Tag Archives: driving

Just A Public Service Message From Jane. You Can Thank Me Later.

I settled in with my scrambled egg, toast and tea and flipped on the TV.

“Next up, a mom’s car speeds out of the control with a stuck accelerator.”

Not some random, ordinary woman. A mom. My heart started to pound. My stomach started doing flip flops. My arms began to go weak. I reached for the remote and switched to the weather channel, thinking maybe coverage of tropical storm Issac would calm me down.

You know the recurring nightmares most people have? You’re in a classroom, final exams are about to start and you haven’t studied. Free falling off a cliff or out of an airplane. In an important meeting and you’re standing there naked.

I don’t have those dreams.

I dream about my car careening out of control, the brakes not working or my absolute worst nightmare ever, my boys and I plunge into a sinkhole, full of water and as we’re sinking I know I can’t save us and my boys are looking to me for help.

That last dream is hard for me to even write down without my heart racing out of control. I need to take a break.

Okay.

I’m back.

Watching satellite images and waves and pictures of sandbags, I couldn’t shake the image of that woman’s car speeding onto the shoulder and then back onto the highway again because she couldn’t stop. I thought, why does this freak me out so much? Is it lack of control? Fear of the unknown?

So. I educated myself.

If your accelerator gets stuck:

  1. Put your foot firmly on the brake with steady, strong pressure. (DO NOT pump the brakes.)
  2. Shift the car into neutral.
  3. The car will slow down and come to a stop.
  4. Turn the car off.

Watching this video helped calm me down. I don’t know why. Maybe because the automotive engineer demonstrating is so cool and in control.

For me, knowledge is power. I’m calmer now. And after his recommendations, I  think a Volkswagon in going to be my next car.

11 Comments

Filed under In the News, Lessons Learned

What Kind Of A Driver Is Your Average Blogger?

Are you curious?

 I know I am.

 

 

10 Comments

Filed under Because I'm Curious

I Love To Drive, Little Brother!

I think we’re paraphrasing here – from the Coen brothers’ Raising Arizona. (One of the best movies. Ever.) My husband and I rattle off quotes from that movie all the time. And when we hop in the car for a drive and my husband gets behind the wheel he says, “I LOVE to drive, little brother!”

And pre-kids? We did. Love to drive, that is. (Post kids? Not so much.) On the weekends we’d hop in the car, with no particular destination in mind, and drive. We’d check out little Mom and Pop restaurants and stores, stop at a roadside vendor and buy homegrown tomatoes, or pull over to the side of the road and hop on the Appalachian Trail to hike for a spell.

Yesterday, as I maneuvered down the two lane country roads to my sons’ school, Airstream Driver by Gomez popped on my iPod. The rat-a-tat of the drum solo arrived just as I pulled up to a 4-way stop. There were no cars around so I stayed long enough to play my “drums” on the steering wheel. Then when the music picked up again I put my foot to the accelerator.

I’m itching for a drive. A long drive. Into the mountains. Down to the beach. Anywhere, really. As long as we can take a few back roads and see what most people don’t take time to see.

We dream, every once in a while, of renting an RV. Hitting the road. See America. No Interstate allowed. Only country roads. A former student of mine traveled the famous Route 66 from start to finish. He chronicled his journey in emails. I was so jealous. In a playful way, but jealous all the same.

There’s a scene in Disney’s Cars that talks about how now, with the Interstate, people don’t slow down to take in the sites, smell the roses. My great-aunt used to tell us stories of traveling from Florida to Michigan before I-75 was built. The little restaurants that had the best fried chicken. Moon Pies at the “fill-up station.” Favorite little shops to browse in and stretch your legs.

But now, we’re in such a hurry to get to our destination. We forget to live in the moment of getting there and what that entails.

 The interesting places we see.

 The interesting people we meet along the way.

All things that make the journey memorable.  

24 Comments

Filed under Music, Uncategorized

Timed Traffic Signals – Not Rocket Science People!

As I mentioned before I lived my childhood in Michigan. I was born in Detroit. The Motor City.  Henry Ford. Birth of the mass-produced, assembly line automobile. Cars, cars and more cars. Traffic there exists, sure. But the lights are timed. When I was a kid I remember traveling down 8 mile road going miles and miles without ever being stopped by a traffic light. Timed traffic signals allow for an easy flow of traffic. Less accidents. Better gas mileage. Happier drivers.

You people in the south need to catch up already! I moved here 25 years ago and noticed that you hadn’t picked up on this useful bit of technology. Since your fashion sense was about 10 years behind I figured it may take a while to catch up with the north. Then I find out from other transplants that your northern towns didn’t utilize timed traffic signals yet, either. What? Are you kidding me? This wasn’t a North vs. South kind of thing? Detroit has been on to something and it hasn’t caught on nationwide?  No wonder that poor state is in the mess that it’s in. It can’t even market something as ingenious as timed traffic signals.

Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. That was my day today, running errands. Stop at a red light. Go 100 yards. Stop at another traffic light. Go 100 yards. Stop again. And on and on it goes. Ridiculous! It can’t be that hard to time the traffic signals. But since it is…I’m going back to bed. I don’t need this today.

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Filed under Observations