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Voice: Veteran driver gives hints on how to stay safe

July 05, 2001

Every day I read an article in the newspaper about an auto accident that injured or killed someone. Most of these accidents are caused simply because a driver took a chance on doing something and lost.

I have been driving for 66 years, over 3 million miles, without an accident. I credit this driving record to the simple fact that when I'm driving a vehicle I never look for a chance to do anything. I always wait for an opportunity. If every driver would do the same, the accident rate would drop by 50 percent or more.

Another very important bit of driving knowledge that every driver should know, but very few do, is to be instantly aware of how many feet a vehicle is moving forward at any speed. Example: At 50 mph a vehicle is moving forward 73 feet per second. If a vehicle is moving 60 mph by the time it took you to say 1,001 and 1,002, in a Southerner manner, the vehicle would have moved forward 176 feet.

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Think about it the next time you start looking for a chance to turn left or enter a thoroughfare so you maybe can make that appointment or flight. Wouldn't it be better to miss the flight than to place your life, and the lives of others, in jeopardy trying to make it? Remember this — you can always reschedule the appointment or flight but you can never reschedule your life. Think about it the next time you are driving a vehicle and start looking for a chance to try something stupid. Don't.

BILLY BURDINE

Kosciusko, Miss.

(Niland winter resident)

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