Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
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2006.12.21 : Holiday Safe Driving Harangue

Yes, it's that time of year again. I'll make it brief: please exercise great care when driving. I've been driving around Atlanta myself for the last week, and am really kind of amazed by how difficult it is to remember that driving is the most dangerous thing you do in life. (I got behind the wheel just yesterday and thought, Ah, this isn't so bad – maybe I'll skip the Harangue.) But motor vehicle crashes are still the number #1 cause of death of Americans aged 1 - 44. And, basically, I'm just going to be really, really, really pissed off if anyone I love gets added to the big body pile. (My mental health is dodgy enough without throwing mourning and wild grief into the mix.)

Please don't think I'm commenting on your personal driving skills. If you were on a closed race course, I wouldn't worry. But you're sharing the road with every cell-phone-gabbing, radio-fiddling, latte-slurping, hot-rodding, angst-ridden, proto-suicidal, shoulder-chip-carrying, adolescent ass-clown in America. And that's a lot of ass-clowns.

Accordingly, you might care to review this article on how good drivers get killed. (Most common causes: head-on collisions from distracted oncoming drivers drifting into your lane – best defense is to stay on highways, which are partitioned; and people blasting through stop signs and red lights – look both ways even when you have the right of way.) As well as the results of my general safe-driving research. If not, here are the Cliff's Notes:

  • Focus on driving and minimise distractions – such as fiddling with the radio, eating, talking with passengers, etc.
  • Turn off your phone before you get behind the wheel.
  • Don't tailgate – you get there no faster, and a lot slower if you have to fill out an accident report, go via the casualty ward, etc.
  • If some ass-clown is tailgating you, pull over and let him pass – you might save yourself 40 years of neck pain.
  • Don't assume cross traffic sees stop signs and red lights – always look both ways, even with the right of way.
  • Stick to partitioned roads when possible; especially beware of rural routes, especially at night.
  • Don't push on when tired; pull over and take a rest – or check in somewhere. Motel 6 is 30 bucks; wrongful death suits are pricey.
  • Don't ever drive after drinking, or ride with anyone who has been drinking.
Happy healthy holidays, from yr pedantic and didactic friend, m
  danger     driving  
about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs

ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : NEMESIS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Nine - Cataclysm by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Ten - The Flood by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eleven - Deathmatch by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Twelve - Carnage by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Thirteen - The Siege by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Fourteen - Endgame by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Fickisms
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