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Lesson 25

The Golden Rules of Driving

Lessons >>> Lesson 25

We've all been down this road before: you are on your way home at 5 o'clock from a very long day, minding your business, and some jerk cuts you off. Now this scenario is absolutely common and has happened to every one of us, but what's not so common is the way we handle it. Each person reacts differently, whether it be with anger, a rude gesture, or maybe by slowing down and giving an inconsiderate driver wide berth. We all know what we should do, but we don't always do it. Why? Because we take driving personally! Other drivers can definitely affront your sensibilities, but you will never change them. But you can change you.

Sitting in the Car. When seated in the vehicle, make sure you are sitting close enough to push the clutch, the leftmost pedal, all the way to the floor. The gearshift should be within easy reach as well.

Wear your seat belt. Even though there is the rare water accident where you want to get out of the car quickly, in most cases, your seatbelt can save your life. Make putting on your seat belt a habit for everyone in the car, don't move an inch until everyone has it safely locked.

Respect traffic lights. Yellow does not mean speed up and red really does mean stop. Running reds and forcing yellows is a poor habit to get into, and if a wreck does occur, there very well may be many, many people there to see you cause the accident and when the cops show up, large tickets could be handed out and in the age of video surveillance, it could get very uncomfortable in court if it goes that far.

Be alert for people on the pedestrian crossing. You must stop at the line nearest you. You may proceed if the person who has crossed in front of you is clear of your vehicle and there is no one else following them or crossing from the other side.

Stay in your lane. The rules are simple, but widely ignored. Don't ride the center line, drift from side to side, zig-zag through traffic, bully your way into another lane or hog the fast lane. When changing lanes, look before you leap. Even with your mirrors adjusted properly you can't see what is happening one lane over. So turn your head and look over your shoulder for a last-second check, and always use your turn signals.

Don't speed up to keep people from passing. Don't speed up to keep people from passing or simply changing lanes, it's infantile and dangerous. At the same time, don't play the slow game to teach some person a lesson, you never know who is in that other car.

Use turn signals. Especially if you are on a two-lane road and are turning left. It is also a good idea to use signals on the highway. It is good manners to let someone know of your intentions.

Don't tailgate. Why would you want to? The truck driver can't see you back there and you can't see any of the road ahead. In bad weather, the spray reduces visibility to virtually zero.

Don't antagonize anyone. Have you ever heard that you shouldn't stare at a dog's eyes since he would feel this was a challenge and possibly bite you? Well, the same is true for people. If the above driver is passing you after flashing lights and tailgating, he will also probably be staring at you as he goes by. Don't be tempted to look at him, and certainly do not shoot him a rude gesture or "jaw" at him. You will immediately diffuse the situation if you keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes straight ahead.

Set the Parking Brake. A habit that one needs to get used to is always to set the parking brake when parking, especially on hills. Unlike automatics, there is no locked parking position with a manual transmission, only the internal friction of the non-running motor. Make sure you set the parking brake first and let up on the brakes to make sure it is engaged fully, then leave the gearshift in reverse or 1st.

Avoid eating or using cell phones while driving. It is hard to concentrate on the job at hand while doing either, so park to eat or talk. Another no-no is reading the newspaper or a book.

Don't drink and drive. If you're in a situation where you've been drinking and you MUST drive, know your limits. In the ideal world, no one would drive after having any alcohol. In the real world, we drive home from weddings, parties, bars, and baseball games. Get a chart from your local DMV and know how many beverages you can consume in an hour before you're impaired. Compare this number with what your personal experience tells you. If you're stuck at 10 o'clock at night at your friend's house with one or two too many beers in your system, have them brew some coffee for you and spend an hour drinking coffee and as many glasses of water as you can.

Make sure your vehicle is safe. Always make sure your car is in good repair. Plenty of oil, fuel, and other fluids are always the way to go. Properly inflated tires are crucial, varying pressures in your tires or one that is low when all the rest aren't can produce unpredictable driving characteristics and even more so under heavy breaking or rapid and sudden maneuvers like emergency lane changes. Always make sure all you lights are working, this includes turn indicators as well as headlamps. Keep your windows clean and make sure your wipers are working well. Even the cheapest wipers are only about $4 each and ultimately cheaper in the long run than a collision because of poor visibility. Make sure your defrosters are functional as well, if they aren't that can be just as bad as dirty windows.

Various things can occur on the open road and one needs to be prepared. If you experience a blowout at speed on the highway, first and foremost stay calm, freaking out will only distract you from what you need to get done. Hold the wheel firmly, signal, and move to the side of the road. Nine times out of ten, the folks behind you will see whatever happened and give you room.

All of the tips above are just using good common sense, but for some reason, we run a little short of that during rush hour. Good sense can save your life, so try your best to use it! "To the world, you may just be another somebody, but to somebody, you are the world." Be safe!

Source: Epinions.com & Internet

Vocabulary
  1. to mind o.'s own business/affairs - гледам си работата
  2. jerk - досадно глупав или дразнещ човек
  3. to cut off sb./to cut sb. off (am.) - засичам опасно някого (на пътя)
  4. to handle - реагирам, отнасям се
  5. to slow - намалявам скоростта/темпото (up, down, off)
  6. inconsiderate - невнимателен
  7. to give a wide berth to - прен. държа се на разстояние от; избягвам
  8. to affront - обиждам, оскърбявам
  9. sensibility - усет; чувствителност (to за, към)
  10. vehicle - (сухопътно) превозно средство
  11. clutch - mex. съединител
  12. leftmost - най-ляв
  13. gearshift (am.)(UK gear lever, UK ALSO gear stick) - скоростен лост
  14. seat belt - предпазен колан в превозно средство
  15. traffic light - и pl светофар
  16. to get into - влизам; попадам; вкарвам
  17. wreck=crash - сериозна катастрофа, при която са засегнати едно или няколко превозни средства
  18. cop - sl. стражар, полицай
  19. to hand out - давам, раздавам
  20. surveillance - надзор, наблюдение; under ~ под наблюдение (обик. полицейско)
  21. pedestrian crossing (zebra crossing) - пешеходна пътека, зебра
  22. lane - авт. платно; сп. коридор
  23. to drift - движа се безцелно, лутам се
  24. to bully - тормозя, малтретирам, тиранизирам
  25. to hog - авт. карам лудо/бясно
  26. leap - скок (и прен.)
  27. turn signal=turn indicator - мигач
  28. highway - 1. шосе; 2. главен път (и мор., ав.)
  29. to speed up - (pt, рр speeded) ускорявам; увеличавам продукцията; повишавам скоростта
  30. to tail-gate - карам на опасно близко разстояние зад друго превозно средство
  31. truck driver - шофьор на камион
  32. spray - капчици, пръски
  33. to antagonize - предизвиквам враждебно настроение (у)
  34. to bite - (bit [bit] ; bit, bitten [bitn]) захапвам; хапя, ухапвам
  35. to tempt - изкушавам, съблазнявам; мамя, подмамвам
  36. to jaw - sl 1. говоря възмутено, опявам; 2. чета морал/конско евангелие
  37. to diffuse - разпространявам, разпръсвам, разсейвам
  38. wheel - волан; кормило
  39. parking break (am.) (US ALSO emergency brake, UK handbrake) - ръчна спирачка
  40. hill - 1. хълм, височина, възвишение; 2. стръмнина, наклон
  41. in reverse - обратно, в обратна посока
  42. beverage - питие, напитка
  43. to impair - накърнявам, намалявам, понижавам
  44. to stuck - стоя, оставам
  45. to brew - варя чай/кафе
  46. in good repair - в добро състояние, добре запазен; в изправност
  47. oil - масло
  48. fuel - гориво
  49. to inflate - надувам, напомпвам (гума)
  50. tire(us)=tyre(uk) - външна гума на автомобил/велосипед и пр.
  51. tail light(us)=rear light(uk) - авт. задна сигнална лампа, стоп-лампа
  52. headlamps - авт. фарове
  53. wiper - авт. чистачка за стъклото на автомобил
  54. collision - сблъскване, стълкновение
  55. defroster (US ALSO defogger; UK demister) - приспособление, което премахва замъгляването от стъклото на автомобила
  56. blow-out - разг. пукване на гума
  57. to freak out - изпадам в крайна възбуда; държа се чудато/ексцентрично
  58. to distract - 1. отвличам (внимание и пр.), разсейвам; 2. обърквам; разстройвам
  59. firmly - твърдо; здраво
  60. to run short of - свършвам, изразходвам, оставам без
  61. rush hour - час на най-голямо движение, час пик

 Tyre or tire


Test it out!

Fill the gaps in the sentences, using the words and phrases below:

good repair, flashing lights, defrosters, pedestrian crossing, surveillance, inflated tires, tempted, parking brake, brew, wheel, seat belt, minding your business, rush hour, wipers, wide berth, wreck, blow-out, gearshift, turn signals, traffic lights, push the clutch, tailgate, headlamps

1. We've all been down this road before: you are on your way home at 5 o'clock from a very long day, , and some jerk cuts you off.
2. Each person reacts differently, whether it be with anger, a rude gesture, or maybe by slowing down and giving an inconsiderate driver .
3. When seated in the vehicle, make sure you are sitting close enough to , the leftmost pedal, all the way to the floor.
4. Make putting on your a habit for everyone in the car, don't move an inch until everyone has it safely locked.
5. Respect . Yellow does not mean speed up and red really does mean stop.
6. Running reds and forcing yellows is a poor habit to get into, and if a does occur, there very well may be many, many people there to see you cause the accident.
7. And when the cops show up, large tickets could be handed out and in the age of video , it could get very uncomfortable in court if it goes that far.
8. Be alert for people on the . You must stop at the line nearest you. You may proceed if the person who has crossed in front of you is clear of your vehicle and there is no one else following them or crossing from the other side.
9. Use . Especially if you are on a two-lane road and are turning left.
10. Don't . Why would you want to? The truck driver can't see you back there and you can't see any of the road ahead. In bad weather, the spray reduces visibility to virtually zero.
11. If someone is passing you after and tailgating, he will also probably be staring at you as he goes by.
12. Don't be to look at him, and certainly do not shoot him a rude gesture or "jaw" at him.
13. A habit that one needs to get used to is always to set the when parking, especially on hills.
14. Make sure you set the parking brake first and let up on the brakes to make sure it is engaged fully, then leave the in reverse or 1st.
15. In the ideal world, no one would drive after having any alcohol. In the real world, we drive home from weddings, parties, bars, and baseball games. Get a chart from your local DMV and know how many you can consume in an hour before you're impaired.
16. If you're stuck at 10 o'clock at night at your friend's house with one or two too many beers in your system, have them some coffee for you and spend an hour drinking coffee and as many glasses of water as you can.
17. Always make sure your car is in .
18. Properly are crucial, varying pressures in your tires or one that is low when all the rest aren't can produce unpredictable driving characteristics.
19. Always make sure all you lights are working, this includes turn indicators as well as .
20. Keep your windows clean and make sure your are working well.
21. Make sure your are functional as well, if they aren't that can be just as bad as dirty windows.
22. If you experience a at speed on the highway, first and foremost stay calm, freaking out will only distract you from what you need to get done.
23. Hold the firmly, signal, and move to the side of the road.
24. All of the tips above are just using good common sense, but for some reason, we run a little short of that during . Good sense can save your life, so try your best to use it!



  How to Drive - An Attempt at Humor

We all see the idiot things that people do when they are driving, but have you ever stopped to consider how ridiculous and funny some of them are? I have a few driving habits that hopefully will make your day go much easier.

  1. Apply your makeup while driving a busy highway at 75 miles an hour. Why not? Heck, you probably save 47 seconds for something else that is very important. You might even consider putting in a larger mirror, and some running water. Ah, what the heck, go all the way and install a shower. Yeah, the windows will get a little foggy, but you were not looking anyway, so it really does not matter.


  2. Everyone is so busy these days that the newspaper should be a must read while driving. You know, the stock tables are especially easy to read and decipher while cruising through Manhattan and then you are prepared for the water cooler chat of the day. Just be sure that you have the hi/low, previous day's volume, closing price, and percentage move committed to memory before arriving at the cooler.


  3. Speaking of time savers, nothing like the cell phone and driving. An even better way to make your day less stressful is to take notes while chatting on the cell phone and driving. I cannot imagine Aunt Bertha's recipe could be any less important than getting home from work safely. For best results, get the smallest phone you can find. The smaller the phone, the more often it will fall off of your shoulder and make your writing less legible.


  4. I always figure I can drink my 17th beer while driving home from the bar and that way I will be able to get an extra 15 minutes of sleep. And, who knows, maybe be able to have a nice chat with a police officer.


  5. One of the best ways to relieve stress while driving is to blare your favorite music so that everyone else can enjoy it also. Hey, nothing like sharing, right? You will have done your good deed for the day by providing a much adoring public free entertainment. And, if you have some extra bass, you should always pump it as loud as it will go.


  6. Finally, the best way to get rid of your stress and also save some time is to commit a form of road rage anytime someone performs a less than brilliant driving action. Do not use your horn- you will only scare the older people walking along the sidewalk. Instead, use plenty of four letter words and maybe go so far as to threaten the offending driver. At the very least take that cup of hot coffee and throw it through the idiot's car window. That will get him good and might even help him understand that you are a perfect driver who has never done anything wrong on the road.

Hopefully, everyone can see that these points were meant to mimic some of the more ridiculous actions and behaviors that some drivers feel the need to perform. I obviously do not endorse or condone such behavior and hope you feel the same way. Happy motoring!

Source: Epinions.com

1. make-up - грим
2. heck - неоф. възклицание изразяващо раздразнение или изненада; what the heck! - неоф. израз, с който обявяваме, че ще извършим нещо, макар и да знаем, че не е редно
3. to blare - свиря; гърмя; разтръбявам (новини и пр.).
4. deed - дело, действие, постъпка
5. to commit - излагам (се) на риск, въвличам (се)
6. horn - клаксон
7. sidewalk - тротоар
8. to endorse - одобрявам, подкрепям
9. to condone - (о)прощавам; намирам извинение за; гледам леко на



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