The perfect storm, pun intended, came together last Friday with the pouring rain, lots of traffic and the effect of the time change. People’s...

The perfect storm, pun intended, came together last Friday with the pouring rain, lots of traffic and the effect of the time change.

People’s driving has become worse and worse, especially on Fridays, due to people in a hurry, people who lack patience, people who take chances at other’s expense and darkness that falls at rush hour.

A logging truck apparently lost his load on I-85, causing a traffic snarl at I-85 and Route 1. It would have been a great area to avoid, but I happened to be going right there. When we left, I decided to bypass all of this and travel a back way home.

Our journey would take us through Matoaca. As we were caught in a long line of traffic on Pickett Avenue, a vehicle was trying to come out of what used to be called Simmon’s Grocery. I stopped short to let them out. If I had known what would happen next, I would never have given them a way out. The car came out with a vehicle coming down Pickett, and the car drove right into the path of that oncoming vehicle, and an accident occurred. It was not a high-speed accident, but an accident nonetheless. It was so close to me that I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth, but by the grace of God, we were spared. The right thing for the car coming out of the store to do would have been to pull slowly out looking to see if a car was coming, then proceed when clear.

If there were an argument for not turning the clocks back, it would be nights like this one. Rush hour on a dark, rainy night is a recipe for disaster. There are many places in this world where the clocks never change. I am an advocate for longer hours of daylight at the end of the day.

Distractions are one thing that causes people to drive poorly. We have not gotten to the point of being completely hands-free in Virginia. Though it is against the law to text and drive, there are still people who do it. Texting while driving is a recipe for disaster. If you are distracted by trying to find a number on your phone or by dialing your phone, the results can be disastrous. Anything that pulls your eyes or attention off the road, the opportunity exists for you to veer into the oncoming lanes or run off the road.

Defensive driving is a required skill of driving. Defensive driving considers what is not only happening with your driving, but also what is happening around you. Following too close may cause you to run into the vehicle in front of you. Bad weather should cause you to increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. Passing on a two-lane road is sometimes necessary, but it needs to be done safely. Before changing lanes, you must know what is in your blind spot and think about what drivers around you are planning to do.

Virginia’s state inspection program is designed to ensure that your safety equipment is working properly. You just need to use all of it to your maximum benefit and the benefit of those around you.