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How Avoid Traffic Accidents
Old 02-09-2020, 02:14 PM   #1
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How Avoid Traffic Accidents

Peter Attia has done some research into how we end up getting killed or maimed in traffic accidents. And he offers some tips on avoiding killing ourselves, killing others, and being killed by others.

https://peterattiamd.com/the-killers...omotive-death/

The three things that struck me as the most important are:
  1. Don't drive with alcohol in your body even if you are below the legal limit.
  2. Don't speed.
  3. Look left first at intersections even if you have the right of way.
I also liked his advice to drive as though an assassin is out to kill you with his car.


Quote:
In drivers killed on 2-lane rural roads, 50% involved a driver not wearing a seat belt. Close to 40% have alcohol in their system and nearly 90% of these drivers were over the legal limit of 0.08 g/dL. About one-third involved speeding, and 16% did not have a valid driverís license.
Quote:
assume someone like this person is on the road at all times, and his sole purpose is to kill you. Heís a serial killer and uses his vehicle as his murder weapon. His killing statistics eerily resemble the overall fatal crash statistics. He does a lot of his killings at intersections, but isnít shy about hopping on the freeway and taking people out there, too.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:59 PM   #2
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I'm sort of ashamed to say this, but at age 67 I can see where my driving skills are not what they once were. Not the only reason, but a primary reason for replacing one of my cars 7 years ago was to get Blind Spot monitor, after I had unwittingly cut off 2 cars in the prior year......or should I say 2 that I know of.
I also posted, here, a while back about a near-accident I almost caused due to me looking at my radio station screen display.
As to this article, I think not speeding is the obvious solution for most driving situations. I was a lead-footed driver in the past. No more. Recognizing I'm not the driver I once was is more than enough motivation to drive slower.
I can get buzzed by one drink. When DW and I go out to dinner, she always brings her license in the event I decide to have a drink.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:34 PM   #3
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My only downside is that my eyes are not as good as they were before the advent of personal computers. My eyesight is barely into glasses @ -1.50.

I can see just fine, but my vision around dark gets a little marginal laterally. It's easy to pull out in front of someone. Otherwise, I'm good.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:34 PM   #4
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I try to avoid driving at night especially in unfamiliar areas. I don't speed, I stay well behind the car in front of me, I don't race yellow lights, and will not drive in snow (we're in a hilly area).

I think my reflexes are almost as good as ever (not my night vision, though), but I try to minimize situations that increase danger while increasing my margin for error.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:38 PM   #5
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That article resonates with me.

It takes me at least 1/2 hour in any direction to get onto a 4 lane divided highway, so a lot of my driving is on those 2 lane roads the author cites. I'm always aware of it, and sometimes the feeling is stronger that the oncoming vehicle could fail (blown tire, perhaps) or the driver be distracted by their phone, a bee in the car, eating, too drunk to keep the car straight, or nodding off, and it could end my life.

I wish driverless cars would become universal. Some of the drawbacks today could perhaps be solved by car-to-car communication. But everyone giving up driving their cars is not going to happen in my lifetime. Plus there are pedestrian and animal issues, even if the software is perfect.

I think I'd rather see funding go toward a Hyperloop-type solution. You're in a confined tube, and as long as they can prevent them from rear-ending each other, you're pretty safe. I know there are drawbacks there, like weather or terrorist damage to a tube, but those risks are already there today with bridges.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:56 PM   #6
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If any of you have read my travel posts you will remember that I take at least two long driving trips yearly. Now that DW is handicapped and can't drive, I get all the assignments around here too! So I probably drive 18,000 miles per year. When I was an oil & gas consultant, I routinely drove 30,000 miles per year.

I have driven across the U.S. (east and west coasts) and north to Wisconsin every year for the past several years, mostly alone, as I like my "alone" time and also like to visit family back east. (DW hates long drives) Could be I am lucky as I have not had ANY kind of accident within the last 20+ years.

But I am very careful, don't push my luck with really long times behind the wheel without rest, and watch traffic all around me constantly. At 76 years old now, I plan trips carefully and pick my stops so that I don't get too tired behind the wheel.

Years ago, I took a course in over the road truck driving and that was the basis for my careful and observant driving style. This kind of training is really worth while as it teaches you, among other things, to look ahead about 1/4 mile to anticipate what the conditions are and what traffic to plan for as you progress.

We live in an area of high traffic congestion with a community college and high school within a 1/2 mile of our home. It's amazing to see the amount of these young drivers who have their faces in a cell phone when leaving the school! Crazy and dangerous.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
...... This kind of training is really worth while as it teaches you, among other things, to look ahead about 1/4 mile to anticipate what the conditions are and what traffic to plan for as you progress.
....
My driver training long ago really sunk in, and I see the traffic flow far far away. It's always amazing how folks passing me zoom right up behind a car stopped at the lights and jam on their brakes. (Can't they see the red light and all the brake lights ??).
Of course I watch for the to suddenly at the last second switch to my lane.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Peter Attia

In drivers killed on 2-lane rural roads, 50% involved a driver not wearing a seat belt. Close to 40% have alcohol in their system and nearly 90% of these drivers were over the legal limit of 0.08 g/dL. About one-third involved speeding, and 16% did not have a valid driver’s license.
In other words, don't be Stupid, or try to win Darwin awards.

One small rural road about 1.5 lanes wide, I've driven down many times, has a tree at end of a T intersection.
Yep, car full of drunk local teenagers (who should know the road) drove straight into it, without seat belts, and died.

Now the tree has a little white cross in front of it.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I also liked his advice to drive as though an assassin is out to kill you with his car.
https://www.early-retirement.org/for...urs-76503.html

Post #16 03-22-2015

Quote:
after spending 7+ years driving in Saudi Arabia I still operate on the premise that everyone else on the road is trying to kill me....and act accordingly
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:17 PM   #10
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In drivers killed on 2-lane rural roads, 50% involved a driver not wearing a seat belt
I'm shocked but never surprised when I see this statistic. I am old enough to remember when seat belts weren't even standard equipment. But over the subsequent 6 decades their effectiveness in saving lives is so compelling that not wearing one is ludicrous.

A seat belt won't prevent a collision*, but it will keep you inside the sturdy metal box instead of being catapulted at speed into something much harder than your flesh.

*Many years ago, I had a friend with a Need for Speed. One of his favorite routines was to practice instant 180s on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the east coast's 500 mile Nurburgring. He always buckled up because it kept him in the seat so he could maintain control when executing his maneuvers. Some guys lead a charmed life, and he was one of them.

Ironically, he took safety satisfaction that anybody who ever rode as a passenger in his car became a lifelong believer in seat belts.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:28 PM   #11
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Since we frequently travel in our diesel motorhome towing our full size truck we are about the size of an 18 wheeler. I've gained lots of respect for 18 wheel drivers in the past 10+ years. This has naturally carried over into driving my car. Also 27 years of defensive driving training has helped tremendously. I see so many "accidents looking for a good place to happen" every time I drive. Nope, I'm not accident free and have had many close calls over the years.
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:28 PM   #12
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*Many years ago, I had a friend with a Need for Speed. One of his favorite routines was to practice instant 180s on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the east coast's 500 mile Nurburgring.
Maybe it hasn't always been that way, but I've seen plenty of park rangers shooting radar on the BRP. I saw a Porsche club at our resort just off the parkway, and chatted with a couple of them. I asked if they were tearing up the parkway, and one guy said "Nah, it's too well patrolled. We know all the back roads that are a lot better."
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:52 PM   #13
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Back road danger should include game. Hit a 1200 pound moose at 70mph and let me know how the seatbelt works. I fear driving after dark for that reason. I had a 8am dr. appointment 60 miles away and drove half of it in the dark on snowpack.

I'm kinda paranoid about others driving; I've watched 3 drivers rear end me. Every time I was stopped and watched them hit me. Ought to be a law.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:08 PM   #14
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The assassin comment resonates with those who have spent significant amounts of time as cyclists or motorcyclists.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
... Years ago, I took a course in over the road truck driving and that was the basis for my careful and observant driving style. This kind of training is really worth while as it teaches you, among other things, to look ahead about 1/4 mile to anticipate what the conditions are and what traffic to plan for as you progress. ...
+100

The biggest problem I see with untrained drivers is looking too close to the car. At 70mph we are traveling about 100 feet per second and our unalerted reaction time is probably 1 second or more. So for that period and that distance the technical term for the person behind the wheel is "passenger." You have to be looking well beyond this zone if you are to be effective in an emergency.

Frequent steering wheel movements indicate that the driver is looking too close to the car. Steering inputs will be slow and infrequent if the driver's eyes are where they should be. It is less tiring as well.

I learned this from a couple of professional race driving schools and 10,000+ miles of sports car racing at speeds up to 165mph.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:20 PM   #16
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I'd probably add a fourth item, which has been mentioned by others:

Drive focused.

Don't eat, shave, apply makeup, answer your cell phone, look at your cell phone, look at the radio, drink coffee, discipline your kids, pet the dog, or anything else that takes your focus away from the road.

Keep your focus on the road.

If you're focused and aren't speeding, you're much safer than not. You'll see what you're about to hit and have the margin to avoid hitting it - a tree, a person, a train, a telephone pole, an embankment, another car, a cyclist, a motorcyclist, etc.

I used to do many of those things, and I've stopped, mostly because of the good influence of my daughter. She hasn't caused any accidents; I have. So I listen to her good advice and admonitions. (I'm 50, she's 18.)
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:27 PM   #17
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The other day while driving on a 2 lane road , 45 mph in each direction, I could see the other driver's eyes as we passed going in opposite directions.
I counted the cars as we passed, half the time, their eyes were looking in their lap at their phone.....

I had noticed the first one coming, as the car was weaving from side to side, must have been a long text...
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:32 PM   #18
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The assassin comment resonates with those who have spent significant amounts of time as cyclists or motorcyclists.
I noticed a significant change in my car driving after I got my mc.

Now, if only I could do something about the distracted drivers...
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:36 PM   #19
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My dad used to say, "Drive like everyone else is crazy, and you're the only sane person on the road. If somebody wants to get ahead of you, let him."

In other words, defensive driving.

Driving is inherently dangerous. That's the bottom line, unfortunately.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:43 PM   #20
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If somebody wants to get ahead of you, let him.
I love it when somebody wants to go faster than I do. Not only are they are guaranteed not to delay me, but they will also be the one tagged by the radar unit. It's a win-win.
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