Staying Alive!

     When you visited the PittRxMan page you noticed that one of my pet peeves is people running stop signs! Well it goes deeper than that! I dislike bad drivers!
     There are those that think a defensive driver's course is an imposition on their time. They have been driving for years and, by the grace of God, have not had an accident. In my humble opinion, this could be pure dumb luck!
     For those of us who drive high performance vehicles or motorcycles it is even more important to take defensive driving courses or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Safety Course.
     High performance vehicles tend to attract the attention of immature drivers who will roll along side and either verbally invite you to street race or play around along side of you when you are rolling in traffic and play stupid, childish games thereby allowing you no "zone of safety!". The last thing you need is a seventeen year old in a tricked out Honda Vtech playing games with you on the highway. They ruin your "zone of safety" and sometimes their testosterone levels are so high that they just won't leave you alone!
     Motorcycles present a whole bunch of different problems. They are less visible to drivers. Most automobile drivers have no clue just how much coordination and skill it takes to operate a motorcycle. They also think that a motorcycle can stop on a dime. I think that driver's training should include a lot more information about the handling characteristics of motorcycles so that drivers of conventional vehicles will have more respect for the riders. Motorcycle riders should remember that it is "better to sweat than to bleed!" Wear the gear! Helmet, gloves, long sleeved protective jacket, long pants and boots. The rate of bone grind at 60 MPH is 1/2 inch per second! That's gotta hurt and it will leave a mark!
     Some tips to stay alive:
     DON'T SPEED! I takes a vehicle a hell of a lot longer to stop when it is going faster. The faster you go the longer it will take to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Or simply put KE = (mass x velocity2)/2 or 1/2 mv2 ! Try that formula using a Lincoln Navigator vs. a Mazda Miata! Scary as hell!
     DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! There are some countries that will put you in jail for ANY amount of alcohol found in your blood stream. Certain prescription drugs can impair your reaction time and dull your senses. Please check all labeling and check with your pharmacist before climbing behind the wheel.
     LOOSE THE AGGRESSIVE ATTITUDE! You do not own the road! Driving is a privilege and NOT A RIGHT! Driver's safety courses won't use this language but I will. Some people climb behind the wheel and they feel invincible! Bull shit! If you are one of those folks that get pissed off at others when you think they are making a mistake or driving too slow or whatever, YOU NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT! Cursing, flipping off other drivers, threatening other drivers with violence only demonstrates your immaturity and clearly makes you in violation of the law and a menace to other drivers. This is not the United States of (substitute your last name here)! When you find yourself pounding the steering wheel and cursing other drivers you need to consider an anger management course as well as defensive driving! God help you if you encounter one of your own! You never know what kind of bad ass is in the other car or what he or she is carrying in the glove box or center console! I for one, carry a .45 Sig in the console of my SVT Lightning but I also have a license to carry issued by the State of Florida.
    Just the other night I was driving in Brooksville, Fl at or slightly above, the posted speed limit in the rain. From behind me came a small pickup truck and the driver began to tailgate me then executed a dangerous pass where I had to apply the brakes to prevent HIM from having a head on collision. From the passenger side came a one fingered gesture which I recognized as a message signaling me his mental age, his IQ and his sperm count! I could have become angry but this driver and his passenger's blatant stupidity actually made me laugh. FYI, the pickup he was driving might be worth 500 bucks on a good day and I am positive that it would not pass a basic safety check.


A Lawyer versus a Sheriff's deputy!

A  lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a Sheriff's Deputy. He  thinks that he is smarter than the Deputy because he is sure that he has a  better education. He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the deputy's expense...Deputy says, "License and registration, please."  Lawyer says, "What for?" Deputy says, "You didn't come to a complete stop at  the stop sign."
Lawyer says, "I slowed down, and no one was coming."
Deputy  says, "You still didn't come to a complete stop. License and registration,  please."
Lawyer says, "What's the difference?"
Deputy says, "The difference is, you have to come to a complete stop, that's the law. License and  registration, please!"
Lawyer says, "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I'll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket, if not you let me go and no ticket."
Deputy says, "Exit your vehicle, sir." At this point, the deputy takes out his nightstick and starts beating the ever-loving crap out of the lawyer and says: "Do
you want me to stop or just slow down?"



     Since I first wrote this several traffic fatalities have occurred in the Tampa area which have been the direct result of ROAD RAGE! Folks, this is a serious problem!

Sequence of
Road Rage Steps
 Emotional Intelligence
Choice Points

Step 1: Woman, 24 year old mother of two in Cincinnati, driving alone in a GrandAm, is following a woman driver in a VW. In front of them are several cars behind a truck going 35 mph. The GrandAm pulls into the left lane in order to pass and speeds up to 55 mph. Overtaking a line of vehicles is always risky. You must expect that other drivers in the line also want to break away, so don't speed up excessively.

Choice 1: Pull into the lane and increase speed moderately in case someone pulls out in front of you. Takes the skill of restraining yourself and accommodating others' movements.

Step 2: The VW suddenly pulls out into the left lane, in front of the GrandAm, going 20 mph slower and forcing the GrandAm driver to apply the brakes suddenly. This provocative maneuver suddenly creates a dangerous incident. Trial records show this was done deliberately to annoy the GrandAm driver for tailgating her. It's an aggressive act, in direct opposition to another driver already engaged in a lane change maneuver.

Choice 2: Avoid engaging in power struggles with other drivers. It takes the skill of backing down from a challenge, of being less competitive, and intending to facilitate rather than oppose what other drivers want to do.

Step 3: The VW gradually overtakes the slow truck, passes it, and pulls back into the right lane. This is a proper maneuver, but doesn't by itself defuse the power struggle that is in progress.

Choice 3: Be prepared to pacify hurt feelings. It takes tools of self regulation to remain calm in the face of a potential backlash. You can predict that the other driver will likely retaliate your provocative move.

Step 4: The GrandAm, still in the left lane, now overtakes the VW, honks several times, makes obscene gestures, and flashes her lights as signs of outrage ("to let her know that she almost caused an accident just then"). One of the worst things a driver can do is openly duel with another driver. She uses all of the behaviors known to be acts of war on the road.

Choice 4: Retain self control by refusing to fan the flames of your righteous indignation. Resist the temptation to teach other drivers a lesson. Valuing motorists as fellow human beings gives you the inner power to resist the impulse to retaliate.

Step 5: The VW driver responds by flipping the bird and shaking her head. The worst thing to do in a road rage power struggle is to continue the duel. By not defusing the situation, she is irresistibly drawn into the duel.

Choice 5: Use every opportunity to "come out swinging positive" by appearing to be calm, like you're no longer taking a fighting stance. It takes the skills of switching to a non confrontational posture, and of rationally predicting the consequences of road rage.

Step 6: The GrandAm now tries to pull ahead in the left lane in order to re-enter the right lane, but the VW accelerates, blocking the way. The die is cast for a tragedy, with both drivers locking themselves into a pathological game.

Choice 6: Desist. Recognize that you are in an insane power struggle that you instantly need to back out of. This takes self witnessing to help you realize how far gone you are in your emotional hijacking.

Step 7: The GrandAm slows down and pulls in behind the VW and now keeps up the pressure by tailgating dangerously. Having no choice, she's forced to back off momentarily, but hasn't calmed down. She escalates the fight.

Choice 7: Use a lull in the fight to calm down and pacify the other driver by not appearing hostile. You need to train yourself to be able to back out of a fight by practicing "an attitude of latitude" or forgiveness.

Step 8: Now the GrandAm suddenly pulls out into the left lane again, overtakes and cuts off the VW, then gives her a "brake job," slamming on the brakes to punish the VW driver behind her. She uses her experience as a driver to wage war. She's no longer just getting even. She started out by getting upset that the VW driver almost caused an accident, but then ended up herself creating a major battle.

Choice 8: Realize that the law of escalation exacts tragedy. This takes an overhaul of the aggressive driver's personality and driving philosophy.

Step 9: The VW driver applies her brakes suddenly and they lock, causing her to veer sideways to the right where she hits truck parked on the shoulder. She is thrown from the car, taken to the hospital where she recovers from surgery, but she was pregnant and her unborn child dies. She started out nearly causing a crash by pulling out in front of the GrandAm. Instead of pacifying the driver, she flipped her the bird, and ended up losing her baby.

Choice 9: It's too late to do anything. It's gone too far!

Step 10: The GrandAm driver continues her trip to the office where she told her supervisor that she'd been in an accident, that "the other driver had it coming" and that "she wasn't going to take shit from no one." Later, she was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide for causing the death of an unborn child.
Not only did she have no remorse, but she was proud of what she did, and bragged about it. This came back to haunt her when it was brought out at the trial through the testimony of her supervisor.

Choice 10: She needs a complete driving personality make-over, which will take years, and will involve examining and changing her self image, her ego relationship to cars, her values about human rights, her anger management, and her caring about fellow human beings.



     DON'T eat, drink, apply make up, talk on the cell phone, argue with others, watch TV or read while driving.  Do I really need to explain this!? I sure as hell hope not!
     STOP SIGNS, STOP SIGNALS and other warnings are to be obeyed. STOP means a full and complete stop. Don't get mad if a police office tickets you if you SLOWLY blow a stop sign. STOP means STOP! A full and complete STOP! As a motorcycle rider, nothing irks me more or places me in greater danger than someone blowing a stop sign or running a red light.
     SAFETY CHECK YOUR VEHICLE. Lights, tires, brakes all need to be in good working order. Change oil in your car as per the owner's manual. Check tires for proper inflation and tread depth. Watch for uneven wear. Don't overload your vehicle. On the day that I wrote this page there were 3 young people killed when a SEVEN passenger CHURCH van was loaded with FIFTEEN people flipped and ejected three people, two of which were CRUSHED under the van's wreckage.
     Voluntarily take defensive driver's courses periodically. They are about 4 hours long but packed full of valuable information that could save your life, the lives of your passengers and maybe even the lives of innocent people.
     Stay alert, scan the road for problems, analyze them and make your decisions early. Watch road conditions and adjust your speed accordingly. If driving conditions deteriorate due to heavy rain or snow, pull over! Wear those seat belts not just because it's the law .... it's the right thing to do. If you are obese you can buy seat belt extenders and pads in most auto or discount stores and they won't break the bank! In a hurry ... leave earlier for your destination. Held up in traffic? Calm down because you're not the only one. It is better to be ten minutes late that DEAD because you got stupid. Don't drive when you are tired or in a bitchy mood. Keep your mind on your driving and nothing else.
     Most accidents are preventable and it is our responsibility to avoid them.
     If we had an airline go down every day killing all on board we, as a Nation, would be up in arms. Each day an equal number of people are killed or crippled on our highways and we just accept it!
     Many people have cultivated bad driving practice over the years and have been lucky not to have been involved in a traffic accident. Let's face it .. there is no way to totally avoid traffic accidents but a little more awareness and COURTESY would help reduce the numbers greatly.

Watch this video first!

My thanks to www.thinkridesafety.gov.uk!!!


 Now read this:
Collision kills two people on motorcycle
A driver is accused of leaving the scene of the accident where her car hit a motorcycle.
By REBECCA CATALANELLO, Times Staff Writer
Published December 5, 2004
     It was the first time Wendy Pipe remembers her daughter ever riding on the back of a motorcycle.
     Not long after Heather Pipe, 32, left her parents' Hudson home wearing blue jeans and her favorite suede jacket to go for a night ride with friends, Wendy and Thomas Pipe learned their youngest daughter was dead.
     Heather Pipe, a mother of three from Hudson, and Matthew Voorhees, 22, of Port Richey, died after the motorcycle Voorhees was driving collided with a 1996 Chevrolet Friday evening. The accident occurred about 7 p.m. at Regency Park Boulevard and Stone Road in Port Richey.
     Sheriff's deputies arrested Veronica Sade Rivera, 18, of 7322 Vienna Lane in Port Richey, on charges of leaving the scene of an accident in which there were serious injuries, a felony.
     According to Rivera's arrest report, she accelerated away from a stop sign onto Regency Park Boulevard and into the path of the southbound motorcycle. Sheriff's deputies noted that the motorcycle was traveling "at a high speed."
     Rivera, who had two female friends in the car, stopped her vehicle momentarily, then drove away. The two friends who were with her returned to the accident scene to talk with deputies. Rivera was arrested at a theater at Southgate Shopping Center in New Port Richey. She posted $20,000 bail and was released from Land O'Lakes jail Saturday morning.
     Thomas and Wendy Pipe said their daughter was just getting her life together after a painful separation from the father of two of her children. She was planning to begin cosmetology school on Monday.
     "She was a beautiful redhead," Thomas Pipe said of his youngest daughter.
      The Pipes said Heather knew Matthew Voorhees through a neighbor down the street. The three of them were planning a relaxing night out. Voorhees was not wearing a helmet, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. It wasn't clear Saturday whether Pipe was wearing one.

     Now why did I ask you to read this? The first reason is the fact that I know the driver who did not stop and I just happened to be there when she was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident there two people collided with here car and were killed instantly! The second reason I the fact that I am a motorcyclist!
     NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT NO MATTER WHAT YOUR REASONING! VERONICA NOW FACES 7 T0 15 YEARS IN PRISON! Even though her passengers urged her to remain in place she ran! I saw her after the accident and it was like nothing had happened. She went to a girl friend and asked her if she could help "fix her car!" I have no clue as to what she was feeling at the time but her action was cold and inhuman. Sorry Veronica but you screwed up and now the law will make you pay.
     Witnesses say that if she had stayed at the accident scene NOTHING would have happened because the bike hit her car while it was stopped and, as it was later determined, speeding!



I'm begging for you to read this because I just happened to be on Elgin Blvd about 10 minutes after this HORRIBLE accident. I saw Mary Prokosch face down on the hot pavement and Douglas Prokosch face down and pinned under his 800 pound motorcycle! Since I am a motorcycle enthusiast you can imagine my HORROR when I saw this! I also enjoy having my wife on the passenger seat!!!

PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES!!!

Husband dies, wife critically hurt in crash on cycle
Both were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital following the collision with a commercial truck at an intersection.
By DUANE BOURNE, Times Staff Writer
Published June 8, 2005

     SPRING HILL - A 58-year-old Spring Hill man was killed and his wife critically injured Tuesday when their motorcycle collided with a truck, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
     Mary Prokosch, 60, was riding behind her husband as they rode west on Elgin Boulevard around 10:45 a.m. when the accident occurred. Both were flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where Douglas Prokosch died of his injuries. Mary Prokosch, who lived with her husband on Landover Boulevard, was listed in critical condition Tuesday, said hospital spokesman Will Darnell.
     Tuesday's accident was the 10th traffic related fatality on Hernando County roads this year, according to Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins.
     As the couple rode west on Elgin Boulevard on their Yamaha Road Star motorcycle, Carl Croon, 42, of Clearwater and his passenger were driving south on Sterling Hills Boulevard and had stopped at the intersection with Elgin Boulevard, an accident report said.
     Croon said he looked in both directions before driving across the four lane road. Croon and his passenger, who was not identified in the Highway Patrol report, had been working for Comfort Zone Portables of Florida at the Sterling Hill subdivision, which is under construction.
     According to the report, Croon's white Dodge drove into the path of the Prokoschs' motorcycle, sending it onto its left side.
     "I didn't see anything," said a visibly shaken Croon. His wife, Patty, consoled him at the scene of the crash. "There was nobody there when I pulled out," he said.
     Working nearby were three laborers who said they only heard the commotion of squealing tires and metal and saw the riders fall.
     "When I turned around I saw the motorcycle slide, and the guy fell on the street," said Joe Gutierrez, 29, who was laying sod on Elgin Boulevard about 200 feet away.
     Gutierrez said after the crash, both Croon and his passenger leaped from their work truck and tried to help the victims.
     When emergency personnel arrived, they found the motorcycle on top of Douglas Prokosch; his wife was lying in the intersection. Sneakers and other personal belongings were strewn along the southern shoulder of Elgin Boulevard.
     No charges were filed. The investigation is ongoing.

     "I didn't see anything."  This response is all too common when this type of accident occurs. Because a motorcycle creates a small profile and most drivers brains are not conditioned to spot them. They LOOK but do not SEE a motorcycle because their brains are only prepared to see a CAR or a TRUCK on the road. Motorcycles just do not register!  Combine that with the fact that most CAR and TRUCK drivers do not have a clue as to the coordination that it takes to drive a motorcycle and they have never been taught the handling characteristics of a motorcycle. More education on motorcycle awareness needs to be incorporated in the driver's license program!!!!



 Now this ranks as blatantly stupid for many reasons:

Driver accused of hitting pedestrian
Highway Patrol troopers say the driver tried to talk the man out of calling authorities and then left the drugstore parking lot.
By DUANE BOURNE, Times Staff Writer
Published December 21, 2004

     SPRING HILL - The Florida Highway Patrol arrested a 33-year-old Spring Hill man they say backed into a pedestrian in a parking lot and took off when the man said he was calling authorities.
     The pedestrian, Scott Tyree, was walking across the parking lot of Walgreens about 2:10 p.m. Saturday when a white Chevrolet, driven by Jerry Ingle, backed out of a parking space and struck him, an arrest report said. The drugstore is at 13053 Cortez Blvd.
     After he was knocked into a parked car, Tyree pounded on the car to get the driver's attention. When the car stopped, Ingle got out and asked Tyree why he wasn't paying attention to where he was walking, the report said.
     According to the report, Ingle tried to talk Tyree out of calling for help and filing an accident report. But after Tyree told him he was going inside the drugstore to call law enforcement, Ingle took off in the Chevrolet.
     Tyree was then taken to a local hospital, where his condition was not available Monday.
     Four hours later, a trooper tracked down Ingle at his home on Stillwater Avenue by using state motor vehicle records. Ingle was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, a third degree felony. He was also cited with improper backing.
     Ingle was released from the Hernando County Jail on Sunday after posting $5,000 bail, records show.

NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT NO MATTER WHAT YOUR REASONING!



     Now let's address the subject of "speed traps." We all know that law enforcement has a job to do but in many cases "speed traps" are just what they imply. Police officers or Sheriff's Deputies operating fund raisers for their local government. With new technology they can easily "laser trap" multiple vehicles simultaneously! They hide behind bushes and "pop" multiple cars then several officers herd them into a parking lot and write citations as fast as they can. Now when most people slide a few miles over the limit they do it without malice! Let me give you and example. You have just driven ten miles on a road that has a 45 mph limit. You start rolling down a hill and get a green light at an intersection and suddenly the speed limit drops to 30 mph. Ninety five percent of the drivers will lift their foot off the throttle and allow the compression of the engine bring them down to the speed limit. If you are driving a 3,500 pound beast, the kinetic energy on a downhill grade will keep you rolling above the posted limit for quite a while. Guess where the cops will be? One hundred yards past the first 30 mph sign and you will still be close to 45 mpg then "ZAP!" it's ticket time. Yes. some law enforcement folks would rather have you stare at your speedometer than look at the road. So go ahead and hit the brakes as soon as you see that 30 mph sign! So what if some sleepy ass driver tags your rear bumper. You are a good citizen and have obeyed the law!
    Do you think that type of enforcement is wrong? Well it is at best borderline behavior on the part of law enforcement.
    There is a nice stretch of road in Central Florida well known for "speed trap" activity. This one is cold! You are driving on a four lane road with a posted speed of 55 mph. You approach a bridge and travel up an incline. When you reach the top and begin your decent guess what is waiting for you! A 30 mph speed limit and a small town cop with a radar gun ready to nail your ass! So if you are driving through Central Florida think of "Where is Waldo." You will want to know where Waldo, Florida is located.     Click Here for Waldo & Lawtey

The AAA paid for this billboard!

     Somebody needs to back off this type of enforcement! Yes, going over the posted limit is against the law and is dangerous at times!
     Estimates are that over 115,000 speeding tickets are written every day in the United States! It's a multi-billion dollar influx of funds. Did you know that insurance companies often underwrite the cost of expensive radar and laser guns and GIVE THEM to troopers? Why do you think they do that? I can assure you it isn't from the goodness of their hearts. Look at what happens to your insurance premiums after that speeding ticket! The increase in premium stays for three years. Just 2 tickets with that laser gun that the insurance company graciously donated to law enforcement pays for the gun! All of the rest of the tickets issued with the gun are gravy!

Ooops!

Don't watch your DVD player while driving near trees!

Description:
This is what's left of former Steelers offensive lineman Justin Stzelczyk's pick up truck after he led police on a 40 minute chase before crashing head-on into a tanker truck at more than 90 MPH. He apparently had a mental breakdown shortly before his rampage. Sadly, he was killed.

OK so you were feeling a little kind (or stupid) that night and let your 18 year old drive your
Lambo! He showed off to his friends.  Now how do both you and the kid feel?

Built Ford Tough!
Score  Trees = 1   Ford Super Duty = 0
 

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