left to see a car running the red. Of course, it was a Subaru.

-----

Tailgating is so dumb. Did I not stress that enough?



Again, thanks for your help.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 06:10 PM
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I'll grant you that for many drivers the SUV gives them a false sense of invincibility and a disconnected sense from the road. Especially in slippery conditions, the SUV carries that much more mass to be redirected. My pet peeve are people with immaculate shiny black Escalades who drive 20 mph over every speed limit even when the roads are covered with ice.

OTOH, I am probably one of those people who actually utilizes my rusty old Durango SUV as it was intended. I live in rural northern Wisconsin with deep winter snowfalls. I hunt and hike on undeveloped muddy back roads. I own horses and a trailer to haul them, and I also need to carry heavy supplies from time to time. I've pulled many a car out of the ditch with that vehicle!

Good work on this thread GLB. Too bad new drivers are unlikely ever to seek such advice! We get too soon old and too late smart.

2005 BRP Elise Sport, Hardtop, Stage 2 Exhaust, CF side scoops, CF splitter, Composite Worx seats, gunmetal stripes
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 08:08 PM
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Loved this! Passed it on already to my friend's teenage daughter. If it even marginally sinks in and helps her driving skills then you will have made town I live in a safer place (she's actually scared of her own driving skills).

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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GR82DRV View Post
I'll grant you that for many drivers the SUV gives them a false sense of invincibility and a disconnected sense from the road. Especially in slippery conditions, the SUV carries that much more mass to be redirected. My pet peeve are people with immaculate shiny black Escalades who drive 20 mph over every speed limit even when the roads are covered with ice.

OTOH, I am probably one of those people who actually utilizes my rusty old Durango SUV as it was intended. I live in rural northern Wisconsin with deep winter snowfalls. I hunt and hike on undeveloped muddy back roads. I own horses and a trailer to haul them, and I also need to carry heavy supplies from time to time. I've pulled many a car out of the ditch with that vehicle!

Good work on this thread GLB. Too bad new drivers are unlikely ever to seek such advice! We get too soon old and too late smart.
Sure, there are many people who need SUVs. In NJ, there are very few of those ppl.

And, we agree about how scary it is to watch ill-trained drivers speed on slippery roads.

I am glad you liked this and appreciate your additions and compliment.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 04:58 AM
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Great stuff. I notice this was started in '07.

Since then, THE most dangerous thing happened to autos. Increased power/speed (ie, the number of sub 5 second cars on the road?)? Nope. The prevalence of SUVs? Nope.

TEXTING.

Everyone has a smart phone. Everyone texts. The problem is that many, many people do it while driving. It's horrific. Think about it. Everytime you see an accident, don't you immediately assume 'someone was texting'. And it's primarily young people.

I would also add, and sorry if this offends - mothers. I live in the suburbs of the 3rd largest city in the country. In addition, I'm in sales so often driving in the middle of the day. Most of the cars out at that time are women going to and fro. Arguably the worst drivers on the planet - why? Because they are distracted. They are NEVER paying attention to the road. Not to mention, how many women I see in late model SUVs or Minivans that are HOLDING their iPhone to their ears and talking (insanely distracted). Lady, your car came with BLUETOOTH. Take 10 seconds, read the manual and pair your damn phone. Not to mention that your conversation is, like most of the texts sent, completely useless and unimportant.

I'm fortunate that my wife is a very careful driver and just doesn't do stupid sh*t like that when she's driving - especially with my precious cargo in tow.

I'll also echo Todd's sentiments about the stupidity of SUV drivers (I've owned probably 10 SUVs over the last 20 years). Michigan drivers are the ABSOLUTE worst. Snow storm? Ice? Towing a trailer with two snowmobiles? Sure thing, let's ride the ass of the car in front of us in my 479,178 pound Tahoe or F350. Smart idea!
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