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Driving Safely: Pay Attention!


Liz grew up as a "grease monkey" to her father, who taught her to fix and work with many things. She also enjoys watching auto races.

Don't Let This Happen to You!


Driving Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

We've all seen the horrible images on the news of multi-car pile-ups resulting in death on the highways. Unfortunately, whether or not any one of us is involved in an accident, is not a matter of "if" but "when."

Getting into the car and driving off to any destination, be it a vacation or to the grocery store, is about the most dangerous thing we can do. The statistics are shocking. If you are taking an airplane to go on vacation, the drive to the airport is the most dangerous leg of the trip!

Whether the eventual accident is serious or a minor 'fender-bender,' it will involve literally months of paperwork and negotiations with insurance companies. If it is a serious accident, or worse, if fatalities are involved, no doubt lawyers will also become involved.

It is not something anyone looks forward to, yet statistics say it is something most of us will have to deal with on some level at some point. Here, then, is a checklist of things to help edge the odds in your favor, and keep you out of that column of unhappy statistics.

No Mystery

The only driver on the road over whom you actually have control is yourself. So, it makes sense to stay in control. I doubt if anything presesented here will be brand-new information. These are all things we hear about all the time; the government and news media routinely beat us over the head with these facts. What I hope to do is present a slightly different viewpoint.

Don't Lose Your Head: USE Your Head!

Here then, are things to keep in mind. We now have laws intended to protect us from our own potential stupidity, such as chatting on the phone while driving. We all know it's a bad idea, and dangerous, but many continue to do so.

However, it is not only cell phones. There are many other dangers that come under the general heading of "distracted driving," and should be avoided at all costs to avoid that dreaded sound of crunching metal. You may be inclined to think some are silly, but I've not listed a single thing I haven't actually seen happening. In no particular order, the deadly driving sins are:

  • Turning around to discipline kids in the backseat
  • Arguing with a passenger (of any age!)
  • Reading a book
  • Reading a map
  • Looking away from the road to fiddle with music controls
  • Making cell phone calls / Texting
  • Putting on makeup
  • Shaving
  • Eating something messy that requires both hands
  • Smoking
  • Drinking (not necessarily alcohol, either)
  • Looking away from the road to engage in a conversation
  • Sightseeing ("gee--lookit that whatzitz up on that phone pole--I wonder what it is?")

There are oh, so many more, and some of these, I'm sure you're saying, "Say what??!!" because they are things more or less taken for granted and done all the time by so many, many people. Among these are the eating, smoking and drinking items. Here in California, those three activities are actually against the law, precisely because they are distractions. Eating most of the time requires both hands to hold onto that sandwich or hamburger; dipping your fries into the ketchup requires you to 'spot' the container, and just generally your attention is not on the road. Slow down, grab fast food if you must, but take a few moments to eat it before you drive off again.

Even though smoking is becoming less popular, and more frowned upon, there are still a great many smokers, and many of them smoke while driving. Why is this a problem? Well, getting the smoke out of the package, finding the light, lighting it, all take attention off the road. Then, at the other end, there are accidents that can happen with the smoking material itself, causing real mayhem.

For example, there was the guy who managed to knock the burning ember off the end, and it landed on his fake-fur coat collar, setting it on fire. (It is true--I personally knew this person.) You want distracted driving? Try keeping your focus on the road with your coat on fire, trying to slap out the flames! It could just as well have landed on the seat between his legs, or down his shirt.

The Illusion of Safety

Ever since the law went into effect in most states requiring the use of hands-free devices for cell phones, that law provides only the illusion of safety. Carrying on a phone conversation is still distracted driving, because only half (possibly less) of your attention is on your driving. If the conversation is anything more than a quick confirmation of "running late--be there ASAP--goodbye," there is the potential for major distraction.

The teen talking to her boyfriend..and maybe the chat gets a bit 'steamy.' .. Oh, boy..there goes her concentration (or his!). Or the adult who's arguing with a spouse is not paying enough attention to his driving. Hands-free notwithstanding; neither is a safe situation.

Not so long ago, there was no such thing as cell phones. There is really nothing so vitally important that it cannot wait until you arrive at your destination. The trouble is, with the proliferation of cell phones, the old standby pay phone has just about disappeared along with the dinosaurs. Still and all, if a call is truly all that important, pull over and stop to make that call! A friend of ours wrote and recorded a very catchy song about this very issue. It's the first tune on the play list on the page.

Modern cars also come equipped with convenient beverage holders, giving us the added illustion of safety in trying to drink our coffee or soda while driving. Drinking tips your head back, taking your eyes off the road, as does looking down to replace the container in the holder.

True, only for a second or two, but that's all the time it takes for someone to cut you off, and all the time it takes to get into trouble. If your glance was away, then WHAM! you've hit them!

Guess what? According to the insurance industry, you'd be considered at fault.

You Don't Want This To Happen

This can happen if someone cuts in front of you and your eyes were not on the road!

This can happen if someone cuts in front of you and your eyes were not on the road!

Control Means Awareness

To increase your chances of being safe on the roads, not only must you remain in physical control of your own vehicle, and mentally in control of your own actions, but you must play mind games of a sort with the other drivers on the road.

And I don't mean stop-light psych-out games, challenging them to beat you off the line, either. I mean games of ESP--trying to be aware of all the drivers around you, anticipate what they are about to do next, and be ready to act or react accordingly.

Here are clues to watch for--if you are aware, they will "tell" you or "telegraph" their next move to you. After the clue, in italics, is your best action.

  • Weaving--maybe they're drunk or stoned; maybe they're about to change lanes. Slow down, or pass, but get away from that driver
  • Driving very much too slow for the speed limit on a normal street, and gawking all over, but no turn signal. Watch for them to turn into a driveway, and prepare yourself to stop.
  • The car in front of you is tailgating the car in front of them. Back off! This is a chain-reaction accident waiting to happen. Get around them both if you can; if not, slow down and give them room to get into trouble all by themselves.
  • Tailgating YOU. If it is a multi-lane road, just move over and let them by. It's not worth the paperwork hassle for an angry, impatient driver to run into you, and not worth it to be first in line. If you cannot move over, check your own speed. If you're under the limit, speed up, if weather permits. If not, grin and bear it, and let them pass at the first chance you have.
  • Road Rage directed at you. If you goofed, admit it; give a palms-up shrug and a 'sorry.' If you didn't do anyting wrong, then play deaf, dumb and blind. Don't give them the satisfaction of getting a reaction. However, if you feel threatened, in any way, or if they start to follow you, do not drive home!! Drive to the nearest busy, well-lit place you can or right into the police station parking lot, if you are in familiar territory and know where it is.
  • Drivers who change lanes without first looking to see if its clear. These are some of the most dangerous moves made on the roads! All you can do is keep your safe following distance, and do not drive in anyone's blind spot.

Avoiding Those Blind Spots

All vehicles have a blind spot, in which other traffic is not visible. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. Big rigs especially have huge blind spots, and you NEED to be able to see the driver in HIS side-view mirror in order to avoid his blind spot areas.

In driver's ed, we were taught to "always turn your body and check your blind spots." It amazes me that no one ever said anything about not driving in another driver's blind spot!

It's pretty easy to figure out--for most passenger cars and trucks, the blind spot occupies an area between the rear corner of the car, coming up the side to just behind the driver's and passenger-side doors.

Don't drive next to someone's rear doors, (or equivalent area if they're driving a 2-door car), and you'll be visible to them.

Check their mirrors, as well--if you cannot see their face in their side-view mirror, then they cannot see you, either!

Green Light!

Traffic lights are there for obvious reasons. I do not need to explain their function here. However, there are too many people for whom the green light is an excuse to play drag-racing games, trying to beat all the other cars off the line.

This is a very dangerous game for many reasons, not the least of which is that you can be ticketed for doing this. It is also all too easy to lose control of your car while doing such a 'jack-rabbit' start, especially for inexperienced drivers.

There is another reason this is dangerous: you may end up in an accident with cross-traffic if one of those people decided to rush the yellow light, and actually ended up running through the red. Bang! It happens all too often. A driving instructor I had years back gave this advice to avoid that scenario:

Wait 4 seconds and check the cross traffic after the light turns green for you. How do you judge 4 seconds? Well, you can count, "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two,..." etc. as I described for calculating follow distance.

But, to make it a bit more fun, do as this instructor suggested, and say to yourself, "Wait for Uncle Frank," before you step on the gas, checking the cross traffic as you utter the phrase.

You can substitute pretty much any one-syllable name or "aunt" for "uncle," as you prefer; just remember to use this tip. It specifically reminds you to watch for others who may be flouting the law.

Some Laws You Cannot Disobey

While there are, unfortunately, many, many drivers on our roads disobeying the laws of the road, speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, tossing off rude gestures (yes, that's been made illegal in some states on the grounds that it contributes to or incites road rage), eventually, those poor choices will come back to bite them square on the backside.

There are some laws,however, that no matter how hard you try, you cannot break or bend. No matter how great a driver you are or think you are, you cannot disobey the laws of physics. That is where the show-off teenage drivers get into trouble, as well as assorted others fleeing in police chases or just generally driving like idiots because they think they're invincible.

Yes, There's Math Involved

I'm no mathematician, but there are mathematical formulae to determine exactly how long it will take to stop a vehicle of a given weight traveling at a certain speed.

The formula changes depending upon weather and road conditions as well.There are also speed and angle calculations that determine whether or not a driver's poor judgement will cause a rollover or other type of accident.

These are hard, immutable laws, and even the best, most experienced race drivers or Hollywood stunt drivers are not exempt.

The laws of physics apply across the board to all, so pay attention to a safe following distance of 2 to 3 seconds behind the car in front of you, and never tailgate.

Increase the following distance if the weather or visibility is poor.

Calculating Following Distance On the Fly:

To check your following distance of 2 or 3 seconds behind the car ahead, look down the road past that car, and choose a point such as a building or shadow falling across the road. As soon as you see the leading car cross that point, count "one-thousand one; one-thousand two; one-thousand three." (Saying this out loud, in this format, takes just about one second for each number--that's your calculation.)

You sould not reach the same point yourself before you finish counting the 2nd second. Two seconds is fine for residential streets and signalized boulevards--move it up to the 3-second point for the freeway or for limited-access streets and minor highways with speed limits of 45 miles per hour or more.

Exercise Caution, But Don't Be a Dweeb

There is a fine line between being a safe and cautious driver, and an overly-cautious fuddy-duddy who holds up traffic and causes accidents behind them. It is one thing to obey the speed limit--it is quite another to travel 20 miles below it.

If freeway driving makes you nervous, take an alternate route, or have someone else drive, but don't slowpoke along on the interstate. It is just plain dangerous. Driving too slowly is just as dangerous as going too fast, and you can also get a ticket for that.

Keep up with the main flow of traffic. Frankly, anyone afraid to do so, should just park it, and have others drive them around.

Plan Your Route Before You Get in The Car

It is one thing to go someplace you've never been before; it is another thing entirely to fail to check your route before leaving home. Driving with a map on the steering wheel, or on the seat beside you, is a recipe for disaster.

These days, with GPS (Global Positioning System) devices built into many cars, and even portable ones, there is really no excuse for dawdling along, craning your neck to spot road signs. The GPS talks to you, calling out your next turns, so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Here is where you can legitimately use that cell phone while driving! Most cell phones today have GPS features built in. Plot your route, park the phone in a holder, and let the GPS in the phone call out the directions.

Let Your GPS Utility Talk to You

Let your GPS worry about looking for the turns so you don't have to stall traffic by looking for them yourself

Let your GPS worry about looking for the turns so you don't have to stall traffic by looking for them yourself

Look as Far Down The Road as You Can See

And while we're speaking of keeping your eyes on the road, I'd like to address looking ahead further than the end of your own hood. Too many people drive without really seeing what's down the road. When and if there is an accident in front of them, or a road work crew, they are caught by surprise. Don't be one of those folks!

Once, I got caught by a trick question on the CA driver's license exam. It won't happen again; I now know the response they want, but in my opinion, it's the wrong answer.

The question dealt with how far ahead you should look. It was multiple-choice. I forget all the choices, but I got it wrong, because I chose the largest number. The answer they wanted was "15 seconds." I don't know about any of you, but I don't know how far ahead 15 seconds is going to be until I get there. I chalked that up as a trick question--I won't miss it ever again, but I don't follow it, either.

My strategy is instead to look down the road as far as I can see ahead, nevermind how many seconds that is. That is how my father taught me to drive. This way, I know if there is a red light 2 blocks down; a big rig looking like it's about to change lanes in the next block, and I see the police car hiding in the gas station.

Also, shift your focus; keep your eyes moving all the time. Look far down the road, but also check right in front of you often, and watch what's happening off to the sides, as well. Is a kid about to chase a ball into the street? Is someone roaring out of a side street, and not planning to stop at the arterial sign? Pay Attention to it all.

Always Check Down The Road as Far as You Can See

Look as far ahead as you can see

Look as far ahead as you can see

Keep Up To Date

In conclusion, keep yourself informed and up-to-date with any changes in local or state laws applying to use of the roads. Make sure your insurance policy is in line with your current vehicle and desired coverages. After the fact is no time to discover you should have had more coverage.

Keep yourself, personally, up-to-date, as well, making sure any corrective eyewear is serving you well. If you find yourseslf squinting, and having trouble seeing, even at night, it may be time for an eye exam. You might need new glasses--and who knows--in addition to helping your driving, they might prevent a trip and fall accident at home as well.

As we age, our bodies change, and it seems the older we get, the faster these changes happen. Aches and pains can affect our concentration, so if you don't feel well, avoid driving that day. Beware of pain medications, as well, for many may cause you to feel sleepy, and behind the wheel is no place to succumb to an impromptu nap.

Consider taking a mature driver course and learn how to compensate for such problems of aging as slowed reaction times and depth-perception problems.

Beware of Young Drivers

The young 18-25 year old male driver used to be statistically the most likely to be involved in, and probably cause an accident. In more recent years, however, females have also been involved more often, though the ages have changed to between 16 and 19 for both genders.

I'm not sure any preventative tactic will work short of a whack upside the head with a 2 x 4! To help with assisting them to stay safe, consult the link below.

My final bit of advice, if you find yourself sharing the same stretch of road with a young driver is this: give them plenty of room to get into trouble all by themselves!

Teen Drivers Need to Learn Extra Tips

Stay Safe Out There, My Friends!

Being aware is being safe, and I wish you all many thousands of ultra-safe miles.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Liz Elias


Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on May 03, 2018:

Thanks, Glen!

So happy to have provided useful information. Actually, I never studied physics myself; I understand only one of its laws, and that is from the perspective of pocket billiards and photography:

"The angle of incidence is the angle of reflection."

You have to know how to work the angles in playing pool, and you'd better know how to avoid ugly flash bounce when taking pictures! ;-)

It has always amazed me that drivers' ed courses don't spend more time emphasizing blind spots! It is such an easy thing to illustrate.

Many thanks for your kind comment.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on May 02, 2018:

What a great article Liz! You did a wonderful job at explaining what every driver should have learned in driver's ed, but most didn't.

I have to give you credit especially for the way you mentioned the laws a physics.I always try to explain this to people too, and they just don't get it. I guess because only college educated drivers can understand this – those who took physics. It's too bad they don't make this mandatory education for getting a drivers license. I'm sure that would help avoid a lot of accidents.

Your explanation of blind spots is also well written. When I watch how friends of mine drive, I notice that many of them just look in the mirror without turning their body before changing lanes. It scars me when I'm a passenger with those people.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 17, 2015:

You've very welcome. I did find it useful and worthwhile.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on April 17, 2015:

Hello, Kristen Howe,

Thanks very much for the vote! I'm glad you found this article worthwhile.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 17, 2015:

Excellent hub, Lizzy. Very useful with driving safety tips for everyone. Voted up!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on January 02, 2014:

Hello, AvineshP,

I"m glad you found this article useful. Thank you very much for your kind comment.

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on January 02, 2014:

This is a nicely written hub and I found this hub to be useful.

Keep posting such hubs in the future.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on May 10, 2013:

Hello, Hezekiah --

Thanks very much for stopping by and adding your perspective. You are so right--people driving while looking at cell phone screens are just beyond stupid.

It's good that some cars have more 'sense' than the drivers, but it's sad that it has had to come to that!

Hezekiah from Japan on May 10, 2013:

Interesting, here in Japan it's worse than you think. Not so many reckless drivers however, many cases of people going into your rear end. This is due to texting. I always see people with their heads down texting while the car is moving. Many newer Japanese cars have the Eye-Stop system which automatically breaks for you if you are about to hit something however this won't work at higher speeds.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on May 09, 2013:

Hi, Bedbugabscond,

Wow--it sounds like your friend got very lucky in spite of being cocky. Cockiness is another very dangerous trait to take behind the wheel, as he found out. Knowing the roads is one thing; understanding the physics of the roads, i.e. some are poorly constructed and banked the wrong way, is also critical. You cannot disobey the laws of physics, no matter how good a driver you think you are.

Thanks very much for stopping by and sharing that story. I'm glad your friend is okay.

Melody Collins from United States on May 09, 2013:

My friend just got in an accident. From the way the car looked I do not know how he walked away. For him, the accident was because he was overconfident that he knew the roads. This lead to taking a curve too fast and whammo, he rolled it.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on April 22, 2013:

Hello, truckdriversafety,

Thank you so very much for your comment. I'm pleased you found the article useful.

Clara Voz from Osaka, Japan on April 21, 2013:

You have mentioned some really good points and tips related to safe driving. Thank you very much for posting this article.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 30, 2013:

hello, bisnar6665,

Sorry for the delay in replying to your well-put comment; it somehow ended up in the spam folder! :(

You are right--you have to be aware of the other drivers, and have escape strategies planned, or your life can indeed be turned upside-down in a matter of seconds. Thank you very much for your comment; I'm glad you found the article useful.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 30, 2013:

Hello there, stuff4kids;

Thank you very much for such high praise. I'm delighted you liked the article and found it valuable.

I know what you mean about worrying over your son--the other idiots on the road do pose a threat to motorcyclists, and they must be doubly alert to compensate.

I never tried to get around by bicycle, as it was simply not feasible where I lived, or where I live now. Our stores are far enough away that we do not shop daily, but for the week or month--you can't carry all that on a bike, or in your arms in order to use public transit. Our transit system here is not that good, either. For me, biking is purely for recreation and exercise--and as soon as I get my knee repaired, I'll be able to get back to it.

Thanks very much for stopping by and contributing.

Amanda Littlejohn on March 29, 2013:

Yes, this is a great and very important article on road safety. I mostly walk or use my bicycle ( I tend not to travel very far or I go by public transport) and I know just how dangerous the roads can be.

My eldest has a motorbike and I am always very anxious when he is out on that. As he says, he'll drive safely but it's the other mad people on the road that you have to look out for.

Thanks for this excellent warning, advice and wake-up call. I hope it makes a real difference. Well deserved HoTD!

Bless you :)

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 27, 2013:

Hello, Hezekiah,

Yes, that is so very dangerous, not watching where you are going. I even see people walking down the sidewalk doing this, and bumping into others. How much more dangerous at speeds in a car! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.. I'm glad you liked the article.

Hezekiah from Japan on March 26, 2013:

Good points, in Asia I often people (mainly young girls in their K-cars 660cc) driving with their heads down looking at their mobile phones. So dangerous.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 26, 2013:

Hello, livewirez,

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. You are so right that inattention while driving is a major problem.

Romel Tarroza from Philippines on March 26, 2013:

Most cases why accident happens on road is because of negligence on the part of the driver. Thanks for this great information.

John from Irvine, California on March 26, 2013:

I drive so much that it become really easy to forget how dangerous is to be on the road! I've worked at some attorneys offices in the past, personal injury, and it never ceased to amaze me how one moment you can be driving along minding your own business, and the next your life has been turned completely upside down.

Good read. The title got me!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 20, 2013:

Hello, ketage,

Thanks for your comment. It does sound very scary to be driving in a place where the drivers think they are in a demolition derby.

We do get readers from around the world here, including Malaysia, so I'm sure someone from there will see the article.

Your input is appreciated.

ketage from Croatia on March 20, 2013:

Post this on a Malaysian website somewhere, Scariest drivers I seen anywhere. A little like Demolition derby when you drive there.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 15, 2013:

Hello, Mattie Mae,

I agree, and let me assure you, such people are not limited to Atlanta; we have plenty of them here in CA as well. In many cases, I'm not so sure that they "don't see" the construction signs, but that this behavior falls more under bad manners, and the "me first" attitude....they feel they just HAVE to get past everyone, and squeeze in at the last moment.

Bad manners or inattention, it is no less dangerous, and I agree with you that is not a good thing to do. Thank you very much for your well-thought-out comment, and sharing this point.

Mattie Mae on March 15, 2013:

Now if everyone would just read this Hub....maybe there would be less accidents! One thing I notice people doing, which goes along with what you said about drivers needing to look beyond their car's hood, is not paying attention to road construction signs. I grew up in Atlanta, learned to drive on the interstate in crazy traffic there. There was always some sort of road construction going on, with those huge flashing signs warning drivers the lane would end in 5 miles, 1 mile, 500 feet, etc. Without fail, every time, some driver would stay in the lane that was ending until the last second, not paying attention to the signs, then try to get over on top of someone just as their lane was ending.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 14, 2013:

Hello, khmohsin,

I'm delighted you found the article useful and relevant. Thanks very much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.

khmohsin on March 14, 2013:

Very helpful and useful hub, you shared the great suggestions and precautions in such a nice way. Thanks for sharing this unique and secure hub. GOD Bless U.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 13, 2013:

Hello, ryanjhoe,

You make an excellent point: everything that applies to driving a car goes double for motorcyclists, as they are even more vulnerable without any kind of protective enclosure around them.

Thanks very much for your comment.

ryanjhoe from Somewhere over the rainbow on March 13, 2013:

This is interesting, I used to ride motorbike until now and I always have to use full-face helmet to protect my head and jacket. Preventing accident especially when riding vehicles is a must.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 13, 2013:

@ moronkee--Thank you very much for such a ringing endorsement of my article. I humbly have to agree with you--there are many things glossed over in driving schools. Your comment is much appreciated.

@ KatNance--Thank you for sharing the article with a youngster of almost-driving age. I do hope it has helped create at least one more safe and aware driver on the roads. Your comment about waiting a second when the light changes reminds me of a tip I learned a few years back; I must edit the article to include that advice. Thanks much for stopping by, sharing and commenting.

@ jovm7--Thank you for stopping by; I’m glad you found the article useful.

@ newusedcarssaram--You are so right, and it pays to be careful…as the insurance industry slogan says, “the life you save may be your own.”

Moronke Oluwatoyin on March 13, 2013:

A lot of lives have been lost due to dangerous and careless driving.

If drivers are more patient and careful,lives will be saved.

Your article should be published to all driving schools for potential drivers to read.

Thanks for the warning.

KatNance on March 13, 2013:

Awsome hub..enjoyed reading it..i have shown it to my oldest and her eyes got big and realized how important driving is... anything can distract your driving..when the light turns green do you gas it ? or do u take a sec and look through the intersection before going???

Joy from United States on March 13, 2013:

excellent tips and everyone should know...

newusedcarssacram from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A on March 13, 2013:

If we are not careful while driving, it can be really fatal for us and our loved ones riding with us. Thanks for the heads up.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 03, 2013:

Hello, dmvjane,

Thank you very much. I'm happy you found this to be a useful article. Your comment is appreciated.

Jane Katigbak from Philippines on March 03, 2013:

Your hub is very informative. There's no way to measure how many lives you could be saving by creating this hub. Thank you!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on February 27, 2013:

Hello, Entrance-mats,

Thank you very much; I'm pleased you found the article useful. I appreciate your comment.

Entrance-mats from Boise, Idaho on February 27, 2013:

Good tips. Practical, yet also a few that I'd never considered. Thanks for sharing with us.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on February 24, 2013:

Hello, nt-joy,

Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting on my hub about driving safely. I'm glad you liked the article.

I see by your profile that you are brand new here, so welcome! Hub Pages is a great site for writing online articles--it isn't a blogging site, but more of an online magazine.

I do hope you will find time to fill out your profile and let your fellow Hubbers know something about who you are and what brought you here. I look forward to seeing articles from you as well.

nt-joy on February 24, 2013:

Thanks for the share. Great stuff, just nice!

I love your blog .This is a cool site and I wanted to post a little note to tell you, good job! Best wishes!!!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 23, 2012:

Hello there, writerscentro,

I am so pleased you found this article enjoyable. Defensive driving is the only kind we should practice. Thanks very much for the vote!

Aditya Soni from India on November 23, 2012:

Defensive driving is very important with so many other cars out there on the road. An inspiring hub ...........God bless and Voted upp!!!!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 14, 2012:

Hello, Anjo Bacarisas II

Thank you very much for the compliment. I'm pleased you enjoyed the article.

Anjo Bacarisas II from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on November 13, 2012:

Nice hub you got here. Thanks for the driving tips. It gives me new ideas for my next article. Kudos!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on March 30, 2012:

Thank you, "HowToCheckEyeSight",

True, your eyes allow you to drive and to do any task requiring vision, so if you need corrective lenses, do not be to vain or proud to wear them while driving.

HowToCheckEyeSight on March 30, 2012:

Hello ms DzyMsLizzy

I have a suggestion for you and everyone

vision when driving a car is necessary to keep you alert to their surroundings, so keep your eye health, especially when driving

Safety is a primary

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 28, 2011:

Hello there, princesswithapen--

So right you are--as my dad used to say, "Cars have many parts held together with many nuts and bolts, but it all comes down to the 'nut behind the wheel.' "

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your thoughtful comment.

princesswithapen on November 27, 2011:


Modern technology, as much as it helps, often gives the illusion of safety like you've rightly pointed out. It's one thing to have 5 start safety ratings on cars but its another to have an idiot driving it while smoking and talking on the cell phone. I know people who have lost family members in accidents and it is heart wrenching to think how one silly mistake lead to several deaths. Let's truly hope this hub reaches out to many drivers who after reading it are more responsible on the road.


Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on November 15, 2011:

Hello, moiragallaga--

Thanks so much for stopping by and your compliments and comments. You are correct, in that so many people who've been driving a long time let that go to their heads, and they think they are immune from error or poor judement. You see it all the time in the "me first" attitude, as they rush past you in a 'turn-only' lane, only to force themselves into the line of traffic 4 cars ahead.

Thanks again for your input.

Moira Garcia Gallaga from Lisbon, Portugal on November 15, 2011:

Comprehensive with excellent advice, great job on this hub DzyMsLizzy. They should make a pamphlet out of this and distribute to people learning how to drive. Come to think of it, also to those who already know how to drive. Some of us have probably been driving for quite some time now and we fail to notice that we have started to pick up bad driving habits and become complacent about our focus and awareness on the road. This is a timely and relevant reminder about staying safe and being responsible on the road.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 31, 2011:

@ ivantsoft--You are correct--obey the rules; good advice as far as it goes, but you also have to keep your eyes wide open and be aware of all the others on the road who do NOT follow the rules. They are the ones that can cause you a problem if you are unaware of them.

@lorenmucia--Thank you very much for your kind words. I'm pleased you found the article useful.

@ thumbi7--Hello, and thank you so much I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. Your comment is appreciated.

JR Krishna from India on October 31, 2011:

Very good hub. From title till the end it is very engaging. Thank you.

lorenmurcia on October 31, 2011:

Counselling at its best, thank you Ms. Lizzy...

ivantsoft from US on October 31, 2011:

just obey the rule and odd that you get into a car crash will decrease!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 30, 2011:

Hello, clintonb--

Thank you very much. You are so right--people are driving around as if they live in their own private world, all alone, with no care for anyone else sharing the roads.

Thanks for the vote!

clintonb from Adelaide, Australia on October 30, 2011:

This is such an important hub. The accidents these days are crossing all limits. No one is bothered about safety. Voted up.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on October 29, 2011:

always a pleasure NEIGHBOR!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 29, 2011:

@ family2010: Thank you very much for stopping by and your input. Drinking and driving is indeed the single biggest no-no there is. Thanks for the follow.

@iain-mars: Thank you very much for the compliment and your insight. You are so correct--getting angry and taking the anger behind the wheel is a dangerous combination.

@davenmidtown: Wow...thanks so much for that information. I did not even know that. Even though I've now been here for 2 years, there are still things I'm learning about HP, and those lists are not things I've particularly noticed, as I've been too involved in studying things like tags, keywords, topics, and the like.

I'm glad you liked the article. Thank you so much for your compliment as well.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on October 29, 2011:

Hey DzyMsLizzy: You made the VERY top spot on the BEST hubs category today with this hub, AND the number 2 SPOT on the HOT hubs list... For those of us who look at this list daily... I can say with certainly that your hub as dethroned some long standing hubs in its rise to the very top spot. GREAT JOB! A very well written and great reading hub for everyone! ds

iain-mars from United Kingdom on October 29, 2011:

excellent hub. lots of helpful and informative information and well laid out. keeping calm is most certainly an important part of driving as so many accidents are caused by people getting angry at others. thanks

family2010 on October 29, 2011:

Another great hub that I would like to follow, I will add you to my list. Yes never drink and drive. Also stay away from texting while driving.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 28, 2011:


Yes, indeed! Worse, even, are those fools I see all too often with the dog IN THEIR LAPS as they are driving down the road! Fido does not have a driver's license, and is not helping navigate!

Put the dog in the back seat, for sure, preferably strapped into a pet harness for the pet's own safety as well as yours.

Thank you very much for stopping by and adding that important piece of information.

ThePelton from Martinsburg, WV USA on October 28, 2011:

Another thing that can be a distraction is allowing a dog or other pet to sit next to the driver. A couple years ago the author Stephen King was walking by a road and was injured by a driver that was distracted by a dog wanting attention. Put Fido in the back seat.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 28, 2011:

Thanks, MyFavoriteBedding! I'm sure all will be well.

MyFavoriteBedding from United States on October 28, 2011:

I understand that your article wasn't intended to scare people, but to make them more aware of their surroundings. I am just a little more sensitive to everything with my son starting to drive! Your hub is excellent, and very much reality. While he drove with me everyday while he had his permit, I was always pointing out to him that some drivers really don't have clue. I will be sure to have him read this article. He got his license yesterday, and I have to say, it was so weird when he backed out of the driveway for the first time!!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 26, 2011:

Thank you very much, magodis! Much appreciated.

magodis from Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 26, 2011:

This is very useful set of facts for all users of vehicles. Great!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 25, 2011:

@ MyFavoriteBedding--Thank you for your comment. I understand what you mean, but my article was not intended to scare people--only to make them aware of their surroundings. Too many people go around both on the road and off with tunnel vision, oblivious to anything happening around them.

If you can point this out to your son, have him read the article, and learn to watch out for 'the other guy,' and try to anticipate their next moves, he will keep himself much safer, and give your nerves a break as well.


Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 25, 2011:

@ KoraleeP-- ;-)

@ nasake--Thank you very much--I'm pleased you found the article useful. I appreciate your comment!

nasake on October 25, 2011:

I'm glad you have written this hub. A lot of teenagers could do with reading this! Also, thanks for pointing out the stuff about the hands-free kit! It's just as silly really. Like you said, a few years ago it would have to wait, because there were no phones.

Koralee Phillips from Vancouver British Columbia Canada on October 25, 2011:

Good one :) "Hey buddy--you're going the wrong way--the cemetary is behind you!" This is hilarious.

MyFavoriteBedding from United States on October 25, 2011:

My 16 year old son is getting his license this week, and I have to say I am very nervous. He drove almost every day for the last 4 months, and I feel his driving is good, but I am more worried about the other drivers. This article was great, but just made me a little more nervous because the reality is, driving can be soooo dangerous!!!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 24, 2011:

@ wwolfs--Thank you so very much--I'm pleased you found the content useful--your comment is much appreciated.

@ greatstuff--Thank you very much for the kudos. I agree that texting is as bad or worse than just talking. I suppose, in my mind, I lumped the two in together, so perhaps I should fix that, and separate them in my list. Thanks. Glad you liked the memories. ;-)

@ Hezekiah--Thank you very much. I'm glad you found useful information within. Bowing inside the car, eh? Hmmm...must be really flexible people. LOL. If you would like to take on a translation, I only ask that you backlink to this original and give credit.

@KoraleeP Thank you very much. That is a right-on billboard. Hahaha ... I know one time, I saw someone doing something beyond dumb, and yelled out the window, "Hey buddy--you're going the wrong way--the cemetary is behind you!" They probably did not "get" it, though, as dumb as they were acting.

Koralee Phillips from Vancouver British Columbia Canada on October 24, 2011:

awesome information, there are so many situations that cause accidents. If everyone would follow the guidelines there would be less accident. Texting while driving is definetly the number 1 killer! Great billboard saying honk if you love jesus, text while driving if you want to meet him

Hezekiah from Japan on October 23, 2011:

Nice informative hub. I ought to translate and show some people here in Japan. I realy hate the way people "BOW" in inside your cars LOL, and then suddenly pull out without hesitation.

Mazlan A from Malaysia on October 23, 2011:

This is another excellent hub. Well researched and well written. Congrats. I too agreed with Sunshine625 that texting while driving is another common habit that distract you from driving. I like your "Turning around to look at/yell at/slap at kids in the backseat" hahaha..good old memories!!!

wwolfs on October 23, 2011:

Great hub and very informative. Thanks for sharing!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 23, 2011:

@ htodd--thank you so very much!

@Kimberly Turner--I'm pleased you found the article informative. Thank you very much for the votes! Stay safe out there.

Kimberly Quevedo from New Jersey on October 23, 2011:

What a great well-written hub you wrote! I really enjoyed it and driving distracted can be one of the most dangerous things every and can come in many different forms. It is very important to be aware of other drivers as well so you can anticipate and prevent stupidities from other drivers and yourself as well! Voted up and useful!

htodd from United States on October 23, 2011:

Great post..Thanks

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 21, 2011:

Hi, Danette Watt--

Thank you so very much! Your comment is much appreciated. Stay safe out there!

Danette Watt from Illinois on October 21, 2011:

Great hub and congrats for it being chosen Hub of the Day. You are absolutely right when you say we can only control our own driving behavior and being diligent toward others' behavior is important as well.

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 20, 2011:

Thank you, shea duane! Yes, indeed, I do hope so. I appreciate your stopping by.

shea duane from new jersey on October 20, 2011:

Let's hope everyone reads this!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 20, 2011:

@ThePelton--Oh, that is a terrible tragedy. I'm so sorry to hear that. You must miss him terribly. You make a vivid, poignant and very important point about personal condition while driving.

There is not only "DUI" (Driving Under the Influence), but also a "DWI," (Driving While Impaired). Being tired is definitely an impaired condition.

This is such a heartbreaking example--thank you for sharing...I hope folks are paying attention, here, and other lives are spared!

ThePelton from Martinsburg, WV USA on October 20, 2011:

My second oldest brother, Lewis Pelton, died in a car accident on the freeway a little over twenty years ago because the guy who was driving was tired, but thought he could still drive. Don't drive when exhausted if you can help it!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 20, 2011:

@SJmorningsun25--Thank you so very much! You are so right. Sadly, there are too many who feel that rules don't apply to them. In a sense, I'm "preaching to the choir," here. :-|

@homesteadpatch--Thank you for stopping by and for the kudos! Defensive driving is, indeed your best bet. My dad used to put it another way--he'd say, "You're not just driving your car, but the 4 surrounding you as well." By that he meant the "mind games" to which I referred. Cheers.

@homesteadbound--Oh, my gosh, what a scary situation that was! I'm so glad no one was seriously hurt; that was very lucky. You are quite right, however--no matter how careful we are, there are sometimes going to be situations that don't leave time to react for whatever reason. Thank you very much for sharing your story, and for the compliment.

@LoneWolfMuskoka--Thank you for underscroing that point. There are ways to virtually eliminate blind spots with mirror positioning for passenger cars and trucks--in fact, another hubber has written just such an article. Unfortunately, the same is not true for big rigs. They are just too--well--too big. Thanks again for stoppng by and sharing your insight.

LoneWolfMuskoka from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada on October 20, 2011:

Thanks for pointing out the obvious (although people still don't get it) about blind spots. Especially with the big trucks. My wife is a paralegal and works with the trucking industry as a consultant. She has handled numerous cases where a car pulled into the blind spot of a tractor trailer and got hit.

Unfortunately, the truck driver is often blamed and charged. The police officers and justices don't seem to understand the concept of blind spots until someone is able to educate them.

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on October 20, 2011:

This is a really great hub and even better advice. We were going 65 when we came over a hill on an interstate and hit a stalled car in the middle lane. Two cars hit us. When the tow truck picked up our car, the wheels fell off because both axles were broken. No one was seriously injured enough to leave in an ambulance. I did have some medical complications 2 weeks later. All three of our children were in the car. and the car we hit, had an infant in a car seat in the back seat. It could have been so much worse. My husband was paying attention, we just did not have time to react.

Congratulations on your Hub on the Day. You deserve it for sure.

homesteadpatch from Michigan on October 20, 2011:

Defensive driving is very important with so many other cars out there on the road. Great tips. And congrats!

That poor El Camino...

SJmorningsun25 on October 20, 2011:

Great Hub! Definitely deserved the Hub of the Day. If everyone adhered to these rules, our streets would be so much safer!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 20, 2011:

@MsDora--Thank you so very much for your kudos, and for the votes. I'm pleased that you liked the article.

@randomcreative--Thank you so very much! I'm actually stunned (and pleased) to have gotten the award! ;-)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 20, 2011:

Just wanted to come back and say congrats on getting Hub of the Day! You deserve it!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 20, 2011:

Congratulations! and thanks for your safety counsels. Your hub deserves the recognition. Voted UP and USEFUL!

Liz Elias (author) from Oakley, CA on October 20, 2011:

@FloraBreenRobison--I know--isn't that annoying, charging down the road as if they are racing at Indy, only to save a second or two, and you find them right along with everyone else at the next red light!

@carriethomson--Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Stay safe!

@MoiraCrochets--Thank you very much! I appreciate your comment. I think I'll leave the graphic videos to the sensation-seeking news media, however. ;-)

@RASO--Thanks so much for stopping by. You are correct, drinking and driving are as much a no-no as they have ever been, as is driving under the influence of anything, including cold and flu medications.

@lavender3957--Thanks very much--I'm very pleased and flattered to be included in your lesson plan.

@Sunshine625--I agree--no texting either. I suppose I was just trying to pull the article together to get it published, and my brain lumped that in with talking on the phone. ;-) Thank you for pointing it out as a separate but related problem.

@jaqui2011--Thank you very much! I'm so sorry you were victimized by a road dummy. Dealing with the insurance,and the inconvenience of having to use a rental car is such a PITA! I hope it is all fixed soon.

@melpor--Thank you so very much! I appreciate your comment and am pleased you found the article useful. Thanks, also, for the vote!

@Elissa Joyce--Many thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment.

@RTalloni--Thank you very much! You are so correct--driving needs all your attention--we must not allow things to distract us. And, our bodies do change as we age, so it is important not to let pride get in the way, and as the Kenny Rogers song says, "...know when to fold 'em...," i.e. when to park the car for good, and not become a "DWO" (Driving While Old--but should not be).

@kimberly Crocker--Sadly, yes--too many people are trying to do too many things while driving. Driving is a single-focus task. I'm glad you came through that situation with nothing more than a scare!

@AliciaC--Thank you very much for the compliments and kudos. I'm very glad you enjoyed the article.

@rodriguezk96--Yep--keep hands and eyes OFF that blamed cell phone while driving. You got it! I don't even have a real cell phone--just one of those pay-as-you-go phones for emergencies only. It doesn't text; it doesn't go online, it just makes phone calls. Thanks so much for your input.

@Happyboomernurse--Thank you very much for your compliment and for sharing your story. I'm glad you escaped being involved in that pile up. I can only imagine the paperwork nightmare! Bad enough when just 2 cars collide!

@ Everyone--thank you all so very much for taking the time to read and comment on my article! Stay safe out there!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on October 20, 2011:

Great hub with life saving advice- sure we've heard a lot of this already but the way you've put it all together sticks in the mind and I can see why this hub earned the Hub of the Day award.

When I read the law of physics section and reminder of how road conditions change depending on weather, I smiled because I remembered an experience I had while driving in freshly falling snow. Because I was on a single lane, no passing road I was able to put and maintain a cautionary distance between the cars in front of me. Though the other cars ahead had slowed down they were driving close together and wound up in a 10 car pile-up. Fortunately there were no fatalities or injuries but many fenders were bent. I was toward the end of the pile up but successfully stopped my car without hitting anyone and fortunately, the driver behind me swerved to my right and avoided hitting me.

It really sharpened my awareness of the importance of giving yourself additional space when driving in bad weather.

rodriguezk96 from NJ on October 20, 2011:

A lot of these accidents are also results of people Texting while driving. Becareful people dont' loose your HEAD. :) good article

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 20, 2011:

This is an excellent hub, DzyMsLizzy! It's packed full of useful information and links, and the facts are described in a very interesting and effective way. Congratulations on receiving the Hub of the Day accolade - it's well deserved.

kimberly Crocker from Southern New Hampshire on October 20, 2011:

Great hub! i went for a run the other day and about three cars veered into the breakdown lane because they were not paying attention. All three of them corrected themselves before i had jump out of the way but it was still pretty scary for a few minutes! multi-tasking is such a huge part of everyones lives, but people need to understand that driving is one task that needs all your attention.

RTalloni on October 20, 2011:

Your statement, Too many people drive without really seeing..., is far too true! Even though there are loads of things going on in life to distract us, it's criminal not to pay attention. Great stuff you've shared here. Your focus on age-appropriate drivers education is important. Congrats on a well-deserved hub of the day!

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