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Arrive Alive – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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With the staggering numbers of DWI’s and loss of lives due to DWI’s in the U.S., it’s nice to know that there’s help out there. If you plan to drink away from home, just don’t drive. The plan is to arrive alive. If you cannot plan a ride home with a friend, cabs are always a good option. $25 or $50, as opposed to $26,000. in attorney fees alone, is not a bad deal. Not having killed anyone or killed yourself is not a bad deal as well. If you do a web search for them, you will find a plethora of services out there that will send out two drivers in one car to pick you up. One drives you home, while the other drives your car home. So, when you wake up in the morning, you’re in your nice, warm bed instead of a jail cell. And your car is in your driveway or parking lot, rather than the city impound (another expense you would acquire). It’s a beautiful thing. Whoever thought of that was genius.
A DWI is financially and emotionally devastating. It is a financial set-back for most. And, it will remain on your permanent record. Causing you to possibly lose your job and impossible to find another. Besides the attorney fees, DWI penalties also include hefty fines, jail time with real criminals, AA meetings with real alcoholics (and you’ll notice everyone brings their own “Starbucks” cup to those meetings…you KNOW there’s something in that cup besides coffee). You will likely have to do community service, and you will also receive a hefty surcharge for three years. So, just when you thought it was over, they keep reminding you of that stupid mistake you made by sending you a bill in the mail every month. And now your mailman and everyone knows your personal business. Your Mailman: “I’ll be your AA Sponsor.” You: How the heck did you know??”
So, think about the financial, legal, emotional and social ramifications of a DWI, before you leave the house, and plan ahead to arrange a ride so you can arrive alive.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Arrive Alive – Comedy Defensive Driving

Coping in Traffic – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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I’m in Chicago for the 4th of July holiday weekend. It’s a crazy week, with so many festivals going on at the same time. Blues Fest, Grateful Dead Show, Taste of Chicago, Cubs game and, of course, the Gay Pride Parade. I’m about 5′ 1″, so festivals are usually not my bag. In a crowd, I am typically at nose-level with everyone’s arm pit. So, the Grateful Dead show I will sum up as a combination of Patchouli and B.O. While the Gay Pride Parade, to my surprise, was like a delightful, clean meadow of fresh-scrubbed, well groomed, gorgeous gay men. With all of these festivities going on all at once, the traffic is insane. So, how do you find yourself coping in traffic?
It’s always good to plan ahead. If you already have a route mapped out, GPS loaded and are not in a rush, even traffic can be a positive adventure (or maybe I was in the hot sun too long, eh?). It is said that most people get in a tizzy because they are running late, in a hurry or just simply impatient. Sometimes, even too rushed to signal before changing lanes. Some drivers say that signaling in rush hour traffic is a guarantee that no one will let you over. But, it’s also a leading cause for road rage. Like cutting in line without first asking permission. Road construction seems to be inevitable, nationwide. Lane reductions due to construction only add to the tension. And, yes, they are doing construction here in good old Illinois as they are in every other state. The difference here is, there is only a small window of time that they can actually work on the roads, since there are only two seasons, Winter and Spring. So, another good idea is to plan your route around construction. Especially with potholes (and they’re like craters here) that can damage your car. Unless it’s a rental, of course. Who cares about rentals?
Well, I need to get back to the festivities. Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Coping in Traffic – Comedy Defensive Driving

Epic Driving Fails

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Epic Driving Fails Infographic

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The States With The Best and The Worst Drivers

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Best and Worst Driving States Infographic

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Distracted Driving Awareness Month – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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April is distracted driving awareness month. By now, even your great grandmother knows that distracted driving ranks as one of the highest mortality issues for drivers in America. Drivers spend more than half their time focused on things other than driving. And there are more distractions in the car than ever before, other than the obvious cell phone use. Driving with your knees while eating a Big Mac, drinking a beverage (hopefully non-alcoholic), smoking (hopefully just cigarettes), listening to and/or looking at your GPS, reading something, applying makeup, shaving, disciplining your kids, changing a radio station, looking for a cd, plugging in your iphone, ipod, ipad or “i-yi-yi!” There are unlimited distractions!
Over 3,200 people were killed and an additional 424,000 (yes…thousand) people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013 alone! Distractions are estimated to be associated with 15-25% of crashes at all levels. And, although cell phone use is a major distraction, texting (taking your eyes off the road to text) increases the risk more than just cell phone use.
I hear new drivers constantly commenting on how intense and difficult it was to learn how to drive. The responsibility alone of barreling down the road in a giant chunk of steel is a huge responsibility. That’s when you feel truly grown up. Now you’re independent and can drive yourself where you need to go. No longer relying on anyone to take you places. But, with that responsibility comes consequences. Which is also a factor in becoming an adult. If you’ve ever driven a clutch, you’ll recall your first time, how it took all of the coordination you could muster to push in the clutch with your left foot, while giving it a little gas with your right foot and shifting gears without it stalling out or rolling back into the car behind you. Now, that’s multi-tasking! It took a bit of practice, but you finally mastered it. Perhaps you will also remember how virtually impossible it was to do anything other than drive when you were driving a straight shift? There’s no way you could hold or drink a beverage, smoke, or do anything while you were shifting gears? I’m not saying that everyone should sell their automatics and buy a 5-speed, but some parents have told me that they have done just that with their teen drivers for just that reason. So they “can’t” multi-task.
With April being distracted driver awareness month, law enforcement in all states will be cracking down on distracted drivers, especially those texting or talking on the phone. Maybe pledging, if even to yourself, to not be a distracted driver for the rest of the month will start you on the path to better driving habits. And may save a few lives, to boot!
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Distracted Driving Awareness Month – Comedy Defensive Driving

Driving Tips for New Drivers – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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It scares the bajeezus out of me that kids don’t have driver education offered in high school like they did when I was a kid. Driver education is definitely not like it was back in the 70’s. Now, teens are not even required to attend a driving school. They can do a parent taught driver education course offered by the DPS (Department of Public Safety). Here are a few driving tips for new drivers. These tips may help parents when teaching their teens how to drive. Practicing good safety habits will not only help to prevent accidents, but the more time you drive without a ticket or an accident on your record, the lower you can keep your insurance rates.
Keep your cell phone off. If you have no willpower and can’t trust yourself to not reach for it while driving, lock it in the glove box or console. Talking on the phone is one thing, but texting is even worse. This requires taking your eyes off of the road for way too long. Turn your headlights on in the morning and at dusk. Even if it’s not completely dark outside, people are more likely to see you if your lights are on. Some cars are more “invisible” to drivers due to their color. So having your lights on certainly helps.
Drive at a safe speed. Even if everyone is blowing past you, you may be trying to keep up with the flow of traffic, but also keeping it at a safe speed while doing so. Minimize distractions and try to drive alone.
And always practice defensive driving. Always pay attention to everything going on around the car at all times. And always have a safe “out” planned in case you need an escape route should something happen suddenly. Stay at least one car length behind other cars at low speeds, and leave even more space at higher speeds or in inclement weather. A defensive driving course will improve your driving skills, get you up to speed with new laws and revised laws, and could give you a discount on your auto insurance for three years.
Thank goodness for all of the new safety features in cars. That will eventually help reduce teen driver fatalities. But there is no accounting for driving experience. Add that with these tips and it will increase the odds that your teen won’t become a statistic.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Driver Tips for New Drivers – Comedy Defensive Driving

Rolling Stop – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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No Cop, no stop. That seems to be the trend these days. Rolling through a stop sign or rolling through a red light to take a right turn is also referred to as a rolling stop or a California roll. Coincidentally, that’s my favorite Sushi. Drivers Education instructors teach new drivers to count three seconds before leaving a stop sign or taking a right turn at a red light. Although the law does not require that you stop for a certain amount of time, the law requires that your car settles. But three seconds will insure that your car has settled and will keep you from getting a citation. Some instructors teach students to count five seconds. But I believe three seconds is adequate. If you make someone behind you wait for an extra two seconds, you’re the Devil. At the very least, they may honk at you, hoping to wake you from your slumber. Or, thinking you may be finishing up a text message, they may twist on you and ignite a road rage fueled gun battle. And people do pull guns on each other over trivial things such as this. Now with new concealed carry laws, nearly everyone will be carrying a gun. Maybe we’ll even start seeing gun racks with rifles in the back window of pick-up trucks again, just like back in the 70’s. Not in all states, though. No such gun laws exist in California. So, perhaps in Northern California, we’ll start seeing wine racks in the back window of pick-up trucks. It’s just a thought…
Typically, citizens who get a camera light bill in the mail from a photo-enforced intersection, aren’t blowing through a red light. They are usually taking a right turn on red and rolling through the red light. So, teaching new drivers to count three seconds to make certain your car has settled has certainly saved them from getting cited, having their insurance rates increase due to those citations and possibly even preventing them from causing a crash.
So, don’t forget, even if there is no Cop, you still need to come to a complete stop. It will, at the end of the day, save you money, grief and maybe even save your life.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Rolling Stop – Comedy Defensive Driving