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The Dangers of Icy Driving – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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It has been a pleasant winter here in the south. But those days are long gone and now we are facing the dangers of icy driving. Since I started driving, the information taught about what to do if you begin to skid out of control has changed. Probably due to front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, all wheel drive and anti-lock brakes. So now, do you steer into the skid, away from the skid, or should you just steer in the direction that you want to be going? My Uncle just skidded out of control and now he’s in rehab. Not hospital rehab, but alcohol rehab. The crazy thing is, my Uncle taught me how to drive. I was taught by a drunk driver. He taught me how to weave and drift across three lanes. And I’m really good at it. It’s in my genes, I suppose.
Now, with freezing rain and bad road conditions, here’s some great information about what to do if your car is caught in a skid. Even if the roads just look snowy, there may be ice under the snow. Or maybe even black ice.

  • Don’t jam on the brakes. Our first reaction, in a panic, may be to try to stop the car by hitting the brakes.
  • And don’t jerk the wheel. This would make a bad situation even worse.
  • Skip happy hour after work. Everyone else out there is going to be driving like they’re drunk. Don’t add to the mix.

So, here’s what to do if your vehicle begins to skid out of control:
Get off the brake, get off the accelerator, straighten the wheel and ride the skid out. It goes against what your instincts would tell you to do. But you’ll get better control of the vehicle and be able to steer around objects, rather than crashing into them. Always think ahead and anticipate the worst because it could happen to YOU.
Also, remember to drive with your eyes, not with your seat. In other words, don’t wait until you “feel” the car sliding underneath you. “Look” for what’s happening in front of you and around your vehicle for other cars and objects that may come into your path.
The best thing you can do to keep safe if you are uncomfortable driving in bad weather conditions is to just stay put until the city can get the roads winterized. If that’s not possible, remember to leave early and drive slower than the suggested speed limit. There will likely other cars speeding past you, honking at you and giving you the finger (that’s what the sunroof is for…and if you can drive with your knees, you can flip people off with both hands). Just let it go. You’ll likely see them in a ditch, further up. So, you win. Then you can wave at them with one, or all five fingers when you pass them.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
The Dangers of Icy Driving – Comedy Defensive Driving

At Night Stay Right – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Don’t you often wonder how on Earth someone could enter a freeway or toll ramp on the wrong side and wind up, barreling along, going the wrong way? When I see one of these wrong way drivers on the news, the first thought that enters my head is they must be drunk when driving on the wrong side of the road. Or perhaps they’re English. Maybe they are both drunk and English. Even with signs posted “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter” and speed bumps on the road to warn them. How can they not see the signs or feel the thud as they cross over those big steel bumps? Several states are now using new road signs, lighting and technology to prevent wrong way drivers. In addition, they are trying to get drivers in the habit of driving in the far right lane at night, because drivers entering the wrong way tend to drive in their right side lane, thinking that they are on the correct side of the median. So, remember, at night, stay right. It may save your life as well as the life of that whacky wrong way driver.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSA) suggests changes to ramps, including sensors that detect wrong way drivers and adding new signs or even lowering “Do Not Enter” and “Wrong Way” signs. If lowered, the signs will be more visible in their headlights at night. California has used lower signs since the 1970’s. Arizona, Virginia, Ohio and Florida have since lowered their signs. Some states resist lowering signs because they could cause injuries if the wrong way driver crashes into them. Also, snow can pile up and cover them. But, what’s worse? The wrong way driver crashing into the sign, or having them enter the wrong way and crashing into other drivers?
So, remember, at night, stay right. Not a bad habit to get into so you don’t become a statistic in next week’s news.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
At Night Stay Right – Comedy Defensive Driving

Fender Bender 101!

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What to do in case of a Fender Bender, Minor Accidents, Driving Safety, What to do in a Minor Accident

Slow Drivers – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Today, I woke up in a small town in Illinois. I haven’t lived here in over 36 years. And, while I’m used to the hustle and bustle of big city life, it’s a nice change of pace in a small town. No worries, no rushing, no honking or yelling (and we’re talking before you even leave the house). Yesterday, we drove to a nearby town to do some shopping. We took the back roads with all of the other slow drivers. Not because it was quicker or to avoid road construction, but because the highway route just wasn’t scenic enough. I remember the day I moved away. My parents, standing in the driveway, waving goodbye as if they were never going to see me again (probably hoping so). I moved nearly 1,000 miles away from my familiar small town. And never moved back. When my daughter was 17, I believe it was in April, and she was ripping everything off of her bedroom walls and throwing it all in a storage bin. I asked “What are you doing?” She said “I’m packing up.” Me, “Why? Where are you going?” Her, “I’m moving out.” Me, “When?” Her, “I don’t know. Maybe November.” I said “But it’s April! Are you trying to break my heart?” Then I went into another room, phoned my 78 year old parents and apologized to them for being insensitive when I was 17. My mother’s response was “I’ve been waiting by the telephone for 35 years!”

I taught my daughter how to drive. And, I must tell you, my daughter is a slow driver. At least she is when I am in the car with her. And, because she drives the speed limit, people pass her on the right. And they honk at her and flip her off (with me in the car!). Hey! That’s my kid you’re flipping off! I learned that’s what the sun roof is for … flipping people off. And, if you can drive with your knees, you can apparently flip people off with both hands. People are talented, aren’t they? They should put Prozac in the water system. So, my daughter would fit in well here. Or, in Colorado, for that matter. Since they’ve legalized marijuana, I bet there are a lot less speeders now. And more job openings in the snack industry.

But here are the hard, sad facts. Slow drivers cause more accidents than speeders. Not keeping up with the flow of traffic (just like not keeping up with the Kardashians) is actually more dangerous than speeding. But, the impact from those high speed crashes actually cause more fatalities than low-impact crashes. Have you ever heard the term “Speed Kills?” I wish I’d made up that phrase. I’d totally put it on a bumper sticker and collect royalties. And I would put one on my own bumper. Right alongside my other bumper sticker that says “Tailgating Kills.”

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Slow Drivers – Comedy Defensive Driving School

An Introduction to One of the Idiotic Drivers You will Meet on the Road

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Here at the Comedy Defensive Driving School, we try to incorporate a little laughter into our lessons. This helps lighten the mood, and it makes it easier for students to absorb the information. After all, when something is funny, you pay attention. When it is boring, you quickly zone out and start counting down the minutes until you can finally leave! During your course, whether you take it online or in one of our classrooms, you are going to hear some hilarious stories of insane drivers, idiot drivers, distracted drivers, slow drivers, road ragers, and more.

Let’s take a closer look at one of these idiot drivers. You are probably familiar with this situation. You’re driving along the highway at night, and a car comes over the hill in front of you. His lights are bright and blinding. You flash your headlights as a gentle reminder to the offending driver. Yet, his bright lights stay on. You flash again, shielding your eyes with one hand to prevent permanent damage to your corneas. Nothing. This is a classic example of the “I have no business driving at night because I can’t see without my brights, so I will just leave them on, and other drivers be damned” driver.

So, what do you do in a situation like this? Well, what you DON’T do is get angry, slam on your brakes, flip a U-turn in the middle of the highway, chase the driver down, and beat him to a pulp. Nope, that would make you one of the road ragers you will learn about. The best thing to do is look away from the bright lights as best as you can. Focus your eyes a little lower than normal, such as on the line on the right side of the road. Your eyes will be tempted by the light — DO NOT go toward the light, because you won’t find Jesus on the other side.

Contact us today at Comedy Defensive Driving School to learn more about how to handle strange, crazy, dangerous, and downright idiotic situations on the road.

3 Questions to Determine Your Level of Driving Common Sense

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Taking a course in defensive driving online is your best defense against the many, many things that can go wrong on the road. From the drunken drivers, to the drivers that simply have no common sense, Comedy Defensive Driving is here to help you successfully and safely navigate the highways. Speaking of drivers with no common sense, have you ever been accused of being one of these drivers? If so, you may need a crash course in basic driving skills, as well as defensive driving. Here are three questions to help you determine if you have the right amount of common sense to be on the road — or if you might be better off traveling on foot.

1. Do you find your foot hovering over the brake pedal and giving it a tap for no reason at all other than to make sure the brakes are working? If yes, you are guilty of too much brake tapping! This kind of situation can quickly lead to frustration and annoyance of the drivers behind you — which means they could put you in a risky situation trying to get around you.

2. Are you an overly nosy person? If yes, you are probably guilty of practically breaking your neck trying to get a look at the car pulled over by the highway patrol or the three-car wreck on the other side of the road. Gawking at things going on around you can quickly take you from gawker to gawkee as people strain their eyes trying to see the details of the accident YOU caused.

3. Does merging onto the interstate make your heart race? If yes, you are likely guilty of merging at extremely slow speeds. This is a good way to cause a massive pile-up behind you. Drivers speeding along at 70+ miles per hour won’t have time to stop as you pull your little turtle shell out onto the interstate.

If any of these questions hit home with you — and you have to answer honestly — then, you can use a few of our courses to give you the good sense you need to drive safely. Contact us today at Comedy Defensive Driving, and STOP being a hazard on the highway!

Crazy Laws – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Even if you’re not from Texas, you probably know that it is illegal to urinate on the Alamo, thanks to Ozzy Osbourne! Of course, that was over 32 years ago. I’m sure they make Depends for rockers too, don’t they? In April of this year, a 23 year old El Paso resident was sentenced to 18 months in the Texas State Prison and fined $4000.00 for doing the same. All states have their own crazy laws. And, while most of these laws are outdated and probably no longer enforced, they are still in the law books. Here are a few other crazy laws you will find in the Lone Star State, which was in the top 5 cities for traffic tickets in 2010.

You can’t do a u-turn in Richardson. I’m surprised that there aren’t more crazy laws in Richardson, Texas. They are at the top of the list for writing the most traffic tickets in the nation. Another silly Texas law, it’s illegal to have anything protruding from your bumper unless it is attached with a chain. It is illegal to drive without windshield wipers. You don’t need a windshield but you must have wipers. And, I love this one. In Texarkana, it is illegal to own a dingo, wallaby or poison frog. Are there a lot of Aussies living in Texarkana?

More driver-related laws, nationwide, get even weirder. In Alabama it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle. I hope Stevie Wonder’s not from Alabama. In California, it is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale. And women may not drive in a house coat. So, it’s probably like a felony if a woman wearing a camoflauge house coat shoots a whale from her car. In Washington, a motorist with criminal intentions must stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town. Now, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being a criminal? Ratting on yourself?

And, this is not driving-related but I just needed to share. In New York, the penalty for jumping off of a building is death. Duh!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Crazy Laws – Comedy Defensive Driving

Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers

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At Comedy Defense Driving, we love to share tips on how to make the road a safer place for everyone. Pedestrian safety is still a concern within traffic safety circles, which are continuing toward educating the public on pedestrian safety for both pedestrians and drivers. In fact, there are many remaining concerns with traffic safety, in general; yet, with the percentage of pedestrian fatalities at crosswalks, crossroads are still of primary concern to the Federal Highway Administration and are regarded as a critical safety point.
 
As a driver, when you decide to operate a vehicle, you assume responsibility for your actions while on the road. Driving in the presence of pedestrians demands a certain amount of heightened awareness. Pedestrians who utilize crosswalks or shared roads must also assume a great amount of responsibility. It is no surprise that most pedestrian accidents take place in urban areas, where both drivers and pedestrians are in high volume. Pedestrian fatalities also occur in high numbers in rural areas, where high speed is a fatal factor in the accident. Here we will run through what we can do as drivers to meet in the middle for road safety, since the operation of a vehicle can present fatal consequences if certain habits are not established:
 
1. Follow the speed limit at all times. This may be a simple rule to some, but reminding ourselves of why the speed limit is in place can help reinforce a greater commitment to abiding by a safe speed for everyone on the road. Areas where there are lower speed limits are of even greater importance, since these are areas where pedestrians are likely to be crossing the road regularly; as seen in neighborhood areas and school zones.
 
2. Practice caution in bad weather. As we’ve all experienced, visibility is limited during turbulent, rainy, or foggy weather conditions. In regards to visibility, it is just as difficult for pedestrians to remain visible to drivers, as it is for drivers to remain visible to pedestrians. Use extra caution, when driving in these conditions, by using your lights and signals properly.
 
3. Be mindful of your surroundings. Another simple rule, but important, nonetheless. When we observe pedestrian fatalities on the road, it is often due to high speed and other neglectful habits on the road. Texting, eating, applying make-up, changing the radio, and other activities are under the umbrella of neglectful and irresponsible behavior on the road. Be mindful when entering and exiting driveways, approaching crosswalks, and at other critical junctures, which are all threatened when we decide to take our focus off the road.
 
Utilizing smarter, safer, more attentive habits within your driving can help save a life. By identifying critical safety zones on the road, drivers can begin to create a safer environment for pedestrians everywhere. Distractions, speeding, and driving under the influence are all contributing factors to a larger problem of unawareness in the issues of both pedestrian and general road safety.
 

Those Summer Rains – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Summer Rains


If April showers bring May flowers, then those summer rains are quite a pain. If only I were a poet…a sober poet. But who’s ever heard of a sober poet? What’s the fun in poetry if you can’t attempt to rhyme words like “sobriety” with “dude, where’d I leave my car?”

Even a drunk poet knows that those summer rains are far and few between. So, oils and other fluids left on roadways usually cause slick conditions when rain is mixed onto the pavement. You should keep a safe following distance between you and the car ahead of you. A six second rule is recommended in rain. To implement this rule, once the car in front of you has passed a stationary object, you should count six seconds before you pass that same stationary object.

Turn on your headlights when it begins to rain. And drive below the posted speed limit. If you start to hydroplane, whatever you do, don’t slam on the brakes. You can hydroplane at speeds as low as 30 mph. Which is hard to believe since, when you are driving that slow, you feel like you’re in reverse. Some people panic when they begin to hydroplane and their initial reaction is to slam on the brakes. Which is not cool, because if you’re on top of the water, it’s not going to do a thing. And, if the roads are slick and you’re traveling at freeway speed, then you slam on the brakes, you could fishtail and lose control. The best thing to do if you begin to hydroplane is to release the gas pedal. Just take your foot off of the gas and let the car slow down on its own, naturally.

Another thing to note is to avoid flooded areas at all costs. Water level is very deceiving. Your car could stall out in deep enough water and be lifted off of the road in only three inches of water.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Those Summer Rains – Comedy Defensive Driving

Holiday Travel, Drinking & Driving and the Fatigued Driver – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Holiday Travel, Drinking & Driving and the Fatigued Driver

Take care of yourself this fourth of July with all of your holiday travel, drinking and driving and fatigued driving. Make sure someone doesn’t rufie your beer or lace your bottle rocket with Scopolamine where you find a zombie version of yourself, willfully surrendering your belongings to a drug lord. Or, better yet, find yourself in a bathtub of ice in a motel six with a kidney missing…and you look over to see that someone’s left the cap off of the toothpaste (#neanderthals). Or worse yet, find yourself tied to a bed in a motel six with only one bar on your phone…darned (insert any cellular service here), I curse thee. When I go to South America, I openly drink like a sailor so they know my kidneys aren’t worth the plucking. They must have caught on at the DPS because I signed up to be an organ donor, but they didn’t put the little red heart on my driver license. What an insult. Like “No thanks…we don’t want any of that.”

defensive-driving

If you’re waiting for a transition or segue from one paragraph to the next…don’t hold your breath, okay? Apparently, the fourth of July is the busiest day of the year for the police because of DWI’s. This day even exceeds New Years Eve because people are generally drinking later in the evening and closer to midnight on New Years’ Eve, while they may be drinking all day long on the fourth of July. Be aware that most people on the road with you this week are taking vacation time. Which means time to relax, surrender the brain and go on automatic pilot from the neck, up. So you’ll be seeing a lot of holiday travel, drinking and driving and fatigued driving around you.

I went to my hometown for Independence Day a few years back. It is common knowledge that small towns are meth lab capitals. While I find that hard to believe, since most towns only have one or two police on staff (like Mayberry RFD), and they would have to know about the location of a meth lab in their small town. I refuse to believe that they would be in on it. Not too long ago, I did a show in a small ghost town to some nice folks who were obviously struggling in this economy. The guy I worked with, opened with this “Thanks for coming out from your meth labs to see a comedy show.” The room went silent, then everyone was whispering to each other about what body part of his they were going to remove in the parking lot after the show. I slipped into the ladies room and washed my hands for about 20 minutes until it died down. Then I crept out to my car and drove back home. I haven’t seen that guy since. Not on Facebook, not at a comedy club, no-where. He just vanished! In my hometown, the mayor had given some guy money to go across the state border to buy fireworks for the city’s annual Independence Day celebration. And the guy never came back. Did I mention the correlation between small towns and meth labs? When you go into a tavern, and the tip jar says “meth money,” you know you’re really home. Sorry, too harsh?

Until next week…happy Independence Day.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist / Benevolent Thesbo

Holiday Travel, Drinking and Driving and Fatigued Driving – Comedy Defensive Driving