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CharlynnT 08-31-2006 08:51 PM

A local news item leads me to post this.

When making a left hand turn, do not turn your wheel in anticipation. Keep your steering wheel straight (with your blinker on) while waiting for oncoming traffic to clear.

If you have your wheels turned while waiting, anyone who backends you WILL push your vehicle into the oncoming traffic. Not good.

More recently, a cross walk tragedy.

Picture a busy many-laned street with, say, a McDonald's on your right and a mall on your left. Or any multi-lane thoroughfare with a cross walk.

Is the car in the left lane with its blinker on to turn left stopped at the crosswalk waiting for oncoming traffic? Just waiting to turn into the mall? If so, proceed at top speed in the right hand lane through the crosswalk.

OR is that car waiting for a pedestrian who is hidden (by darkness or because they are walking in front of the waiting car)? In that case, if you go zooming by, you hit the pedestrian.

The recent news story reminded me of a time a long time ago when I was fooled by this last scenario, but hit the brakes in time to miss the pedestrian.


Karalyn 09-01-2006 02:20 PM

Thanks for the warning! I think I ALWAYS turn my wheels the way I want to go waiting for traffic or peds to clear a way for me. Yikes, never thought of someone pushing me into the other lane. Would not be good! Good warning advisory, thanks!

David & Leslie 09-01-2006 06:49 PM I was reminded of this hazard during a recent "55 Alive" class offered by AARP ... the calendar (ahem) has caught up with us, and this class can reduce one's auto insurance premium. We thought it was a day well spent - years of driving can develop not-so-good habits and dull awareness of potential dangers, like the one noted here. Thanx for bringing up for discussion. Happy (and safe) trails - LdB

Donald Stahl 09-03-2006 09:55 AM

Good advice ! Another idea springs to mind, not safety related, but still maybe a good one. When in a public parking area, when you park your vehicle, always set the parking brake after placing the shift lever in 'park'. Reason - - if you are in the habit of relying only on the 'park' and someone runs into or bumps your vehicle, it can mess up your transmission big time.

Brian B-P 09-03-2006 12:40 PM


... When in a public parking area, when you park your vehicle, always set the parking brake after placing the shift lever in 'park'. Reason - ...
Three more reasons:
  • The park feature of the transmission works on the driven wheels, while the parking brake works on the rear wheels (except some Saabs...), so if the vehicle is front-wheel-drive, using the parking brake provides [b]additional traction to keep the vehicle in place. With no parking brakes on our trailers (occasional European model excepted), this could be useful when towing.
  • Parking brake cables often sieze (or they did years ago, anyway - they may have improved) if they are not used. Regularly applying the brake [b]keeps the cable mechanism moving and functional for when you need it. I routinely use the parking brake in all of my vehicles, and have never had a cable seize or fail.
  • With drum brakes, the parking feature is just a lever that operates the regular brake shoes. In many vehicles with [b]rear disk brakes (such as my Sienna), the disk is not used for the parking brake; instead, a separate drum brake (tucked into the "hat" of the disk) is used. Some use a separate mechanical caliper on the same disk. Since use of the normal "service" brakes doesn't exercise any of the parking brake system, this is a more extreme case of the use-it-or-lose-it scenario. Again, having a trailer increases the chance that the parking brake will be needed (in addition to the transmission park feature), so I think it's important to keep it operational.

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