1-3-2014 7-01-02 PMDriving is a privilege, not a right. That being said, there are a lot of us that practice this privilege. Some of us have been driving longer than we were in school, some longer than we’ve been married, some longer than there have been traffic lights, and some are just learning 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 These are laws that should be followed until they are repealed.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 the simple overlooked issues that we as drivers face every day. 1-3-2014 7-01-25 PM Road Conditions: This is one of the biggest reasons for accidents we as drivers face. Let’s be honest: it’s not the road conditions that are the problem but 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, either plan to arrive later or leave earlier. Also, make sure that there is plenty of braking room between you and the car in front of you. Start braking earlier when coming up to stop signs, traffic lights and ALL intersections. Don’t drive on ice unless you have had lots of experience doing so. If you are reading this article, chances are you live in the South and know we don’t get a whole lot of ice. You have probably 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. Parking Areas: You may be thinking “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 are transporting them. Just because you have a handicap placard does not mean you should use it! Now, on to parking: please make sure your vehicle is fully in the parking space with enough space on each side so people parked next to you can get into their vehicle without hitting your car with their door. 1-3-2014 7-01-15 PMAnother 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 of a parking space. Also, these days many restaurants have parking areas near their drive throughs and have entrance/exits in these areas as well. Be mindful that even though you have the right of way, the drivers leaving the drive through 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, remember, your best defense is to be aware of your surroundings. By: Brian Black Operations Manager of Madison Security Group 1-3-2014 7-01-41 PM

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