Message: Member article submission for weekend of 11/21/2020
Some Common Sense Defensive Driving Tips:
By: Jonathon Dean

On the road these days, there are many things to watch out for: distracted drivers, negligent drivers, malicious drivers, etc. We must always be on guard while operating any machinery and be as diligent as possible. As Catholics, we can ask for assistance from our Guardian Angels. We can also place sacramentals within our car, such as, a Saint Christopher medal on the visor, a Rosary on the rear view mirror, and other religious items within the car. One thing, I like to do is: whenever, I am in a difficult road situation, such as heavy snow, heavy/fast traffic, etc., I will say a number of Hail Mary’s within my heart/mind, which helps me to rely on the Virgin Mary’s assistance through the trouble and also ask her for help with the current difficulty. Calling on the The Refuge of Sinners (Mother Mary), can help at any time.

Additional, important proactive actions we can take is to make sure we are diligent with the maintenance schedules of our vehicles. Check the tires, the oil level, change the oil when appropriate, etc. Don’t just rely on technological indicators on your dashboard. Those things can fail and give false readings. Other important items are the battery charge and fuel efficiency. When planning a trip, make sure there is more than enough gas. It always advisable to keep more than ½ a tank in the gas tank at all times. You never know when you may need it, especially in cold environments. Other things on the in-car checklist include: a fresh first aid kit, a tool kit, maybe even a swiss army knife, flash light, batteries, wind up radio, some high energy protein bars or something similar, water, and a solar powered cell phone charger. There are more things that can go on this list, but the main point is to be prepared for you and your traveling companions.

Some other basic concepts are your driving speed and distance between you and other vehicles. Sometimes, it may be appropriate to drive 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. Other times, it may be advisable to drive at or less than 5 miles per hour under the speed limit. When managing vehicle distances, it is most important to always have an exit strategy in your mind at all times, especially when traffic is heavy. Keeping a safe distance between yourself and the cars in front of you and behind you is highly advisable. Also, making sure you attempt to limit, as much as possible, cars on either side of you.. Something that I do is to try to keep a significant distance between any tight traffic situations and myself on the road. For example, I may see in front of my car a group of 6-7 cars clumped together, then I slow down enough to keep ample distance between them and myself as well as the cars behind me, creating sort of a mini-patch of unobstructed road that I am travelling on.

Hope these tips were somewhat helpful.

God Bless you all.

Jonathon Dean.