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Should I Move Over?

We probably all have a long list of driving pet peeves from drivers who tailgate or don’t use their blinkers to drivers who aren’t paying attention when a light turns green so you have to honk to get them to go.   My biggest driving pet peeve is drivers in the left lane on the interstate who are going slower than the rest of traffic.  (There is a reason the left lane is called the fast lane!)  Of course, this requires other drivers who are going faster to pass them on the right, which can be difficult to do safely depending upon the number of lanes and the amount of traffic.  Feeling trapped, some drivers will become frustrated and angry and resort to risky driving maneuvers which can cause accidents or the drivers can develop road rage.  Exactly what comprises road rage?  Continue reading

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Government regulations are often scorned and characterized as job killers, expensive and unnecessary. To be sure, there are some odd regulations on the books that deserve some derision  (I am looking at you, T.C.A. 70-4-115, the Road Kill law). But generally, government regulations are a good thing for the public.  For example, government regulations (via the EPA and FDA)  have stopped the pollution of our nation’s water and air and have ensured we have access to safe and uncontaminated food and drugs. Right now, there are several government regulations in the transportation industry that are being rolled back or nixed that would offer substantial protection to the public.  Here are a few: Continue reading

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We went to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone for Fall Break.  While walking in downtown Jackson, we noticed flags stuck in posts at intersections.  The first time we saw them we thought they were related to some work being done on the wooden sidewalks.  But as we continued to walk, we noticed they were at all the intersections in the busy shopping area.  We then realized what they were for: pedestrian crossings.  The Jackson Hole area does not have many street lights.  Presumably, the community has made a decision to limit the amount of artificial light to offer better star-gazing and protect the natural beauty of the area.  So to increase pedestrian visibility, the town has installed these bright neon orange flags at intersections for pedestrians to use while walking in the crosswalk.  Once safely on the other side, the pedestrian simply places the flag in the available post.  (Yes, that is John in the hat and Kate waving the flag — I was taking the picture)

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In any line of work, there are always a few that embarrass the rest of the profession whether you are talking about lawyers, plumbers, car salesmen, contractors, teachers, accountants, etc.  Unfortunately, some of the bad apples tend to come out after injury accidents, so here is what you need to know. Continue reading

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As a driving community, we recognize distracted driving is dangerous and should be illegal, yet not only do we continue to do it but we also have the nerve to think we are good at it.  A recent study by Progressive Insurance Company found that a majority of drivers believe distracted driving is the number one cause of car, truck and motorcycle accidents, 1/3 of drivers are still confident in their own ability to text and drive.  Want to know who thinks they are best at it? Continue reading

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Some people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but Honolulu thinks too many people are bad at walking and texting.  The city has now passed legislation which outlaws pedestrians crossing the street while texting or otherwise using their smartphones.  As you might expect, the law is receiving mixed reviews.  Some safety experts believe the laws will make pedestrians think twice about using their phone while crossing the street.  Others believe the law is just another form of government overreach.  Finally, some critics believe the law will allow distracted drivers to blame pedestrians.  But one thing is for sure. . .   Continue reading

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Months ago, when I first learned of the solar eclipse, I immediately ordered some solar eclipse goggles.  Even though the goggles were more expensive, I ordered them for a couple of reasons: (1) since they fit snuggly around the head they allegedly fit children better and posed less risk of them being askew and allowing harmful rays into the eye; (2) because they were snug against your face, less ambient light came in from the side making your viewing of the solar eclipse more crisp and sharp; (3) unlike the paper glasses, I figured I could use them as part of a Halloween costume later on for our daughter; (4) and, I am not going to lie, I wanted to get a picture of John Day wearing a pair of black out goggles.   Continue reading

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Today is the first day of school for Williamson County.  Our daughter Kate is entering 5th grade this year at Scales Elementary.  Although she was embarrassed, she did relent and allow this picture upon arrival at school. And while it seems like just yesterday that we were going to the Boo Hoo breakfast for kindergarten parents not that much has changed.  She still worries about liking her teachers, the dynamics of friendships and how much homework will be assigned.  And, of course, as her parents, we still worry about everything, which brings me to some very important safety reminders for us all. Continue reading

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We are roughly halfway between Memorial Day and Labor Day – that time of year which marks the deadliest days for young drivers.  Summer has always been a dangerous time for teens because they are out of school and out on the roads.  But, the National Safety Council anticipates the risk to be increasing as a result of cellphone use by teen drivers.  In rear-end crashes, teen drivers take zero evasive action (braking or swerving) in the half of those types of car accidents.  If a teen driver is using their phone to text, call, take photos, etc., their eyes are off the road for 4.1 seconds of the last 6 seconds before a crash.   The end result is that teen drivers are three times more likely than an adult driver to be involved in a fatal car crash.  So, what can you do?  Below are some easy tips for keeping your teen driver safe: Continue reading

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Sit at an intersection and watch the cars go by and notice how many drivers have a phone in their hand.  Or, if you are a passenger in a car, watch the drivers of oncoming cars to see how many drivers are using their phones.  Perhaps most frightening is to be a pedestrian and see just how many cars that are passing you are being operated by drivers using their phones.  If you do any of these, the numbers below probably will not surprise you.

Roughly 3500 people are killed and nearly 400,000 are injured in car accidents involving distracted driving.  11 teens die every day because of distracted driving.  A driver distracted by their cellphone is more dangerous than a driver with a BAC of .08.  An accident is 23 times more likely to occur when the driver is distracted. From 2014 to 2015, there was a 32 percent increase in deaths attributed to distracted driving.  And despite these statistics, drivers continue to text, take photos, surf social media and the internet and more while driving.  Now, one State has decided to do something about it. Continue reading