Ms. Manners: Giving Up Space

Giving Up Space

By A.H. Bosley

Today’s driver has a lack of respect. – Drivers must be on the defensive more and more these days. Always thinking for the other guy as well as themselves.

You should always leave an out for them, just in case.

Space, or the lack thereof, is the number 2 reason for accidents. #1 being drivers lack of attention to their driving as if driving was a secondary task behind the wheel.

Please put the cell phones down and get a hands-free device. Please please PLEASE, Stop texting, reading, looking around the cab for your new pack of cigarettes, chips etc… Also, the mirror on your visor; it’s not your vanity, so do your makeup prior to starting the vehicle.

I have even seen drivers watching TV while going down the road. It only takes seconds for you to travel three lengths of a football field and a lot can happen in that space, especially when everyone is invading your driving space to begin with.

Cars are like squirrels, they dart in and out traveling at a high rate of speed leaving only inches of space instead of the four of five car lengths they should. Then they slam on their brakes like we can stop as fast as they do.

News Flash: We can’t, not even close.

Then you got a semi driving behind a vehicle with a few feet of space between them and then, well, people get killed.

Who’s to blame?

Well, you know who they blame. The professional driver. The one who should know better and more about the space and basic law of physics. I personally think the biggest reason for this bunching up mentality is the lack of our law enforcement doing it’s job writing tickets to those who cut us off, not merging when told to do so, and general lack of respect for one another as a whole.

The driver is at fault, whether car, truck, bus, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian. If you cut off the space of a vehicle and you do anything other than depress that accelerator, you would be at fault.

It is absolutely NOT the professional drivers fault 90% of the time. I’ve been told it’s even higher, but I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt and give a little extra room.

We, as professionals, avoid at least one accident per day due to lack of another’s skills, judgement, lack of attention, and the ‘ME NOW‘ driver. (I call babies ME NOW‘s and mine-mine-mines, because children have no self-control, and thus they demand every thing every second of every day on every issue. They’re only able to think of what they want and need. Also, they are like a seagull squawking “Mine, mine, mine, mine,” all the time. You’ve seen this depiction on the movie ‘Finding Nemo’).

Let’s give up some space. Talk to your local police, I’m sure most of us have a friend or three that are in law enforcement, share this issue with them. I have found that must people who don’t drive haven’t a clue what it takes to operate a semi safely. This includes some of our D.O.T. officers. – Just like we don’t know what they go thru each day.

Teach our newer drivers better and demand this from your safety department, if you’re a company man/woman. Please, don’t be that ‘ME NOW‘ kind of driver. We ALL put up with the same things each and every day. I have found if I just relax and not push, it makes for a better day, better attitude and thus better life.

Trucking is not just a profession,  it’s a way of life.

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