Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How NOT to Cut People Off

This is a trick that I learned when I was 15 years old and sitting in a Driver's Education class. However, since this trick has never failed me, I will share it with you. Too often on my daily commute down I-95 I see a LOT of people driving like morons. I cannot claim to be a perfect driver, but I can tell that that in all three accidents I have been in, ZERO have been my fault (based on my own assessment as well as the police reports!). Why is this? It's because between my Driver's Ed teacher and my dad, I had some seriously good training.

The tip I am sharing today is via the teacher though, and it has never failed in allowing me to pass someone safely and pull in front of them without cutting them off.

Why am I offering this tip? I'm not saying that YOU readers are these morons that like to zip in and out of speeding traffic like you're invincible, but in case you know anyone who does, you can share this tip with them and keep me from having to hit my brakes on the interstate because someone cut me off and I'm not comfortable traveling 80 mph just a mere 5 feet from their bumper.

If you are sitting in your driver's seat and leaning back in the seat, your rearview mirror should allow you to see straight out of the back of your car (not pointing at the carseat in the back although I admittedly do this at times and use the second reflection for my traffic cues). When you actually pass someone, of course you should always check both your side mirrors as well as your rearview...AND look over the appropriate shoulder to check the blindspot in case someone has snuck in.'s the real tip...once you pass the car in question, wait until you can see BOTH of their headlights in your rearview mirror while still leaning against the back of the driver's seat. If you lean forward to try to get this into view, you're cheating and likely to still cut them off. If you wait until you can sit comfortably and still see both lights in your mirror, you can pull back in front of them without worrying about being too close for their comfort.


Now...let's see if my drive home today is any less stressful. =)

Now you know what Works for Me and keeps me out of accidents (that I can prevent at least). Go check out We Are THAT Family and see what works for everyone else!


  1. I learned this exact same trick in drivers' ed and still use it all the time! :) Apparently the lady behind me with road rage the other day didn't appreciate my fine driving abilities, though... LOL!

    My WFMW tip today is about keeping track of post ideas.

  2. Great tip - going to try this!

  3. Good tip Kaye. You're talking my language on the defensive driving. I live off a main highway, and I could tell you stories of the crazy drivers that frequent it. I would rather be driving on the freeway; at least those drivers are more experienced in high speeds. Honestly, it's scary how many people are behind the wheel of a car that really shouldn't be.

    Can you tell you hit on one of my pet subjects? LOL
    Stay safe on those roads.

  4. My other half has been a truck driver for over 20 years and is nearly 2 million miles accident free (meaning no at fault accidents). Please remember this tip while you are passing the big trucks on the road as the laws of physics do not allow an 20,000 - 80,000 lb truck to stop on a dime. I can not tell you how many people have put their lives in danger by cutting him off. Is saving two seconds worth putting your life in danger, cutting across the front of a big truck, and having a good possibility of a big truck roll across you and your family? Remember, he just wants to get home safely like you do, as do I.

  5. Amy--glad to know that I wasn't the only one not sleeping through class!

    JanMary--Let me know what you think.

    MyKidsMom--yes, I can tell you have a few opinions about it. =) I'm right there with you, sister!

    Anonymous--I'm always impressed at how good of drivers most truckers have to be to put up with the rest of us on the freeway. God bless them for the work they do!

  6. I was taught the same thing by my father. Even though they don't teach it in drivers ed today, I still made it a point to teach it to my sons when they were learning to drive. Thanks for the reminder!