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It's a Team's Life

Which vehicle are you driving?

By Linda Caffee
Posted Jul 15th 2020 7:59AM

My route took me from Grapevine down to Santa Ana, and I was able to witness a lot of craziness as well as drivers following the speed limits and staying in their lanes. It occurred to me as I moved over to let a car onto the interstate all the actions we perform while behind the wheel.

he Freightliner Cascadia driver’s seat gives us a great view over the tops of cars and far down the road. As we drive, we react to potential bad situations by moving over, slowing down, turning on our flashers, or even speeding up, depending on what is needed. While in congested areas traveling at 55 mph, our eyes are continually looking for potential hazards from other vehicles or on the roadway itself.


While traveling north on I-5, a truck moved into the other lane quickly, and for no apparent reason, that got my attention, sure as heck there on the roadway was a large section of a truck tire. Henry Albert taught me many years ago always to be looking for a way out of a bad situation. I looked first to the shoulder and then in my mirrors to see if I could safely move over into the other lane. I was able to move into the other lane and avoid the tire tread, the truck behind me was not paying attention, and he tried to avoid the tread at the last second and could not do so. Over the years, I have been able to avoid pallets, tire tread, once bikes coming off the hitch at the back of the car, pieces of furniture, rakes, shovels, and other litter on the roadway safely.


By watching the roadway ahead of us, we can see traffic coming to a stop and throw our four ways on to warn others of the hazard. We can see when someone else that in another lane is quickly overtaking a slow-moving truck or car and flash our lights to let them know they can come over into our lane. When we see someone driving erratically or very fast, our eyes will follow their progress to see if we will need to stop quickly to avoid an accident caused by their behavior.


A situation that always makes me nervous is the lane of traffic out on the interstate trying to exit. There are vehicles in the lane beside the stopped lane that, at the last minute, will try to crowd in or cars that are in that lane that will decide to dart out to try and get ahead. If at all possible, I move over one more lane to give them room or I slow my speed so I can react quickly. That situation is one of the most unpredictable/ predictable situations where we know a vehicle in front of us will probably try to butt into the stopped lane, or someone will quickly leave that lane right in front of us.


Thinking about these scenarios when I am driving reminds us that while driving our vehicle, we are continually watching those around us to determine their actions. An alert driver is a safe driver.

Bob & Linda Caffee

TeamCaffee

Saint Louis MO

Expediters since January 2005

[email protected]

 

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