Hitting The Fan On The Highway
While we are preparing for disasters that life might throw at us, most of us are in the car driving somewhere almost every day. Have you ever been in a wreck? Have you ever had a friend or loved one seriously injured or killed in a wreck? I'm sure most of us can answer yes to at least one of those.
This morning, I was boogieing down the interstate at about 78 mph, following a big rig in the hammer lane when all of a sudden, I heard a loud boom and saw a big puff of smoke from one of the rear tires of the rig. It felt like slow motion as I moved toward the shoulder and watched pieces of tire and road debris fly past where my windshield was just a moment earlier. Fortunately, I was driving defensively and paying attention, and there was little traffic at that time of the morning.
The ideas are simple, and we probably all learned them in drivers ed, but it bears repeating. Leave plenty of room between you and whoever is in front of you; always have an escape route planned; don't get caught surrounded; and pay attention. I eat breakfast, tune the radio, talk on the phone, and drink a bottle of water, and I can say with certainty, that I am not paying attention then like I do when I'm not doing those things.
I've had the good fortune to have been through more and better driver training than most... police pursuit, ambulance EVOC, State Department protection detail driving, and I had my driver training teacher endorsement a few years back. But I still get distracted. For yourself, your family, and the others on the road, try to keep the distractions to a minimum. I am.