Are You A Good Driver?

Today’s post comes from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty, a public official obsessed with everyday hazards and  minimizing risk.

At ease civilians!

Be at ease, but always be aware of your surroundings, because most things that are called “accidents” are anything but accidental!

I learned that saying back when I was studying for my BSIC (Bathtub Safety Inspection Certificate).

The bathroom is the single room in any house that is most prone to be the site of injury and distress, and as a licensed inspector I had to learn all the different ways there are to fall in a tub.

Most of them involve soap, and soap is not an autonomous actor in bathtub-injury scenarios.  By that I mean soap does not introduce itself into events – it is introduced by someone – usually a party to the action.

I learned that when questioning participants in any bathtub-injury-incident, the whereabouts and disposition of the soap is absolutely key to assigning liability.

Yes, liability.

We were trained to view this statement, “I slipped and fell in the tub, it was an accident,” as the beginning of an investigation, not the end.

That’s why I was alarmed to read several mainstream press accounts of yesterday’s publication in the journal “Nature” of studies examining an ancient collision in space that led to the formation of our moon.

It seems that a proto-planet named Theia collided with our still-forming Earth, and the debris from that impact, rather than just lying around in the intersection and the road ditches as it does in modern-day car crashes, congealed to shape the orb we know as The Moon.

The scientific studies computer-modeled many scenarios to figure out how two lumps of similarly  composed planet-stuff might run into one another.

But nowhere in any of the articles did I see any consideration of which proto-planet was to blame!  It is JUST ACCEPTED that they crashed.  End of story.  Don’t ask questions.

But I say NO!  Questions must be asked and blame must be assigned!

  • Were they headed in the same direction when one planet collided with the other from behind?
  • Was one planet trying to make a left turn and happened to  misjudge the speed of the oncoming sphere?
  • Was a planet trying to get across a busy orbit without looking both ways?

“Water under the bridge,” you might say.  Or “It happened hundreds of millions of years ago – who cares?”

But in taking that attitude, we automatically absolve the parties, shrug,  and accept that it can happen again.

That may be a comfortable place for you, but I, for one, am not ready to re-live (for the first time), the cataclysmic collision of sister planets.

Blame must be assigned!

Yours in safety,
B.S.O.R.

Are you a good driver?

48 thoughts on “Are You A Good Driver?”

  1. Good morning. I was surprised when I found out recently that there are ways I could become a better driver. We enrolled in class on safe driving for seniors because if we completed this course we would get a discount on our car insurance.

    I assumed that I would probably get little or nothing out of the class other than a reduction in my car insurance. However, while I believe I am a good driver, it tuns out that I am kind of a sloppy driver who probably doesn’t watch the road as much as I should and I am trying to get better at doing that. I’m sure B.S.O.R. will be glad to learn I am working on becoming a safer driver.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to answer that question, but I’m afraid of hexing myself, especially after what happened earlier this week when I said the workflow seemed to be lightening up a little :-P. So, all I’m going to say about my driving is, it could be worse.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. nope, not a good driver at all. Too cautious, always have been.

    Add to that the fact that I really dislike driving in the city, and yet that is the only kind of driving I get to do these days (still scheming how to get a northbound road trip), and my relationship to the car is anything but cordial.

    About this blame thing. Let’s say we can categorically assign the blame. fine and good, but how exactly does assigning the blame prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate event? Chances are very good the offending planet is long gone by now and a new one certainly cannot be held accountable. That or the original planet is just to big to fail, correct or otherwise deal with.

    The American workplace (your one stop shop for pointless finger pointing) wants too know!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good driver? Used to be. Now I’m spooked and confused. In the recent list of towns with the worst traffic, Portland was number ten. They lay out streets differently here than in the Midwest, and the traffic signage is different. Several times I’ve turned and gone the wrong way on one-way streets. Driving was once a pleasure. Now I don’t drive unless I have to.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Having been a passenger in Steve’s car once, I can attest to the fact that he was a good driver while still in the Twin Cities.

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  5. Morning all. Driving is fine but I am seriously directionally-challenged. This seems to be getting worse with age or maybe because I’m so uptight about it, that’s making it worse. On Easter Sunday, I actually blew right past the turn to my friend’s house and ended up in St. Francis!

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  6. I’ve been wondering how manyiles I’ve driven

    I’ve had some great cars from the old hippy van 100,000 miles
    fiat and vw concert able 50,000
    Rivera 150
    Mercury marquis 150
    Dodge vans 300
    Other vans 75000
    Lincoln 200000
    Current Honda 250
    Musc collectors and utility vehicles 150

    Comes up to about a million and a half miles
    I still take note of odometer milestones
    1111111
    2222222
    123567
    987654
    202020
    Etc
    I used to take a picture and put a note in a binder
    Norther Oregon coast 77777 1973 July 18
    Stuff like that
    I had a sales manager in the car with me one time and we stopped at a drive up teller to get Burger King and he was amazed as we drove down the road and I steered around corners with my knees while I was doing something with the sandwich and the fries and a Coke and he marveled at how us salesman who drive so many miles sure can handle occur in a special way with her knees going around corners and things like that

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    1. Were all of those odometers at 0 when you got them, tim? Or are you recording just the miles you’ve driven in them? Reminds me of this:

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      1. the marquis and the honda were new and started at zero the others are the miles i drove them. it adds up. today i go nowhere but anage to put on 35.000 per year chasing my tail.
        i have an inordinate interest in cars. i fantasize about old classics about new cool ones about cross country travel about dirving in europe china and hong kong. driving on the other side of the raod is a fun challange. they dont have rules about stuff like which side the blinkers , shift lever etc have . i cant remember if the clutch ever switches to the right foot with the gas moving over but everything else does. its like patting you head and rubbing your tummy the first day until you get the brain clicking away correctly.
        i know that on the road song form michael johnson who was local national and is now local again. i love his playing and singing. i think its on his there is a breeze album.
        they didnt have on the road but listen to this one. … how nice

        https://play.spotify.com/trackset/mediabar/140dIqySyW1M0H66MryY7s%2C0qb4XjVxUKGLhAxVw17Bsu%2C6O2plXnjspZAgbDTuQwdKk%2C0pLYGlrsyLwa2XvOM6HtPV%2C0cVDnoqliNlBitrWrOeD9y%2C2UsMaoBz4TSsrU1xPkcguw%2C3Jdnlnnf5cRKAcBjMUL8AF%2C5zJspdLbyd9lJUE3lXj6WL%2C3mUIJqqTJ4a4uz3ARsvztw%2C1B0b0NzsQceQ75nZPYpCff%2C7Hmlt5u6t5ffYuGZ7M5emr/%23/6

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        1. I was actually trying to find “On the Road” with Michael Johnson but didn’t have any luck. Yes, I know he’s back in town – in the Red House stable, if you will – and has been for several years now. A very fine musician. Some years ago a friend had him attend and play at a New Year’s Eve house party, great fun. I’ve seen him perform with John Gorka a couple of times.

          This Spotify thing, is that something that you subscribe to or is it free?

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  7. A long time ago, my friend, Tia, dubbed me Parnelli Jones. That should give you some idea! Like Steve, I used to be a good driver, and I still am if I know where I’m going. But more and more, I avoid driving where I don’t know my way around. I’d hate to have to learn navigating in a new city at this stage of my life; you have my sympathy, Steve. I also don’t like driving at night. For some reason my depth perception is off when it’s dark; just can’t judge how far away something is.

    I also don’t like having to adjust to a new car, one reason I hang on to my old SAAB. Too damn many dials, switches and buttons in them newfangled autos. Husband claims that I never adjust anything in my car. He sayss that my radio would stay tuned to whatever station it was tuned to when I bought it. A slight exaggeration, but I’ll admit that I don’t know what half of the buttons on my dashboard do.

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  8. I’ve made the long-distance drives from San Bernardino California nonstop from Orlando nonstop from Boston nonstop from Calgary nonstop and I’ve been to a lot of places where there were lots and lots of stops those are my favorites
    Last month I helped kid number four get their drivers license it hadn’t really occurred to me that that was part of my job description as a father but I realized with this kid that that has been part of the deal
    I’m a fantastic drivers Ed teacher explaining what and when and how and why you anticipate things coming up and turn in a particular fashion and leave this much room between you and the car in front or take away all that room that you’re leaving where the cars are sneaking in front of you there are times when it’s appropriate to tailgate and times when it’s not time is when if you don’t tailgate you’re going to have 27 cars pulling in in front of you driving down the freeway
    Olivia the 16-year-old who just got her license hated driving with her mother because her mother is the world’s worst driving instruction teacher cringing every time they get too close and shrieking as they drive down the road and it dawned on me that I have taught each of the kids quite a bit more extensively than the drivers training teachers have and that I don’t mind giving them hell when they’re not paying attention but I do always give them the information as to what and how when and why
    Pure volume doesn’t make me great but I think my greatness comes from within and the volume is just part of the result of my fantastic driving capabilities
    Don’t get me started about those other damn drivers on the road they are unbelievable if only everyone else were half as wonderful as I am

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    1. as a driver, i will never be half as wonderful as tim is, even if i ever get around to taking one of those senior driving classes. thankfully, i should never again have to teach anybody else to drive, now that all my kids have had their licenses for a number of years now.

      like some others here, i’m directionally challenged and dislike driving other cars and in places that i’m not familiar with. which explains why i planned (and executed) across a good part of the country and didn’t drive a single inch.

      however, one thing i do: i do my damn best to get up to speed when merging onto a freeway (this is sometimes hampered by the drivers ahead of me who insist on driving 20mph on the entrance ramp).

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  9. I have also had many experiences driving where crashes and bumps happen but it never results in Mont vehicles becoming part of the program it usually results in higher insurance payment

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      1. moon vehicles as in the posting when there is a collision it creates a moon.
        what the heck do i have to start spelling correctly now? its a little late in the game

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        1. Well, I can usually figure out what you mean, or at least I think I can. Once in a while you throw me for a loop. One of the things that confused me in this case was the fact that you had capitalized Mont. I thought it might have something to do with the state, but couldn’t make any sense of it.

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  10. OT – don’t forget BBC at tim’s this Sunday. 2 p.m. Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor and Population 485 by Michael Perry.

    AND at last BBC there was discussion of all of bringing our Keeper’s CDs for a compilation. Is this still on, tim?

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    1. I would love to but we are in Denver and have family obligations. Perhaps next month. Husband wants me to do the driving here. I don’t like to drive in Denver but his driving really makes me nervous so I drive. I am a good driver.

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  11. Now I have more time. I am a pretty good driver, though this wasn’t always the case… my first year driving independently was fraught with little mishaps, which I’ve written of before.

    My dad taught me, before he actually became a certified driver ed. teacher. He was probably a bit like you, tim, in that he would always explain why this or that rule was important. He had great stories from his driver ed. days, like when someone accidentally shifted from second gear to reverse…

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  12. I’ll try again, I guess. I wrote that, although I’ve never really had an accident, I’ve probably caused many. Entering freeways has become nearly a panic attack because, in fear of running into someone on the outside lane, I slow way down looking to see, I then proceed carefully onto the highway just in time for those driving 65 MPH to catch up to me. So many loud horns and third fingers that I act like I’m scratching my face when the past by me while raging at me. Which I clearly deserve.

    I’m now taking an online “Defensive Drivers Course” in order to get a small discount on my car insurance for three years. It’s really a joke – 4 hours of cartoon videos which I can leave going on the computer while I do other stuff. I was greatly relieved that there’s no test at the end!

    There were, however, a few things which caught my interest, none of which I wanted to know. Apparently, seniors match teenager’s risk of accidents and fatalities. Who’d have known? Our eyesight dims, peripheral vision, reaction time, depth perception, and generally a fading ability to know what’s going on around us. My depth perception is blatant. When I park, I get out of the car and see than the car’s a good four feet from the curb, yet, to me, it looked like I’d run into it!

    I know that the day’s coming and have already taken to mapping out any possible backroad to where I need to drive. It takes twice as long, but saves me from anxiety.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. My guess is that Theia was trying to make a right turn and looking to the left to see if there was any traffic coming from that direction, and smacked right into Earth in the crosswalk to her right.

    Gotta watch those crosswalks. I always do.

    Liked by 2 people

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