Thursday, April 21, 2005


Safe Driving #1

Over the next few days I want to focus on driving safely. People worry endlessly about food pyramids and the latest food and drug safety scares. But nearly everybody who holds a driving license ignores the one thing they really can do in life to protect their health and wealth, which is improving their driving skills.

Think about it. You stop taking some over the counter medicine because a study shows that when fed to lab rats their chance of contracting some form of cancer increases by .00001%. But while commuting to or from work or when grocery shopping, your skill behind the wheel directly affects the likelihood you'll be in a fender bender which at best will cost you a lot of money and inconvenience and at worst will cost you or some other unfortunate their life.

The primary measure of how good a driver you are, is the number of miles you do, divided by the number of accidents you have. Since 1987, I have personally driven, I estimate, about 600,000 miles, in a large variety of different vehicles, from vans and light trucks to high performance cars, driving all over Europe and the US, on business, at high speeds, for extended periods in unfamiliar places, in both LHD and RHD.

I have had precisely three accidents, the most recent being in 1990. Two involved other vehicles; one was a scrape against a hidden post while parking. In one case my car was undrivable as a result.

Over the next few days I will share techniques and thoughts from good drivers I have learned from over the years, which will hopefully improve your driving, and help you stay alive!
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