Tammy Watts, a 34-year-old woman from San Diego, was being released from prison after 180 days. She entered the press room. She carefully walked to the table, head down, and took her seat. Silence filled the room as she pulled out a small piece of yellow legal-pad notebook paper. Her hands trembled as she unfolded the paper, its crackling through the microphone as loud as a jet engine. After a moment, she leaned into the microphone and began to speak.
“No words will ever adequately express the guilt, shame, and heartbreak that I have felt since that fateful day last fall, and every day since then, and every single day from here on out, for the rest of my life.” Read the rest »
“I’m the best driver I know,” says John, a man from Encinitas. “In fact, if there was test I could take, or some kind of competition I could enter, like a contest for driving—and I don’t mean like auto racing or cop kind of driving. I mean, just regular, ho-hum kind of driving that we all do, like going to work and picking up the kids and going to the grocery store. Freeways, neighborhoods, all that kind of driving. I think—heck, I know I would win that competition hands down.” Read the rest »
Summer is here and that means time for a road trip! You’ve marked off everything you need to do on that checklist you made; things like getting sunscreen and insect repellent, all the way down to making sure your neighbor will feed the cats. But there’s a major item that may not have made it onto your to-do list, and it should be a priority: inspect the car.
Many people overlook this obvious item that needs some attention before a road trip. This can lead to all kinds of potential hazards that could ruin a perfect family getaway. Read the rest »
Let’s see if you can accurately deduce who, in the following three scenarios, is the most dangerous driver on the road: Read the rest »
As of January 1, 2017, California is now one of the states that require children under 2 years of age to remain in the rear-facing car seat when riding in a vehicle, and we couldn’t be happier. Since most safety organizations advocate that children remain in the rear-facing car seat until their fourth birthday, this is a step in the right direction.
Sadly, in 2014, an average of two children under the age of 13 were killed and 308 were injured daily in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), properly used safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71% among infants, 54% among toddlers, and 45% among children ages 4 to 8. Read the rest »
Prom night and graduation are two of the most exciting moments in a teenager’s life. They mark the end of childhood, and the beginning of the journey toward becoming an adult. Unfortunately, each year tragedy strikes families across the United States when a son or daughter is killed in automotive accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 2015 was the second consecutive year that the number of vehicle-related fatalities of teenagers increased: 2,358 teens were killed in 2015, compared to the 2,176 that died in 2014. Read the rest »
You know how annoying it is—the stoplight turns green, and the car in front of you doesn’t move until after you lay on the horn. Almost nine times out of 10, you see that the reason the car in front of you was so slow to respond was because that driver was looking at their smartphone. This phenomenon is not just annoying, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, it’s causing a rise in auto insurance rates. And not just for the smartphone junkies, but for everyone. This is because distracted driving caused by smartphones is causing an overall increase in traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal accidents increased by 7.2 percent in 2015. More accidents means the increase in payout costs is outpacing premium amounts for many insurance companies, forcing them to raise their rates across the board.
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Hey California drivers, here’s a quick quiz for you: Why do automobiles have headlights?
You more than likely came up with some form of the following as your answer: “So that the driver can see the road ahead when it’s dark.” That answer seems obvious, right?
Well, you would be 50% correct. What many drivers are unaware of is that headlights are also implemented so that you can be seen by other drivers. Maintaining visibility for other drivers is paramount in staying safe on the road, particularly during times of inclement weather. If it’s pouring down rain on the 805 during a busy commute home, it doesn’t matter if your vehicle is a bright red SUV, silver sedan, or a milk-white bread truck, without the headlights on, your car will be difficult to perceive by other drivers, and you will be a moving hazard and possible accident waiting to happen.
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“All the time. I do it all the time. Every chance I get,” said Terry, from Balboa Park.
“I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve never had a problem,” said Jim, from Clairemont.
“It’s fast. It feels good,” said R.J., from Mission Beach.
“A lot of times, I’d get singled out at parties. People would point at me and say things like ‘he’s one of those guys,’ or ‘ask him about it, he loves it.’ I felt like a freak sometimes,” said Clint, from Mid-City.
“I’m so thankful it’s legal now. I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore,” said Hersh, from Mission Valley.
What are all these people talking about? Motorcycle lane splitting, of course.
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INNER MONOLOGUE OF THE MAN WHO HAS YOUR LIFE IN HIS HANDS: Hmm, nice outside today…(walks to car)…These new boots are remarkably comfortable…(unlocks car door, gets inside)…Wow, it still smells like that garlic pizza I brought home last night…(starts car, checks mirror)…Hmm. The ol’ eyebrows are getting a little long…(puts car in reverse, backs up)…Which one is NPR? Is it 3?…(pushes the “3” button on the radio, continues backing up and straightens out the car to move forward)…Man, I love Robert Siegel’s voice…(shifts to drive, moves forward)…These new boots are a little awkward for driving…(stops at stop sign)…Excellent question, Robert…(phone beeps)…Aw, damnit…(he fishes the phone out of his pocket as he turns onto a busy Carlsbad Village Dr.)…(he slides his thumb frantically across the face of the phone to open it) I’m sliding, damnit!…(he finally opens the phone and reads the text he just received as he approaches a stop light)…Ha, ha, ha! That’s hilarious!…(he tries to reply to the text, occasionally looking up at traffic)…Damn predictive text!…(he uses his knee to hold the wheel as he moves forward, using both hands to compose a text)…BAM!…(he crashes into another car)…THE END.
Every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle, each one of us engages in an activity that we may not fully acknowledge, and that is trusting in the judgment of other drivers who will be sharing the road with us. We expect other drivers to use caution and drive attentively, but with the ubiquity of hand-held devices paired with the “down time” of driving, people often get too easily distracted.
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