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  1. Default safety on the road

    Four of us will be traveling in July for a short road trip. I am interested to know more safety tips and things we should know before embarking on our journey. I was surprised to hear a couple of tips such as: don't flash your lights to a car that you see driving without thier headlights because this is a tactic that some gang members use to "pick out" who they will attack depending on who flashes thier headlights at them first and the fact that Florida and some other States have a law saying that you must drive with only your lowbeams during a storm. I was unaware of both of these facts, leading me to ask: "what else should I know?" Safety tips like staying in well lit areas etc. are obvious. I am asking for any other "tidbits" that I are less obvious. I would like to be prepared. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Best Question of the Year

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Congratulations on asking the $64,000 question! Too often such considerations are given short shrift (if any shrift at all). Now, naturally, we feel we have some of the best safety tips and advice right here on RoadTrip America. But there are also a couple of other sites with safety tips here and here as well as many more links here. As you read through all the tips, be sure to pay attention to the underlying driving philosophies which will serve you in better stead than trying to remember a lot of disparate 'rules'.

    Have a great, and safe, trip - and live to have many more.

    AZBuck

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Allyballybee
    don't flash your lights to a car that you see driving without thier headlights because this is a tactic that some gang members use to "pick out" who they will attack depending on who flashes thier headlights at them first
    Read this article. This is completly false. Dont worry.

    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/lightsout.asp

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Same "rules" as in your neighborhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Allyballybee
    Four of us will be traveling in July for a short road trip. I am interested to know more safety tips and things we should know before embarking on our journey.
    As KCStockdale reports above, most of the scare stories are just tall tales -- told for somebody's amusement. I have traveled 1/2 million miles in the last few years and I can count on only two fingers the numbers of times I encountered anyone who considered doing me harm. You just need to pay attention to your surroundings and keep your "sixth" sense engaged.

    Couple of safety tips: 1) don't leave road maps in plain site when parked at grocery stores, motels, etc. (you want to look like a local -- even if your license plate is not local). 2) Don't stand on street corners with befuddled looks, staring at guide-books. 3) At roadside motels, see if you can get a second floor room so you can scan the parking lot before heading down. (although I prefer first floor so I don't have to lug my gear, laptop, etc. up stairs). Best source of local information in a town: local newspaper and any hair salon or nail salon.

    Relax, have fun. This is an adventure -- not a ride at an amusement park!

    Mark

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Right on on the tips, of course

    Eveyone has been right on with their tips. Basically the top two rules out there, besides specifics, are:

    1) Use common sense: Watch out for trouble, and don't go getting into trouble.

    2) Trust your intuition. If you sense that something isn't right, stop, and take a look around.

    Just play it safe!

    -Brad
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-11-2006 at 12:42 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kcstockdale
    Read this article. This is completly false. Dont worry.

    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/lightsout.asp
    I'd still be reluctant to flash another driver. TV news here reported recently that there have been at least a couple of helpful motorists in East London who have been shot at as a result.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default TV News is not infallible

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Antill
    I'd still be reluctant to flash another driver. TV news here reported recently that there have been at least a couple of helpful motorists in East London who have been shot at as a result.
    I would still want such information verified by 2-3 sources before I believe it. I still flash vehicles if such action is warranted.

    Mark

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    I would still want such information verified by 2-3 sources before I believe it. I still flash vehicles if such action is warranted.

    Mark
    Quite right, it's not, but I'd sooner leave them to get on with it! :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Ooops!

    Couple of safety tips: 1) don't leave road maps in plain site when parked at grocery stores, motels, etc. (you want to look like a local -- even if your license plate is not local). 2) Don't stand on street corners with befuddled looks, staring at guide-books.
    Maybe I've been lucky? I do both of these all the time. No problems yet. In fact, I often strike up a good conversation because of it. Someone will help me figure out which way I wanna walk and usually throw in a few good tips about things to see and do in their town, or see the maps and ask me where I'm from and where I'm going. Innocent, nice chit-chat.

    It makes me sad that people are scared to travel for fear of the unknown. I figure most people feel pretty safe in their home town. Remember that, wherever you go, it's someone else's home town. Yeah, there are certain neighborhoods in some of the major cities that are best avoided but, over all, people are the same everywhere. Just keep your personal safety radar turned on and use common-sense and you should be fine. Basically, the same as you would use in your own home town but maybe turned up just one more notch or so due to the unfamiliar surroundings. That should suffice.

    My parents have done a lot of foreign travel. In their late 70s and early 80s, they were wandering the streets of Saigon in Vietnam, the backroads of Turkey, the townships of South Africa, etc. and they never encountered any problems. I would think America would be at least as safe, if not a lot safer, than most of these places. And I think the world is a safer place than the evening news might want us to believe. Remember, they get ratings from the shock value.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default It is a "learned skill"

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    Maybe I've been lucky? I do both of these all the time. No problems yet. In fact, I often strike up a good conversation because of it. Someone will help me figure out which way I wanna walk and usually throw in a few good tips about things to see and do in their town, or see the maps and ask me where I'm from and where I'm going. Innocent, nice chit-chat.
    Well, OK, yes, but both of us are experienced, skilled travelers. "Looking befuddled" is actually one of my most successful interviewing traits when I am working on a new article -- it often proves irresistible to locals and I have used it to find all sorts of this "hidden-locals-only-special-places". But it is a learned skill, I always keep at least one sense on alert in areas that might be dicey -- I don't even think about it, it is always engaged. Not every member who participates on this Forum is as road saavy as you.

    Mark

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