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Welcome to Auto Safety Advisor
Practical Advice For Safer Driving And Accident Prevention

A Service Of Internet Church Of Christ -
"Love All People As Yourself."
Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director

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Safe Driving is a subject that is close to my heart, and I am eager to share the information and techniques which I have learned over my forty-three years of driving, including eighteen years as a full-time taxicab driver in the Washington, DC area. During this time I continuously studied and thought about auto safety and how to avoid accidents. It was my hobby, and I worked on it constantly. Later, I became an ASE Certified Automobile Technician, so now I understand the mechanical aspects of auto safety as well as the driving aspects. I intend to make everything I know about these things available here at this website, for anyone to use, at no charge.

This information is intended for commercial automobile fleets as well as private individuals. Safer Driving and Accident Reduction are important for everyone who drives. This is not "official advice" in any sense, but my own heartfelt personal advice, which I believe to be absolutely true and worth following. Of all the subjects I enjoy presenting, this is the one on which I am the most qualified to speak.

This site is not intended to provide exhaustive coverage of auto safety, but only my own personal contributions. To search for more on this subject, please go here:


Please start at the top and simply read straight through. If you follow my advice, you will be glad you did.

                         Rev. Bill McGinnis, Owner
                    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Advice For Safer Driving And Accident Reduction

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: "These are my personal opinions only!"

WAKE UP AND PAY ATTENTION! Driving is serious business. As a driver, you have life-and-death power over your passengers and everyone you encounter on the road. And other drivers you encounter have life-and-death power over you, if you cannot somehow avoid them when they endanger you. Whenever you are driving, you must remember that what you do is very, very important to yourself and to others. Wake up and pay attention!

IF YOU CAN'T DRIVE SAFELY, STAY OFF THE ROAD! If you are impaired, don't drive. If you are sleepy, don't drive. If you are angry, don't drive. If you are distracted, don't drive. If anything hurts you, don't drive. If you are crying, don't drive. If you are sick, don't drive. If you ever have seizures, don't drive. If you are tending to your baby, don't drive. If you are trying to read anything, don't drive. If you are trying to dial anything, don't drive. If you don't know how to drive the car you're in, don't drive. If you are totally lost, don't drive. If something is acting wrong with your car, don't drive. If weather conditions are too bad, don't drive. If you can't control your emotions, don't drive.

TAKE WHAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO, THEN GET OUT OF THE WAY. Safe driving requires a kind of unspoken teamwork with all the other drivers around you, like a flock of birds changing formation, with each bird doing its part in the effort. It is very important that you always do whatever the other drivers are expecting you to do. This means that you should take whatever you are entitled to take, then get out of the way so others can do whatever they need to do, in their proper sequence. If you have the right of way, go ahead and take it, as expected. Don't sit there trying to be nice and unexpectedly yielding what you are entitled and expected to take. Do whatever you are reasonably expected to do. Don't surprise people by taking any unexpected action or by not taking any expected action. Surprises cause big trouble in traffic.

CHANGE LANES EVENLY AND GRADUALLY. You always need to give the other drivers time to react to anything you do in traffic. Any kind of sudden manouevre is a problem. Signal your lane change, then perform it evenly and gradually. Inevitably it will occur that sometimes YOU make a mistake and change lanes when you shouldn't do so. Whenever that happens, you will be happy that you were changing lanes evenly and gradually so the other guy had time to react to you instead of simply crashing into you. Always move evenly, so the other drivers can mentally compute where you are going to be.

ACCELERATE EVENLY AND AT A NORMAL RATE. Do it the way other people expect you to do. Don't surprise them. Surprises cause big trouble in traffic. Always accelerate evenly, so the other drivers can mentally compute where you are going to be.

APPLY BRAKES EVENLY AND AT A NORMAL RATE. Think ahead so you don't need to be slamming your brakes on and getting rear-ended. Don't surprise the other drivers with any sudden changes of speed, particularly sudden slowdowns, which require them to react quickly to you. Always brake evenly so the other drivers can mentally compute where you are going to be.

DON'T PERMIT YOURSELF TO BECOME ANGRY AT OTHER DRIVERS. If you become angry, your worst emotions take over and you quickly become dangerous to yourself and everyone else on the road with you. The best policy is always to stay "cool, calm and collected." Do not allow the other drivers to affect your emotions. Accept the fact that some of them will make serious, dangerous, stupid, careless mistakes. Accept the fact that some of them will have no courtesy or consideration for you. Accept the fact that some of them don't care if you live or die. Accept the fact that some of them will cut you off every time they get the chance. Then, once you accept these facts, teach yourself to be indifferent to them. You really don't care what they think of you, do you? Always remain calm and in control of your emotions. Don't even think about retaliating or "getting them back" in some way, like flashing a middle finger at them. Be aware that some people will totally flip out and try to kill you if you do anything like that. So avoid the whole problem: be indifferent to what they think or how they act. If you can't control your emotions, don't drive.

MAKE SURE YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING FROM YOUR CAR. If you can't see it, you can't adjust to it. So be sure you can see everything you need to see from your car. This means the front windshield should be clean, clear, and uncracked. Likewise all the other windows. The rearview mirror should be clean, uncracked and properly adjusted. Try to avoid driving vehicles which have no rear view. They are inherently less safe, because you cannot see other cars closing in on you from the rear. The side mirrors should be clean, uncracked, and properly adjusted. Never drive at all if any of the windows are fogged up. If the defroster doesn't work, fix it or get another car. Don't put items on the rear window sill blocking your view. Don't load up with stickers on the windows, blocking your view. If it snows, don't move the car one foot until every bit of the snow is removed from the windows and mirrors. If your windshield wipers don't work properly, don't drive until they are fixed.

"IF YOU CAN'T SEE, DON'T GO!" Sometimes you are in traffic, and it's time for you to turn or take some other action, but you cannot see your way clear to go because something is blocking your view. This happens most frequently in situations where you are first in line waiting to turn left against two lanes of oncoming traffic, and your view of the outside oncoming lane is blocked by a truck in the inside oncoming lane. Perhaps the people behind you in the line are urging you to go ahead and make the turn. DON'T DO IT UNTIL YOU, YOURSELF, CAN SEE YOUR WAY CLEAR. Follow this rule: "If you can't see, don't go." Do not pay any attention to anybody else telling you to go ahead. They may be wrong, or they may be deliberately trying to cause a wreck! I witnessed a serious accident where the car in front of me in the line turned left against three lanes of oncoming traffic. The two inside oncoming lanes were stopped, but the driver in front of me could not see the far outside oncoming lane. He incorrectly assumed that there was nobody coming in the far outside oncoming lane, so he went ahead and turned left. WRONG! Some wise guy in a BMW decided to jump into the far outside oncoming lane in order to get around the two stopped inside lanes. From my angle, I saw the whole thing coming, but there was nothing I could do. In order to avoid hitting the car turning in front of him, the BMW swerved right and crashed into a utility pole. I thought he was dead for sure, but his airbag deployed and he was not even hurt. But his car was totally destroyed. Moral of this story: "If you can't see, don't go."


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       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director -

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