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Health Matters: Wisdom is Ideal When Driving Your Automobile


Wisdom simply tells you what to do next or not do next given a certain situation. There is no undertaking (poor word choice) where wisdom should so constantly be applied than when driving your auto. Let’s explore some auto driving wisdom.

Texas rates near the top among states in fatal accidents (fourth) from improper lane changes! It is common to see sudden unsignaled lane changes or a nut-job riskily changing multiple lanes at once, especially in heavily populated areas. If you are about to miss an exit, just go to the next one! DON”T BE A NUT-JOB! Be particularly careful about riding beside another auto for prolonged periods, especially if the driver appears distracted by devices or is weaving even slightly. It is not only a few dents incurred, but whatever is slammed when control is lost.

According to the Texas law, as in many other states, one should signal for 100 feet before making a turn. In a few other states, the law is 200 feet. Personally, I use 200 feet as my minimum. I want the added safety of alerting others what I am about to do. Ensure safety for the times you have BLIND SPOTS. I recommend signaling whenever a turn is to be made, even from a stop. There might be a pedestrian or bicyclist that you cannot see but wish to avoid. Allow them to avoid you.

My son was recently involved in a major accident in which his auto was destroyed by a driver who ran a red traffic light. Fortunately, thank Providence, he was not seriously injured. About two decades ago, at the Texas Medical Center, I had the same situation occur. A careless driver ran a red light; I went on green, and the wreck totaled my car. He hit my car’s front and not my door, or it would have been NO MORE ME.

So, here is the take home message: Since that accident, I have hesitated for a second or two when the traffic light turns green and looked both ways before stepping on the gas. I have seen other cars that were “rushing the red” pass safely on their way, and then—and only then—I did, too.

According to a study by Owsley, “The driving task is primarily visual in nature, and impaired vision is associated with increased driver discomfort, difficulty, and crash risk.” This especially was a factor when visual field reduction existed. Keep up-to-date on having your eyesight checked—yearly.

To emphasize the point: night driving is particularly hazardous; fatalities per mile driven are several times that of miles driven with the advantage of daylight. Also, according to government data, drunk driving (as might be expected) is much more common, especially from midnight to 3 AM and weekends. Don’t drive at night if your night vision is suboptimal. Go to drjimshealthtips.com for other health info.


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