Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact

Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact

Jeff Hohlstein

What do OODA, Three Mississippi’s, and a vehicle’s front wheels have in common? They can all be defensive driving tools that will alert and prepare you for potential conflict situations and avoid a crash.

In another year or so, I’ll enter that age range of 78–85, when most people decide to quit driving. Over the years, I’ve learned some tools that I hope will allow me to drive safely far beyond that range. I’m not a certified driving instructor, so I’ll describe the tools and how I use them. How you choose to use them is up to you.

The OODA Loop: See and avoid trouble

So what’s an OODA? The OODA Loop is a rapid decision-making tool developed by Retired Colonel John Boyd, USAF. In combat, OODA is used to totally confuse and demoralize the enemy. In defensive driving, OODA is a disciplined way of thinking that helps one see and avoid trouble. OODA stands for Observe > Orient > Decide > Act, and then do it again.

It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But then there’s a joke—Two crows were sitting in a tree above a corn field. Crow One said, “Let’s fly down and eat some corn.” Crow Two, “We can’t. There’s a man standing in the field.” Crow One, “That’s a scarecrow. If it was a man, he’d be looking at his cell phone.”

How many times do we see people who aren’t even observing? And, as we age, we need a conscious, disciplined decision-making tool to drive safely. OODA can be that tool. Let’s start with an easy example.

Three Mississippi’s: Three second rule

Three Mississippi’s keep you three seconds from hitting a vehicle in front of you. It’s the easiest of the tools to understand, but the hardest to practice. It’s the minimum safe distance to maintain between you and the driver ahead for reaction time. I’ve used two seconds for years, but in researching for this article, the Florida Driver’s Handbook Section 5.26 states, “Keep a minimum following distance of three to four seconds with an additional second for any unusual weather or traffic conditions.” I’ve made the adjustment to three seconds. And as I get older and my reflexes slow down, I may go to four.

Cell phones and all the distractions they create aside, there are legitimate reasons to look away from the road ahead—for instance, looking back before changing lanes. In heavy traffic, it may take more than one look. Also, checking vehicles at stop signs or in the center divider or checking GPS on an unfamiliar turn. Three seconds gives us time to do that. So how does Three Mississippi’s work?

Observe, Orient, Decide and Act Continue Reading

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Recipes for the Road

The FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) is proud to share the 22nd Annual Recipes for the Road. This four-page recipe card is filled with non-alcoholic drinks, mocktails, appetizers and sweet treats along with traffic safety tips. Our goal is to help reduce drinking and driving and alcohol-related traffic crashes this holiday season and throughout the year.

22nd Annual Recipes for the Road Bi-Fold Card
Download this FREE Printable PDF to Share

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Recipes for the Road Cards – Order Online Now

See below for over two decades of Recipes for the Road editions. Check out our Mocktail drink and food recipe cards and videos!

Recipes for the Road is part of our Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver program where local restaurants and bars provide free non-alcoholic beverages to patrons who are the designated driver (AKA the “DD”). Together these printed materials and online resources from FDOT’s District Two CTST and local partners work to save lives and prevent injuries in our community. Click here for more information about Celebrate Safely.

Be Responsible – Do Not Drink and Drive

Continue Reading

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Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver

2019 Celebrate Safely Artwork

The FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) is excited to announce a new design for its Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver campaign. The popular public service initiative was created to help reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths and injuries during the holiday season.

During the week of the Christmas holiday through New Year’s Day, establishments that are participating in the Celebrate Safely program serve non-alcoholic beverages free-of-charge to patrons who identify themselves as the designated driver.

Materials provided include posters to be displayed in the restaurant/bar, stickers for servers and bartenders to wear, and beverage coasters. The Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver stickers are also great for sticking on menus and bill holders.

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Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver packages for bars and restaurants – Order Online Now

The campaign’s “Drive Safe and Drive Sober” message is key at any time of year, and especially during the holidays. If you’ve been drinking, celebrate safely. Designate a driver, call a cab/ride-share/Uber/Lyft, or spend the night where you are.  Make sure to check out the following:
Recipes for the Road: non-alcoholic drinks and safety tips
Mocktails: drink and food recipe cards and videos
Seasons of Safety: traffic safety-themed holiday card collection
Impaired Driving: traffic safety page with more resources and materials

IT’S NOT ALL FUN IN THE SUN

In Florida, you can get a DUI (driving under the influence) if you drive or are in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher – regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. (Sometimes the term “blood alcohol level” (BAL) is used instead of BAC.) However, a driver can also get a DUI for driving while impaired to “some degree” as the result of ingesting alcohol, drugs, or any combination of these.

While most DUIs involve driving, it’s possible to get a DUI in Florida without actually moving your vehicle. Florida law makes it illegal not only to drive a vehicle under the influence, but also to “operate” or be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle in such a state of impairment. So, for instance, an intoxicated motorist who’s found by police slumped over the wheel with keys in hand could be prosecuted for DUI even though the car never moved.

And like all other states, Florida has “implied consent” laws that generally require all motorists lawfully arrested for DUI to submit to chemical testing (blood, breath, or urine) for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in their systems.

Every day, 36 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.  This is one death every 41 minutes.  The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.

Important safety steps we can all take:

  • Before drinking alcohol, designate a non-drinking driver within your group.
  • Don’t let your friends drive impaired.
  • If you have been drinking or using drugs, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, offer alcohol-free beverages and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
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Mobility Week

Mobility Week, successfully launched in 2016 in Central Florida, is an annual collection of outreach events intended to bring attention to safe multimodal transportation choices. The success of the Central Florida region in bringing together regional partners to promote the message of safety and multimodal transportation, prompted the expansion of the initiative statewide in 2018.

During Mobility Week, cities, counties, and transportation partner agencies host events to promote transportation choices, highlight transportation achievements, and roll out new initiatives or policies.Click here to find out more about the events and activities from the last three years. 


Join Us!

Mobility Week Events in District 2

  • Trunk or Treat • Friday, 10/25/19 • 5:30-6:30pm • Pinemount Elementary School, 324 S W Gabriel Pl, Lake City FL 32024
  • Alert Tonight Alive Tomorrow • Saturday 10/26/19 • 10:00am-3:00pm • Riverside Arts Market, 715 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32204
  • Alert Today Alive Tomorrow • Sunday 10/27/19 • 9:00am-1:00pm • Fanzone at TIAA Bank Field, 1 TIAA Bank Field Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32202
  • “Mission Orange Vest” Safety + Sharing = Caring! • Wednesday 10/30/19 • 9:00am-11:00am • Cedar Key School, 951 Whiddon Ave., Cedar Key, FL 32625
  • Alternative Transportation Day Wednesday 10/30/19 • All Day! • 76 S. Laura St. Suite 1600, Jacksonville, FL 32202
  • Mobility Week 2019 Bike Lane Pavement Design Contest • Friday 11/01/19 • All Day! • Jacksonville Public Library Main, 303 N Laura St. Jacksonville, FL 32202

For event details and partners, please click on this PDF file.

Opportunities to volunteer and support Mobility Week are being added to the FDOT Mobility Week calendar daily. For a complete list of events being planned throughout our District, click here!


Take the Mix-It-Up Challenge

Mix-It-Up for Mobility Week 2019 

Take the challenge to try a new way to travel during Mobility Week 2019. The Mix-It-Up Challenge is an opportunity to earn rewards for riding transit, biking, walking, carpooling or teleworking.

Click here for more information, transportation choices in District 2 and to take the pledge today! 

 

 

 

 

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Safety for Kids

New child safety activity book and safety bookmarks are now available!


Activity Book

Our cool new activity booklet was also developed and printed in a two-part flip book for elementary age children and preteens. For the younger kids, ages 5-10, we have the “Safety Scores! On your way to school, at home, and off to play.” with great safety tips, fun puzzles and activities. The other part targets the older tween age kids from 10-13, challenging them to “Up Your Safety Game! Phone Down. Eyes Up. Buckle Up!”

Important traffic safety messages and activities cover a wide range of topics, including: child passenger safety (CPS), occupant protection, pedestrian safety, bike and helmet safety, ATV off-road safety and school bus dangers and safety. In addition, there are other key safety concerns for kids like swimming, sports, fire hazards and general everyday safety tips. We’ve got mazes, puzzles, coloring, games, crosswords, word searches, scrambles, trivia and safety check lists to keep the kids engaged while emphasizing valuable safety knowledge, reminders of best practices and fundamental safety rules to help prevent injuries or death.

Elementary – Sample Pages
 Activity Book - Elementary Pages - ATV Safety Message  Activity Book - Elementary Pages - Occupant Protection Safety Message  Activity Book - Elementary Pages - Water Safety Message
Pre Teens – Sample Pages
 Activity Book - Pre Teens Pages - Crossing Safety Message  Activity Book - Pre Teens Pages - Bike Helmet Safety Message  Activity Book - Pre Teens Pages - Sport Safety Message

Bookmarks

These double-sided bookmarks contain important safety messages for bicycle safety, distracted driving, pedestrian safety, and occupant protection tips for drivers and users. They are distributed to libraries throughout our community. Click on a design below to learn more about that particular topic!

 

 

Bicycle Safety Distracted Driving Pedestrian Safety Occupant Protection
Safety Bookmark - Bicycle Safety Message Safety Bookmark - Distracted Driving Safety Message Safety Bookmark - Pedestrian Safety Message Safety Bookmark - Occupant Protection Safety Message

 

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