The NHTSA’s message today is one tweet can save a life from Buzzed driving. Every 52 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. And, for every preventable drunk driving death — 10,076 in 2013 alone — exponentially more lives are forever changed by the loss of a parent, child, friend, or loved one to these preventable tragedies. Take the pledge, 18,000 plus have already pledged not to drink and drive. Join the twitter chat. Tweet the message to a friend!
What a good idea for a roadtrip! Pick a zip code, drive there and hang out. I got the idea from watching a news segment on the Fox Morning News Show last month. A news reporter visited a zip code in the viewing area and highlighted the interesting places and things to do there. I liked the idea because it could be a day trip and I’ll schedule it around the rush hours, traveling after the morning rush and return home late evening. A short drive and fun activities – Yes!. The fact that I have a teenager in the house this summer and I haven’t planned a vacation makes this idea a win – win! She loved the idea and chose three zip codes within a hours drive. We live five minutes away from one other state and the Nation’s Capital, so we are planning to spend a few days this summer in each locality.
Our first ziptrip is to 22314 in Virginia. The drive will be easy if we time it right. The route includes miles of waterfront that is quite scenic with the Washington monuments, air and water traffic all in view. Just 9 miles from home, within one zip code we found museums, parks, shops and multiple eateries to delight our culinary preferences. There’s also an array of hotels nearby in case we choose to add another day to explore or we’re too exhausted to drive home. If you haven’t planned a roadtrip this summer consider a ziptrip. The planning and preparation is easy and it’s possible the experience will be one for your travel memoirs. 🙂
According to AAA there are 36.5 million motorist on the road this holiday. Holiday traffic in this area is like an extended rush hour; the roads are crowded and distractions are many. I’m a witness! Traffic and travel time become important factors in participating in activities and attending the various holiday events and this year was no exception. Once I’ve made the decision to drive I devise a destination plan before I get in the car. First (plan a) I choose the route, and check traffic online so I know where the hot spots are. Next, I prepare my go-bag, with my GPS, phone, and check the weather. Plan b is always the same, catch a ride or use public transportation. Plan c usually is to send my regrets and keep the car parked.
Yesterday, a twenty-minute late morning trip took me thirty-five minutes. A lady ran out of gas on the street where I live. I solicited my resident driving instructor to assist her and while waiting for him she tells me that she was so busy she forgot to stop and get gas. A simple “thanks” would have worked – I lost 5 minutes of travel time.
About a half mile later at a stop light two adult males in the next lane are taking pictures with their cell phones of a lady walking. When the light changes and cars blow their horns the driver pulls off looking back at the walking lady and, hits the car in front of him. (3 more minutes lost).
I drive a few miles more and traffic has slowed down. On one side of the road a car accident has occurred and on the side I’m driving on a motorcycle had run in the back of a car. I didn’t witness either incident but both were serious enough for traffic to be much slower than 45mph posted speed limit. By this time I had been in route for over 10 minutes and I still had several miles to go. That’s when I used the traffic feature on my portable navigator that saved the day. Happy that I checked for hot spots before I left home, choosing an alternate route was quick and easy. I arrived on-time with 1 minute to spare. Plans are great and I love my GPS. But today, the official holiday I’m going for plan c – Parked 🙂
Could I pass a driving test today? Sure I would; driving for 40 years I generally kept up with the rules and regulations of the road, I consider myself a smart driver. I’m a good driver according to my insurance company and I drive safely according to my husband a retired Certified Driving Instructor (CDI). My lifestyle requires driving. I drive all the time, at least 5 days a week, sometimes several times a day. I drive to the store, jobs, events, to visit friends and family, even to the subway. I’m often the designated driver on group trips because I know the bus routes. It may take us a little longer to get there but I don’t get lost in my hometown. I also own a well maintained car (thanks to the CDI).
They say experience is the best teacher so failing a driving test is not an option. I may fail to go to the correct address. I doubt it is still located where it was when I took the road test many years ago. A huge new office building is now located on that corner. I could fail the eye exam if I wear the wrong pair of glasses, I seem to have several pair these days thanks to the Dollar Store. I passed before when I really couldn’t drive so now with 40 years driving experience, I’ll ace it.
Seriously thinking, it’s possible that parking may be a small issue for me if you are still required to parallel park. I admit I still have to do it twice to get it right sometimes. I parked perfect driving a 1967 convertible Cadillac Coupe Deville, during my first driver test, but I’m sure I would need to practice to get it correct in one attempt today. Hopefully, now the testers give you the option of pulling in or backing your car into a parking space. I am an expert at that.
An experienced driver like me should pass the written part of the test with no problem or so I thought. After all those years of driving including a 65 mile work commute and other driving duties, I should know the rules of the road, plus any updated driving techniques you need to be a smart driver today. Recently, just for fun I took the AARP Are You a Smart Driver quiz. My expectation was 10 questions and 10 correct answers. Surprise! I didn’t get 10 answers correct and the one question that stunned me: Where on the steering wheel should your hands be positioned while driving? 10 and 2 right? Wrong!!