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Driving in the Real World® Blog

Welcome to the Driving in the Real World® blog, where I share my thoughts on street driving and related road safety issues, and occasional reflections.

E Is for Embolden but Also Encourage

Have you ever found yourself driving on the highway, and you’re going along at a pretty good clip? Maybe you’re not quite staying south of the posted speed limit, but you’re not being reckless, either. And then all of sudden, someone blows by you on your left, enough to sweep a few loose hairs off […]

Why Distracted Driving Campaigns Often Don’t Work

Over the past decade, I’ve noticed that many distracted driving media campaigns boil things down to absolutes. “War on distracting driving!”

7 Things That Seem Like a Good Idea

Have you ever been sitting in traffic and an idea suddenly occurs to you, and you think, “Gee, why didn’t I think of that before?” Of course you have—we all share the experience of that little a-ha moment, because that’s what sitting in traffic does to you. Except that I tend to think of things […]

Seeking Your Help for Future Posts—Emergencies, Ambulances, Injuries, Autism & ADHD

In recent weeks, I’ve been getting reorganized to resume doing more writing and posting on this blog, in Roundel, and other places. There are three subjects I’ve been interested in pursuing for a long time, but I need your help. 1. How to Drive Safely Around Emergency Vehicles: This has been requested by several readers. […]

A September Update

Hello again! I hope you have all had a lovely summer. It has been a while, and I had not intended for this much time to have passed since my last blog post. The craziness of travel and work this spring just blurred right into the solstice months, and now it is nearly autumn. But, […]

Seeking Your Input: Thoughts on Driver-Assistance Technology

In the very near future, I’ll be writing a major article in Roundel magazine (the national publication of the BMW Car Club of America [CCA]) that covers the advanced driver-assistance systems of the new BMWs. These systems (called ADAS) include gee-whiz features like variable cruise control, automatic emergency braking, collision-avoidance, lane departure warning, lane keeping […]

Helping You Be Seen, Safely: Introducing the SafetySock®

Have you ever found yourself in a broken-down vehicle by the side of the road, waiting helplessly as traffic zips past you at speeds fast enough to make your car—and you—shudder? Or as a driver, were you startled by the presence of a hard-to-see disabled vehicle parked on the shoulder or even partially blocking the […]

Guest Profile: Candace Lightner, Founder of MADD and We Save Lives

Since I started my work in traffic safety advocacy nearly a decade ago, I’ve met many people whose passion, commitment, and vision go above and beyond what most of us could imagine. But then again, the loss of a child from a car crash has a way of motivating in a way few of us […]

Compassion in the New Year

Happy New Year! On the last day of 2018, I listened to an episode of Hidden Brain, a podcast hosted by Shankar Vedantam. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain explores how our unconscious minds influence our behavior and biases, and it is one of my favorite podcasts for this social-science junkie. It was a rerun of one of […]

On the Other Side of the Wheel: Working as a Rideshare Driver

Happy Holidays! With the holiday season fully upon us, you may be doing your fair share of shopping, partying, and imbibing. And in the process, especially with the last activity, you are hopefully hiring others to do the driving by summoning rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. I myself occasionally use Uber, especially when […]

Turning Back Time: A Strike Against Pedestrians—Literally

As we get ready to turn our clocks back an hour on November 4 here in the US, it’s worth remembering that this extra hour of darkness during the busiest times for traffic makes things extremely dangerous for everyone. Vehicle lighting expert Daniel Stern explains why and what all of us road users can do about […]

Lighting the Way with Daniel Stern (Part 2)

Last week we ran Part 1 of my interview with Daniel Stern, a vehicle lighting expert. This week, Daniel discusses when not to use your front fog lamps, what rear fog lamps are, whether you need to dip your high beams at night, and what can be done about those “phantom vehicles” traveling at night with only […]

Driving in the Real World® Blog

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