12-5-2014 3-52-02 PMDriving is a privilege, not a right. That being said, there are lot of people who practice this privilege. Some of us have been driving longer than we were in school, longer than we’ve been married, some longer than there have been traffic lights, and some are just starting to learn to drive.

I’m not big on special restrictions for drivers, but I do think NASCAR has the right idea: put a yellow stripe on the back of cars to indicate that the driver is inexperienced and should be treated with caution.

I will not jump into the debates about speed limits, seat belts, or helmets for bikers. These are laws that should be followed until they are repealed. I do want to talk about a couple of simple, yet overlooked issues that we as drivers face every day.

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Road Conditions:

This is one of the biggest reasons for accidents that drivers encounter. Let’s be honest, it’s not the road conditions that cause the problems; it is our lack of adapting to these road conditions that causes accidents. When it is raining, snowing, icy or foggy, SLOW DOWN!

If you have to travel during these bad conditions, plan your trip better. Plan to arrive later or earlier in order to adjust. Also, make sure that there is plenty of braking room between you and the car in front of you and start braking earlier when coming up to stop signs, traffic lights, and ALL intersections.
When driving on ice, don’t unless you have had lots of experience driving on ice. Even if you are experienced, proceed with caution. If you are reading this article, chances are you live in the South and know we don’t get a whole lot of ice, and you have seen what happens when we do. If you are one of our cousins from the North, trust me you’re not much better driving on ice than we Southerners are so stay off the roads. Please. But, bless their hearts, they won’t listen.

Parking Areas:
What? Parking Areas? That’s not driving! I know, but this is an area where the little things cause problems.

First, let me rant for a moment. If you are not handicapped, please don’t park in these spaces! I will take it a step further: the only people that should park in handicap areas are people who are truly handicapped or those who are transporting them. Just because you have a handicap placard does not mean you should use it.

11-21-2014 6-52-14 PMNow, on to parking. Please make sure your vehicle is fully in the parking space with enough space around you so people parked next to you can get into and/or out of their vehicle without hitting your car with their door. You also need to be able to get into and out of your car without hitting the car next to you with your doors.

Another overlooked issue is walking in the parking area. When you are walking from the store to your car, be mindful of cars trying to back out a parking space. Many fast food restaurants have parking areas in the same areas as their drive-thru windows and have entrances/exits in these areas as well. Be mindful that even though you have the right of way, the drivers leaving the drive-thru may be distracted and not see you. Children are the most vulnerable in parking areas, so let’s keep them safe.

As with all things in security, your best defense is to be aware of your surroundings.
By: Brian Black, Operations Manager of Madison Security Group
203 Us Highway 31 S, Athens, AL 35611

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