How do you drive, now that you carry.

This is a discussion on How do you drive, now that you carry. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I still poke around a lot at packing.org, but don't post there anymore. What never ceases to amaze me is the number of folks that ...

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Thread: How do you drive, now that you carry.

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array p8riot's Avatar
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    How do you drive, now that you carry.

    I still poke around a lot at packing.org, but don't post there anymore. What never ceases to amaze me is the number of folks that post in the "Encounters with LEO's" section of "Gun talk." Many of the folks recount stories of encounters with police officers during traffic stops. When I read these stories I always ask myself first, "what was the poster doing to attract the attention of the officer in the first place?"

    We all agree that carrying a weapon includes quite a bit of responsibility. Driving a car carries no less, specially while carrying. How many of us routinely exceed the speed limit, tailgate (whether intentional or not), and drive in the left hand lane when we are not passing? Now I don't want to give the impression that I am a "goody two shoes", but as a former California Highway Patrolman, and as someone who has been driving for almost 34 years, I have seen a lot of accidents, and "road rage" incidents that could have been prevented by drivers exercising good judgement and a little courtesy.

    In this post I am going to touch on some of my pet peaves, and on some simple methods to lessen your chance of adversely encountering a police officer while driving or being involved in a "road rage" incident, and maximize your chance of arriving at your destination alive, with a lower stress level to boot.

    • Stay to the right - with the exceptions of passing extremely slow traffic, or exiting (or turning) to the left there is absolutely no reason that anyone should be travelling in the left hand lane.


    • Keep a safe distance - if you fantasize about drafting in a NASCAR race during your morning comute, you do not belong on the road. Reaction time decreases the closer you are to the vehicle in front of you.


    • Red lights mean STOP, not "stop and then creep into the intersection to try to get a jump on the light."


    • Travel at or below, yes "below" the posted speed limit. - Posted speed limits are MAXIMUMs, so don't get aggravated when someone in front of you isn't doing "at least" the speed limit. As a society, Americans are in entirely too much of a hurry. In 2003 the average commute in this country was 24 minutes, at a speed of 65mph this works out to be approximately 26 miles. At 75MPH that commute is only reduced to 21 minutes over the same distance. Is it really worth it? Specially with the price of fuel today.


    • Don't squeeze folks out who are trying to change lanes. There is absolutely NO good reason to do this. I know that NASCAR is popular, and alot of folks can't separate fantasy from reality, but this isn't a race, it's a commute. Besides that "squeezing" contributes to other bad behavior like unsafe lane changing, and tailgating. The idea of a commute is to arrive at your destination alive, not see how much excitement you can generate on the way in.


    • If you are exiting the highway, don't cut someone off or get in front of entering traffic while doing it. This just asking for trouble, specially since the driver entering the highway should be checking over their shoulder before merging and may not see the car that has cut in front of them. At highway speeds this is a recipe for disaster.


    In addition to exercising caution and courtesy on the road in the interest of safe driving. It is the opinion of a lot of CCWers that we are among "the most law-abiding" citizens. Shouldn't we that consider ourselves the "sheepdogs" of our society be acting on their (and our) best interest on the road as well.

    Try these techniques consciously for a week, see if your ride in isn't a little more pleasant. You'll get to see how foolish other drivers look (and by extension those of us that act the same), and you may even save a little gas at the same time.

    Above all, keep your head. Specially if you have ready access to a weapon. You don't want to be busted for brandishing, and you don't want to take the chance that the other guy isn't armed as well.
    "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

    The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.

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    VIP Member Array swiftyjuan's Avatar
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    Guilty as charged (sometime). Will try to go longer than a week, hopefully. I just switched to a car from an SUV, and the car is much faster, and does not seem to be going as fast as it is going. I have caught myself several times, so cruise control will be my friend in the forseeable future,,,
    John
    Assault is a behavior, not a device.

    "Don't never take no shortcuts." Patty Reed, Donner Party

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    I concur with all your points. But confess to exceeding the limits a bit quite often - taking my ''buffer'' allowance when for example on an empty I 99 in good conditions. This tho is IMO driving within the extant conditions.

    ''Reading the road'' is essential too - meaning not just being aware of the guy in front and the one behind, but checking out all around and as far ahead and behind as visibility permits. I am just as keen to avoid someone wrecking into my tail gate as me wrecking into the guy in front's trunk!!
    accidents, and "road rage" incidents that could have been prevented by drivers exercising good judgement and a little courtesy
    That probably covers 95% plus of incidents if truth be known.

    I have been driving 44 years and hope for many more - and since carrying have mellowed even more - tho I do not travel at snail pace well below the limit just because it seems righteous - as a few folks I see doing! I am refering to good safe open road - which might be 55 and some dufus decides 30 is his limit!!!

    I will ignore road rage idiots and leave them to go wreck - hopefully all on their own. I abhor drunken driving and am fastidious over not drinking myself when driving.

    So much is down to the common requirement for driving and carry - of situational awareness - which means alertness and, anticipating idiots doing stupid things. It is usually ''the other guy'' we need to watch for - and when on my bike this is even more important yet.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    JD
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    I've traveled every road in this here land...

    Well I drive a lot, I mean alot. I maintain several private radio systems for local municipalities all the way up to the Federal Government. I drive up to 3000 miles a month, and I can honestly say that I drive the same wether I'm carrying or not, due to my high rate of travel I figure I'm more likely to be in an accident, my shop averages 1 accident (some minor) every six months. Granted not all are our fault, most actually aren't. Anyway the vehicle is a more dangerous weapon than a pistol, almost every family has atleast 1 automobile, and like a pistol or any other firearm it the vehicle is misused, used by someone with substandard training, or worst yet someone with no regard to the law...someone will die. I attempt to stay on the right side of the traffic laws, every now and then I speed (who doesn't?) we're all human.

    My father was a traffic cop for many years and I've always treated a vehicle as a potential weapon, and have always strived not to misuse it. Hopefully all of us here do the same.

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    Senior Member Array Rugerman's Avatar
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    I drive about 100,000 miles a year and have learned to drive with lots of respect for others on the road whether I am carrying my gun or not. I can see a huge reason for driving safer when carrying, why attract attention to yourself??? the last thing anyone wants to do is spend an afternoon talking with a LEO. Not that I dont like them but Id rather not stop to talk.
    George Washington: "A free people ought to be armed."

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    Distinguished Member Array lowflyer's Avatar
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    Riding a motorcycle makes you more aware of what an idiot you can be in a car. I think I drive better since I started riding.
    Whatever doesn't kill you postpones the inevitable.

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    +1 p8riot. Great post, as a former professional driver I'd like to add to it. DO NOT tailgate big trucks! Those large pieces of tire recap, that you see on the road, that we drivers call gators, can KILL YOU. They explode away from the tire, and can weigh forty+ pounds. I have seen one sticking through a windshield of a car (driver side, and bloody) after the fact. Do yourself a favor, stay back...
    "Old Marines never die, we just smell like it." USMC 71'-83'


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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    You've hit one of my pet peeves! We talk about being law abiding citizens exercizing our rights and then many get behind the wheel and start breaking laws left and right! I always strive for staying within the speed limits, leaving an adequite buffer zone ( although in city traffic that dosn't always work), and actually stopping when the light is turning red! It won't hurt, really! It really does prevent traffic stops too. Imagine that, obeying what are common sense laws, wow, gee, what a concept!!!

    Or am I just being unrealistic and cynical.......
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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    I drive the same. While I may exceed the speed limit by 5 MPH at the most, it is usually to keep up with traffic flow.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

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    The one that "frosts" me the most is in my first couple of commute miles is through residential streets, where the speed limit is 25 and a NO PASSING area.

    Well knowing I have a lead foot, and trying to conserve gas I set my cruse control at 30 MPH (Yup! 5 miles OVER the legal limit! don't think the cruse even works right at 25.) Now it seems at LEAST twice a week I'll be passed somewhere during my trip, prior to getting to a main road!

    To make matters worst, I'm usually leaving when the school bus traffic is at it's peak in the neighborhood!

    It just seems like there aren't as many traffic stops these days.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array p8riot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ELCruisr View Post
    You've hit one of my pet peeves! We talk about being law abiding citizens exercizing our rights and then many get behind the wheel and start breaking laws left and right! I always strive for staying within the speed limits, leaving an adequite buffer zone ( although in city traffic that dosn't always work), and actually stopping when the light is turning red! It won't hurt, really! It really does prevent traffic stops too. Imagine that, obeying what are common sense laws, wow, gee, what a concept!!!

    Or am I just being unrealistic and cynical.......
    I don't think you are unrealistic to expect folks to obey common sense traffic laws. I think if we (the CCW community) are truly longing to be recognized as the law abiding citizens that we claim to be, we need to make sure that our behavior fits our claims. It may only be a matter of time before some anti-gun politician tries to make traffic offenses reason for refusal, or suspension of carry permits.

    As for being cynical; I may be wrong, but I don't think that anyone here purposely goes out with the attitude of "how much can I break the law today and still get away with it." I think that we are creatures of habit, and are used to behaving a certain way when we are behind the wheel. It's not a valid excuse, much the same as I don't buy the "flow of traffic" argument above. We just need to watch how we drive as closely as we watch how we carry.

    We talk here about being legal where we carry, how and when, and take great pains to be sure that we are on the side of the law, but we are not careful about the one thing that we do every day that has the potential to affect so many other people.
    "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

    The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.

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    Member Array Ruprex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugerman View Post
    I drive about 100,000 miles a year and have learned to drive with lots of respect for others on the road whether I am carrying my gun or not. I can see a huge reason for driving safer when carrying, why attract attention to yourself??? the last thing anyone wants to do is spend an afternoon talking with a LEO. Not that I dont like them but Id rather not stop to talk.
    I agree. Not only that but I really don't want to find myself unconscious in my car while peope poke and prod at me only to find me armed. Who the heck knows what could happen to you, them or your weapon. I'm totally safe and fully aware of my surroundings now that I carry. My weapon makes me a better man.

    I also drive a full size 4 door truck. I want to win if I'm in an accident.
    The best "first aid for a gunshot wound is immediate and accurate fire at the person(s) who caused you the wound .
    -John Farnum

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    p8riot:

    Ahhh........we share "pet peeves". Great post. I do exceed the speed limit occessionally, but only if other traffic is nonexistant, weather, road and visual conditions darn near perfect.

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    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    I can understand the point of the post. Good one p8riot. However, I do have a few points to consider as well:

    Here in northern AZ, we get a lot of truck traffic. Since trucks aren't really allowed to cruise in the left lane, they ride the right. This tears up the pavement rather quickly in the right lane, making it roughlly tough on the car you're driving (especially if you drive a performance car). As well, the speedlimit on the freeways up here is 75 with rare exception. I can name a few specific times that driving the speedlimit would have gotten me run over.

    I trust an officers good judgement about stuff like this. I tend to drive for conditions and my ability (I race cars, as well), but never to the point where I'm trying to show off - that's why I race in a controlled environment. You don't a get trophy for smokin the car next to you on freeway, and nor do you place hundreds of lives at risk like racing on a freeway. I will, until proven otherwise, continue to trust cops. They're pros and they do what they do for a living. When I have been pulled over and given a ticket, I've never given the trooper or Sherrif any grief because I probably would have written myself a ticket.
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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    If I had a quarter for every time I have had someone do the things on your list to me I could afford a world cruse.

    Non US citizen truck drivers that refuse to learn our language and are just plain bad drivers they cut people off, hold up traffic, park in the middle of the road, park like they have a football field for a parking space.

    People on cell phones that pull out in front of you (law requires a full stop when entering a public road way from a private drive) and then do 10 or more under the limit only to slam on the breaks 3-4 blocks later unsignaled and turn (had a female city cop do this just last Sunday whole scenario).

    Old people who do not have idea about the concept of driving (please take away my license if I start that).

    Road rages who show up out of no where 15-20 over the limit and are really PO’D at you for being in their way.

    Foreigners that are here as guests and drive like they are back home, (you can spot these people blocks away).

    “Professional drivers” that think they own the highway and do not deserve a CDL.

    Then there are the worst of the worst, the illegal that cannot get a DL but buys a car from a private citizen (they cannot purchase one from a dealer) then drive like a moron from space. In my 55 years I have seen them all at least once.

    One more thing why do they seem to come on three’s?
    Last edited by Sheldon J; August 29th, 2006 at 05:32 PM.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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