The week before last, I had to take a training class which meant driving 10 miles out of my way in the rain down the infamous Central Expressway through Dallas.
But the day before, I had backed into a car and broken its headlights before I even got out of my driveway.
As car crashes go, a broken headlight isn’t much, but my point here is that you must always be careful when you’re behind the wheel. No matter how short the trip is, something can happen and it is more likely to happen if you’re not being careful enough.
Physics Applies on Short Trips, Too
For example, have you ever driven across a parking lot without your seatbelt on? Most people in parking lots look out for pedestrians and runaway shopping carts, but too many don’t bother to buckle up in a parking lot.
Remember the formula for Force of Impact we teach in class: 1/2 mass times velocity squared. If a 100-lb. woman going 10 mph in a parking lot slams on her brakes to avoid a pedestrian, she’ll be thrown forward at 5,000 foot-pounds of force.
Get thrown into your steering wheel with that kind of force, and you’ll definitely be feeling it in the morning.
Short Trips Can Be the Most Dangerous
Most collisions occur within 5 miles of home because those are the streets you drive on most often and because that’s where most of us feel safe to let our guard down a little.
If you’ve got the key in the ignition, keeping yourself safe is the most important thing you’ve go to do until you take it out again.
Defensive Driving Can Make You a Safer Driver
And if any of this sounds new to you — whether it’s Force of Impact or warnings about accidents close to home or the need to buckle up in parking lots — you might be in need of either one of our live defensive driving classes or our easy and flexible online driving safety course.
People focus on ticket dismissal and insurance discounts (and we can handle both), but the real reason we exist is to make the roads safer, one driver at a time.
If your skills need some polish, sign up for one of our Texas defensive driving classes today.