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Defensive Driving Taught By Comedian Daun Thompson at the Dallas IHOP – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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If you’re in need of a defensive driving course to dismiss a traffic violation, or, if you just want to laugh off a percentage of your auto insurance, look no further. Every Monday evening, you can take a fun, engaging and educational class for defensive driving taught by comedian Daun Thompson at the Dallas IHOP . It’s centrally located between Northwest Highway and Lovers Lane, on the east side of I-75 at 7830 N Central Expressway in Dallas. The location is easy to get to from I-635, I-30 and Northwest Highway (Loop 12). And, it is convenient to Richardson, Plano, Irving, Garland, Mesquite, Allen and McKinney. Check out our website for more information at ComedyDefensiveDriving.com and click on the Texas Classroom Course button and register from there.
The Dallas International House of Pancakes has an extensive menu of fresh breakfast dishes as well as fish, chicken, burgers and tasty salads. So, consider it a fun dinner date that you can spend with some fellow speeders. Breaks are taken throughout the course, every hour. Comedy Defensive Driving School is a state approved course. You will learn about evasive driving, defensive driving and new and revised laws will be presented to you, which will assist in making you a better driver. This is a good refresher course for all drivers. And, you get both a certificate for the court for ticket dismissal and an insurance discount certificate, good for a three year discount, between 8% to 15%!
And time will fly when you’re laughing your way through the hours at the Dallas IHOP. Daun Thompson has been a professional stand-up comedienne for over 24 years. Her tours have been shared with such great comedians as Mitch Hedberg, Marc Maron, Colin Quinn, Vic Dunlop, Huck Flyn, Michael Mancini, Doug Ferrari, Shang, Brian Posehn and many more. You can see her performances at DaunThompson.com, as well as her YouTube channel. Or check out her calendar for local Dallas Metroplex shows. Daun has been teaching Comedy Defensive Driving for over 4 years. She’s had a few local celebrities that have taken her class, but we won’t divulge their identity here. You’ll just have to come see for yourself.
The next time you need some help with ticket dismissal, schedule a class with Daun. It will be the most fun you’ve ever spent in a defensive driving class. Plus, you get to eat pancakes for dinner. That’s the great thing about being an adult. You can slowly murder yourself with sugar and no one can do a darned thing about it!
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist / Benevolent Thesbo
Defensive Driving Taught By Comedian Daun Thompson at the Dallas IHOP – Comedy Defensive Driving

Older Drivers – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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It’s normal for our driving habits and abilities to change as we get older. Weaker eyesight, slower reflexes, impaired hearing and driving stamina all are common factors which could result in quite a bang-up for older drivers. And, let’s face it, with osteoporosis, most of us will be getting shorter. Heck, I can barely see over the steering wheel as it is. So, at around the age of 63, my insurance rates will go up and I’ll be getting shorter? I should just do myself in right now.

There are a variety of measures that elderly drivers can take to continue enjoying their driving independence. A good way to brush up on your driving is to take a defensive driving course. A good refresher course, no matter how many hours or decades you have logged behind the wheel is always a good idea. Having periodic physicals, having your eyes and hearing checked and maintaining your meds are also imperative to keeping you on the road. Anyone who does not feel comfortable driving in heavy traffic or at high speeds, should stay off of the freeway and take alternate routes. No matter your age, a timid driver is unsafe for everyone.

Elderly drivers fear a loss of independence when they are told they can no longer drive. But there is a positive side to not driving. Public transportation is much less expensive than car payments, upkeep and insurance. Plus, it’s a good way to meet new people. Think of it as a kind of like E-Harmony on wheels. Walking is also beneficial for health and stamina.

One positive factor associated with elderly drivers is, most do not embrace technology. So, the chances of having an elderly person texting their BFF while driving? Not gonna happen!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Older Drivers – Comedy Defensive Driving

Emergency Vehicle – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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I was talking to a paramedic about the loudness of an ambulance siren, compared to an automobile horn. An average auto horn is 85 decibels, while an ambulance siren is 120 decibels. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, regular exposure to 110 decibels or more, for one minute, puts a person at risk for permanent hearing loss. Of course the paramedic didn’t hear a word of it, as a normal conversation is 60 decibels. He’d been a paramedic for many years. So, I think he was reading my lips. The siren of an emergency vehicle, to some, is so startling that it sets them into panic mode. When an emergency vehicle is approaching, from any direction, you must move to the right as far as possible. If you cannot move to the right, just stay put and they will find a way around you. In a situation where there is an intersection, some people will run the red light or take a right turn at the red light to get out of the way of the approaching emergency vehicle. Sometimes this action results in a collision. Thus, requiring an additional ambulance to be dispatched. So, again, if you can’t pull over to the right, just stay put.

He also said that they are required to shut off their emergency lights and siren and slow down to the required 20mph in an active school zone. And, the reason for the lights and siren off is because young children may mistake them as an ice cream truck and dart out into traffic. Maybe I’m gullible. But, I want to believe him. That reminded me of an incident in Chicago. Someone unloaded a gun on a pedestrian. And, while the victim lay bleeding on the sidewalk, five ice cream trucks showed up at the scene before the ambulance arrived. There was a crowd gathering and it was certainly hot outside. What better opportunity to make a sale? When the ambulance did arrive, it was impossible for them to get past the ice cream trucks to park near the victim.

As I recall, the ambulance siren sounded nothing like the “Camptown Races” so, again, perhaps the paramedic was yanking my chain about children in a school zone thinking the ambulance may be an ice cream truck. Most kids get dropped off at the door now. Not many walk to school anymore. I told my daughter that my sisters and I would walk to school or ride our bikes to school every day. She said “Didn’t Grandma love you?” Which, if you think about it, totally makes sense. Now, if you let your kids walk to school, they may not come home. So, if you really do love them, you take them to school. Many things have changed since I was a kid. Since September last year, the violation for overtaking a school bus (passing a school bus with the red lights flashing) is now a whopping $1,250.00. All child safety issues are high price tickets. Speeding in an active school zone and exceeding the 20mph (if you were going any slower, you’d be in reverse). Talking on a cell phone in a school zone (unless you hit someone, then you’ll need that phone to call an ambulance). Kids are more important than when I was a kid. Heck, they have seat belts in their buses now and everything!

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Emergency Vehicle – Comedy Defensive Driving

Texting in America – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Reading a Facebook post by comedienne, Jasmine Ellis made me realize how cell phone use is affecting all of us. She posted the she is “Aggravated by these Dallas drivers! How have I been rear ended twice in the last 30 days? And they actually say “I was looking down at my phone” and didn’t realize you stopped….. AT A STOP SIGN! You better thank God my bumper was there to keep your dumb (expletive) from rolling into the street!” Texting in America has to stop. We really need to evolve!

I realize I’m just bragging here, but I don’t text and drive. Honestly, I’ve tried it a few times and I could totally take out families, so I don’t do it. I’m not that coordinated. But, my teenage daughter has the ability to text while she’s not even looking at her phone. Now, that’s coordination! We were sitting at the kitchen table, having a serious conversation. She was looking me right in the eyes, and texting under the table at the same time! She calls it “multi-tasking.” I call it “grounded.” I think it’s just rude.

Since Texas is one of the few states that have no state laws on cell phone and texting use while driving, we are seeing that some cities have passed city ordinances banning their use. Denton, Texas has just recently passed one. Every two years bills regarding this issue are passed through the House, but are always vetoed. The latest bill, though, regarding a Texas statewide hands-free law was not vetoed. It has been said that the government shut down (bad timing) and other issues resulted in this important bill not being passed. Large cities like Dallas and even Fort Worth have no city ordinances.

37 states and DC ban all cell phone use by teen drivers. 18 states and DC ban any cell phone use for school bus drivers. To view a map of states against texting and driving, you can go to the link below. This site says that cell phones are responsible for one in four car accidents – and texting while driving is banned in most states. Twelve states and the District of Columbia don’t allow any handheld cell phone use while driving.

http://lifehacker.com/this-map-shows-state-laws-against-cell-phone-use-while-1469665547

The GHSA website (Governors Highway Safety Association) shows an actual chart, by state, of texting and hand held phone use. To view this chart, go to the link below. http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html

Hopefully, while we’re waiting patiently for Texas to pass a state law regarding this important issue, all cities will create a city ordinance of their own.

So, don’t text or talk on the cell phone while driving. It may save your life and the lives of those around you. Including Jasmine Ellis’ life, who is a gifted comedienne. You can check her out at https://facebook.com/jasmimeEmedia or or twitter @jasminneEmedia.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Texting in America – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

Leaving Dogs In Hot Cars – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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We all love our pets like they are a member of the family. Now that summer is here, we’ll be taking those family members to the dog park and maybe even on vacation. And, although we don’t intend to be leaving dogs in hot cars while we run an errand, sometimes it happens. Most people believe that leaving a window open or parking in the shade will keep their pet from overheating. Unfortunately, this is a myth. In reality, partially lowering a window has no significant effect on the temperature inside a parked car.

During summer months, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to well above 100 degrees in just a matter of minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. Never leave a dog in a parked car. On a mild day (70 degrees), the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees in 30 minutes. On a 90 degree day, the interior can reach 160 degrees in less than minutes. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.

You take your pets along for the ride because you love them. Not thinking for a moment that you could be potentially putting their fragile, short lives in danger. I used to take my dog everywhere with me when I ran errands. But, just when you think you’re going to run in to 7-11 to get a gallon of milk, someone inevitably writes a check. Who writes checks anymore? And clerks don’t know how to take a check these days. So, what started out as a quick in and out, becomes an hour ordeal. And leaving your car running, unattended, so you can have the air conditioning on for your pet is against the law. Just leaving your keys in your ignition, unattended can result in a hefty fine.

So, my dog doesn’t ride along with me much anymore. He’s more comfortable at home, watching re-runs of Matlock.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars – Comedy Defensive Driving

Elderly Drivers – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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My father taught me how to drive. And he was a drunk driver. So I learned how to weave and drift across three lanes. He would place his beer can on the center of the dashboard and say “Now line that can up with the side of the road to keep your lane perspective.” Then he’d climb over the seat and pass out. That was nearly 30 years ago and now he is 78 years old and in bad health. With 60 plus years of driving experience, it’s hard to imagine having to talk to him about hanging up his keys now that he’s a senior driver. While elderly drivers don’t cause as many accidents as drunk drivers or inexperienced teen drivers, because of their frailty, they usually are seriously or critically injured in a motor vehicle collision.

I recently visited my parents at their home up north. When my parents were taking me back to the airport to fly home, my dad started drifting into another lane, directly into the side of a semi-truck. He was trying to turn on the dome light to get change for the tollway. I asked my mom to get the change for him or we’re all going to die. A few minutes later, he was drifting across lanes again. He was trying to count change for the tollway. I asked my mother to count it for him. My sisters, who were also visiting and not flying out until the next morning, were still at my parents home. So, I was texting them from the back seat of my dad’s truck “Don’t let dad drive you to the airport…we’re all going to die.” When we made it to the airport my Mom said “Call us when your flight gets in.” I said “You call ME! I’m going to be on a plane for 2 hours with no cell phone reception, not knowing if you made it home alive.” That evening, they took my Dad to the emergency room. It appears that he was having a mini-stroke while he was driving me to the airport. He’s usually a pretty good driver. So we should have guessed that something was wrong.

In most states, people aged 75 and older must apply in person for every renewal. A senior driver is also usually required to take a road test. People aged 81-86 are required to renew their license every two years and aged 87 and older are required to renew their license every year.

If you are a senior driver or you know someone who is, there are some awesome websites that give you tips on how to evaluate their driving skills to see if they’re safe behind the wheel. One such website is AAA (American Automobile Association). This particular link helps them evaluate their driving skills http://seniordriving.aaa.com/sites/default/files/Driver65.12.13.pdf while this link is an actual assessment tool to rate their driving habits http://seniordriving.aaa.com/evaluate-your-driving-ability/self-rating-tool

If you know a senior driver who you suspect may be unable to operate a motor vehicle, have a talk with them and let them know the importance of safe driving habits. Even wearing seat belts seems to be an issue from older generations. Most don’t like to wear a seat belt because it’s uncomfortable and it wrinkles their outfit. Not like going through the windshield won’t wrinkle your outfit…and your head.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Elderly Drivers – Comedy Defensive Driving

Don’t Mess With Texas Littering Campaign – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Don’t Be a Litterbug and Don’t Mess With Texas are two of the vintage slogans I remember from the good old days. We’ve come a long way, baby (that’s another one), and we really have evolved. The Don’t Mess With Texas littering campaign started in 1986, coincidentally the same year as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Program and the national seat belt law.

The website, dontmesswithtexas.org is a fantastic website where you can order free merchandise and where you can also anonymously report a litterbug. There are only three things that you can litter with in Texas, legally. They are ice, water and chicken feathers. I always thought something biodegradable, such as an apple core or a banana peel, were okay to discard. But, apparently, the problem is not so much the issue of biodegrading, but the attraction of animals. An animal may go onto the road to check out something that it sees as a potential food item, and could be hit by a passing car. But the real problem is, some people will swerve to avoid hitting an animal and injure or possibly kill themselves. Mostly women, because we have feelings (I just added that, but it’s probably true).

Littering fines are steep. I met a 17 year old young man who received a hefty fine for throwing a cigarette butt out of his car window. And the Judge made him take a six hour defensive driving class, that was in addition to paying the fine. Perhaps he had to take a class because he wasn’t 18, the legal age to purchase cigarettes in Texas. I had an adorable bumper sticker that I ordered from the Don’t Mess With Texas website that said “Keep Your Butts In The Car.” I felt sorry for the poor guy. So I gave him my bumper sticker for having a good attitude about it. I’m sure he didn’t stick it on his car. He probably rolled it up and smoked it. Who knows what he did with it?

Texans can also submit artwork for the annual Don’t Mess With Texas litter bag contest. The woman who won the contest in January is a talented little artist from McKinney, Texas. The website also offers information about littering fines, statistics, a little bit of Texas history and some great links to other Texas websites such as Texas Highways Magazine and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Check out the website. You’ll be glad you did. And share the love.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Don’t Mess With Texas – Comedy Defensive Driving

Learn How To Share The Road With Motorcycles – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Motorcycle laws vary from state to state. And, although motorcyclists know these laws, people driving motor vehicles should know them as well. For instance, with the issue of lane splitting, only in California is it legal to split lanes. So, yes, it is illegal to split lanes in Texas. But, if a motorcyclist is splitting lanes or riding on the shoulder in traffic, although it may be illegal, it doesn’t warrant someone to block their path to keep them from doing it. That, too, is illegal since it can cause an accident (or even death). So, teaching someone a “lesson” by killing them is also illegal. Some of us just need to learn how to share the road with motorcycles.

I grew up with motorcycles. When I was a kid, my Dad’s Harley was our alarm clock. He’d be getting home from the pub around the time we needed to get ready for school. He’d pull into the garage and rev it up before he shut it down. It would shake the entire house. In Texas, there is no maximum sound level law in place. In fact, a lot of bikers who don’t own a Harley Davidson motorcycle have put loud muffler packages on their bikes so people will at least hear them, even if they can’t see them. Sometimes Dad would take us for a ride on his bike. We’d ride on the fuel tank. Thank goodness we’ve evolved since then! Now, passenger age restrictions on a motorcycle indicate that anyone under 5 must ride in a sidecar, facing backwards (just kidding about the facing backwards part).

Rider education is required if you are under the age of 18, and required if you are over 21 and choose not to wear a helmet. Or, your option there would be to have proof that you hold insurance covering injuries that result from a motorcycle accident. Again, thank goodness we’ve evolved.

A few other laws in Texas and most other states are that you have to have your headlights on during the day and you must have at least one side mirror. That’s also helps you to see who is running you off the road. Because people in cars just don’t pay attention. Texting, talking, fiddling with stuff in the car while they are driving. There are unlimited distractions in the car. And, with more motorcycles on the road now, that’s a lethal combination.

So, look twice for motorcycles. And share the road. Remember, those motorcyclists have families, like the rest of us. Some even have wives and kids. Well, that would be Utah. I meant a wife (singular) and kids.

Until next week….

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Learn How To Share The Road With Motorcycles – Comedy Defensive Driving

Independence Day Holiday – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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Happy Independence Day holiday! I love, love, love being an American. Yes, I like to throw the word LOVE around like they throw diet pills around at a Weight Watchers meeting. One word that I have sworn off is the word HATE. And there…I just used it. So, I am a liar and a hater. And I will be getting professional help for both. I must say, though, I really do hate driving. Especially with the hateful traffic we have here in Texas. It seems like they’re doing construction on all of the freeways at the same time. So now, your alternate route is “damn!” Road rage is on the rise with more people waving the finger at each other on a regular basis. Apparently that’s what the sunroof is for. And, if you can drive with both knees, you can flip someone off with both hands. People are talented, aren’t they? They should just put Prozac into the water system here.

My Aunt Sally is currently on a road trip to Austin from Illinois. She doesn’t know what she’s in for. Just the trip from Dallas to Austin used to take around 3 hours (another half an hour if you stop for kolaches at the Czech Stop in West, Texas). Most of the stretch on I-35 is only two lanes wide now, due to construction. Currently, if you drive to Austin from Dallas, you leave the house clean-shaven. And by the time you get to Austin, you have a full grown beard! And my Aunt Sally is at the age where, even as a female, she could totally grow a full beard. I’ve seen it…and it’s creepy.

With the Independence Day holiday approaching, taking a road trip can be a fun adventure and a costly one. Not only do you have to figure in gasoline expenses and time, but you also need to do a little research before you begin your journey. Knowing the laws in the states you will be passing through may save you from hefty traffic fines. Being from Illinois, she may not know that in Texas you can take a right turn at a red light. But your car has to settle before taking your right turn. You can also take a left turn at a red light from a one-way street, onto a one-way street. Here, you can only occupy the H.O.V. lane in Texas if you have two or more people in the car. There is currently no state law in Texas about cell phone usage or texting while driving. But there are city ordinances that vary from city to city. In the Lone Star State, you can only litter with ice, water and chicken feathers. And the police will certainly be setting up road blocks for drunk drivers throughout the Independence Day holiday weekend. And, I’m certain there are many other laws that differ from Illinois law that are too plentiful to list here. Not to mention the laws in Missouri and Oklahoma which she will be passing through. Something in the law books about cousins and animal husbandry, I’m sure. (You didn’t think for a minute that, as a Texan, I wasn’t going to take a shot at Oklahoma, did you?)

Until next week…be safe this holiday weekend, my friends. And don’t blow a finger off. At least, not the middle finger. You’ll be needing that one.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Independence Day – Comedy Defensive Driving

Look Twice For Motorcycles – ComedyDefensiveDriving.com

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May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. You may be noticing billboards advertising this and reminding you to look twice for motorcycles and share the road. Because of the high price of gas, automobile insurance and purchasing an automobile, more drivers have purchased a motorcycle to save on expenses. So, there are more motorcycles on the road. This, combined with distracted drivers, is a lethal combination. Statistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads. But, with today being Memorial Day, it is likely that the combination of intoxicated motorcyclists and intoxicated automobile operators will provide disastrous results.

With road construction, lane closures, ramp closures and especially H.O.V. closures, I truly hope that people will refrain from drinking and driving and be extra cautious when riding near a motorcyclist. It is known that motorcyclists can ride on the H.O.V. lane without a passenger. The H.O.V. is, in fact, the safest place for them to ride, rather than on the freeway, around distracted or drunk drivers. But some of the major H.O.V.’s in this area are closed and under construction. And the ones that remain open are on freeways so riddled with traffic that automobile operators cross illegally across the double line or slip between the pvc posts to enter the H.O.V. to avoid traffic. This could be lethal to a motorcyclist if they are not seen.
Although May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, why not always practice caution when riding near a motorcyclist? In Texas, if you cut off a motorcyclist and they crash, you could ensue a $500 fine. I personally believe if the fine were more, people would really pay attention. And, if the crash results in serious bodily injury or death, the fine is upward of $5000 (plus you get the pants sued off of you).

So, look twice for motorcycles and share the road. Of course, we all know that there are also motorcyclists out there ‘hot-doggin’ and whipping in and out of traffic, popping wheelies and passing you at 120 miles per hour. Another reason for we drivers to really be paying attention. Perhaps we can’t always feel so responsible for those people who intentionally put their lives in danger. But there are still those out there that have purchased a motorcycle to save on their commute expenses. And remember, those people have a family. And some of them have wives and kids (oops…that would be in Utah…I meant a wife (singular) and kids.

Until next week…be safe.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Look Twice For Motorcycles – Comedy Defensive Driving