Surviving the street life: five tips to know

Surviving+the+street+life%3A+five+tips+to+know

Artwork courtesy of Ailey Greig

Tired of hearing the huff and puff about teen driving? Or if you’re a veteran driver, think you know all the bad habits that could keep you off the road? Think again.

Chances are, you have never come across these five things that could one day save you and your car.

Blind Spot

You’ve probably lost count about how many times your driver’s education instructor grilled you about the blind spot.

The blind spot is important, but not that important. When you look over your shoulder seven times before changing lanes, you are taking attention away from where it matters most: the road ahead.

In fact, with optimal adjustment of your mirrors, you can cure your partial blindness and improve peripheral vision.

“(If) these mirrors are adjusted to show no part of your own vehicle, you can virtually eliminate the blind spot,” said Ted Wilkins, cross-country truck driver.

Here and There, but Everywhere?

A DMV.org tip for teen drivers: “Always be aware of the traffic ahead, behind and next to you, and have possible escape routes in mind.”

Whoa. Slow down for a second. Literally, slow down — that’s the key.

For a distraction-free driver maintaining a safe speed, too much glancing around draws attention away from the road ahead.

“You don’t have to concentrate on all that, because that will definitely distract you and take you away from what’s in front of you,” said Director of Public Safety Ron Stowe.

Parking Mania

All the cars in the parking lot are not parked. And even if they are, the job isn’t much easier.

“I was personally involved with a student backing out who hit me,” said Ted Mauldin, facilities department employee. I tried to stop, get out of the way, but she must have been in a hurry.”

When you’re backing out, you have no traffic signals that you are tempted to beat. The key is reminding yourself that you’re in no hurry whatsoever (even if you are). And in case you haven’t heard, look behind throughout the whole back-up.

Do not always go with the flow.

A Keep the Drive study through the Allstate Foundation noted that 87 percent of teens admit to speeding. If you want to be a rebel, just drive the speed limit.

“I get picked on for actually obeying the laws of the road,” said Early College senior Michael Hebert. “That whole culture of ‘Oh, it is okay to speed if you laugh about it’ — I think that’s scary.”

Let’s face it: speed limits can seem painfully slow — especially on roads that you could almost drive with your eyes closed.

Nevertheless, when you see that little white board and sigh at the “35” printed on it in big, bold letters, remember that there’s a lot of research that goes behind that number.

“The speed limits are posted because they have been determined for the safety of the area in terms of caution and reactionary time,” said Greensboro Drivers License Examiner Connory.

Follow the leader — but not too closely

It’s perfectly normal to follow someone, but do not chase them like it is “Need for Speed II.”

“There’s some pretty aggressive driving going on out there in terms of people following too closely,” said Guilford County bus driver Stephen McCollum.

Sometimes people drive agonizingly slowly even in the left lane.

They’re only going to be ticked off with your impatient tailgating. Worse, you could be on your way to a very conclusive rear-end collision.

[photomosaic nggid=91]