Your driving habits, how have they changed over the years?

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
The cellphone/driving thread got me to thinking, and earlier today I did a grocery run, and while driving realized how I've modified my behavior in recent years.

First, I've slowed down. A lot. I've always loved speed, worked w. SCCA racing years back, owned sports cars and souped up MiniCoopers, fast bikes too. I once owned a Kawi 500cc H1, a suicide machine which was at the time the fastest accelerating street-legal bike available generally. My last bike was a Kawi Ninja 750 that was considerably jazzed up, too.

But it got to where I simply could not operate a bike at the speeds I enjoyed, so I sold it. Teach and others enjoy those big road gliders that offer living-room comfort while touring, but if I'm not going 100+ it's not fun for me. Each to his own.

My '96 T-Bird LX, the "Great White" w. the largest V8 Ford made is a rocket for a fairly heavy car, all the speed that I really can handle these days. And more.

A few years ago I would catch myself going too fast for my reflexes. My speed hadn't changed but my reflexes had. Now, I'm no road terror and I'm very cautious about city streets and school zones, etc, but freeways and expressways, I'd be cranking along at 80 or so. Wide city boulevards rated for 45, I'm doing 60.

But (thankfully not having a crash to make it a solid object lesson), I found myself "overshooting" my comfort zone and having to brake suddenly too soon, too often. I told myself "slow the hell down!" and have done so.

The other problem that's crept up has been a gradual loss of peripheral vision. Once, with excellent vision, I could keep eyes straight ahead and still see side street traffic. Not any longer. Now I have to consciously turn my head slightly.

A warning to those approaching geezerhood (I'm well past this, will be 71 next month) ---- it creeps up on you and isn't a slam-dash event. You need to make a conscious evaluation of prior driving habits to learn what's going on with your reflexes and vision. Especially peripheral vision -- you can possibly still see straight ahead but that side vision squeezes in slowly so that you don't really notice.

Being older, I also cannot drive long distances comfortably (meaning safely). My night vision is still fine however.

Anyway, for me, I've absolutely slowed down and I take more care at intersections. Luckily my general abilities and mental swoosh seems to be fine, so long as I take into account the limitations.

So you? Especially those approaching full geezerhood, how have your driving habits changed? Any particular advice? A funny story? Or not-so-funny object lesson?

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
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Replies

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,684 Senior Member
    I thought I'd had grown up with by driving habits until I found myself doing a 4WD power slide in the sand on the beach this past weekend... in the wife's daily driver.

    Turns out, all I need is open space and someone elses' car to revert to a 16 year old again.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • NomadacNomadac Senior Member Posts: 890 Senior Member
    Back when I was younger and drove a lot in my job I used to speed, always faster than the speed limit. Also like fast cars, and with my job back then could order and drive high performance Pontiacs. Enjoyed drag racing and most Motorsports. My fastest street car was a Pro Street 55 Chevy 150 2 dr. post with a 427 BB w/671 Weiand Supercharger that dyno'd at 721 HP. It was Hoot to drive on the street.

    As I have gotten older I have reduced my highway speeds, but still find driving in town to be above the 35-45 speed limits. Even when I travel I usually set the Cruise for 62-63 MPH in my MH.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    I hit fewer elderly pedestrians. Still probably too high a number, though.

    What's an acceptable figure? Less than 10 octogenarians per year?
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,943 Senior Member
    I've slowed down significantly as well...but only because I've hobbled myself with the vehicles I buy....they are just not conducive to fast driving. Back in the day I had a 1965 Impala SS and then a 1970 Charger - also 12 points on my DL and no insurance Co, would touch me. My Company Commander said he would help me out and transferred me to SE Asia, When I finally got home, my Driving Record was clean as a whistle. Haven't had a ticket since. BUT, my dirty little secret is that I LOVE to drive fast when given the right vehicle (Like my brothers Dodge Hemi) and I'm a lot better at it now than when I was a kid. This is another reason that my bike went down the road behind another guys trailer...but I still drive like everyone on the road is out to kill me...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,957 Senior Member
    I'm a lot better at defensive driving than I used to be, especially around town. But on the interstate highways, it's lead, follow, or get the &(%^ out of my way! I hate a left lane hog about as much as a Yankee tourist, which is usually hogging the left lane anyway. :tooth: I still get a kick out of lighting up the tires on my diesel pickup once in a while. And doing a power slide in a wet field is still a hoot.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    I did not wait to become a geezer to drive slower, it only took seeing a few accidents as a new driver thirty years ago, and seeing people reduced to pudding & sausage.....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,939 Senior Member
    I have to pay more attention and resist looking when Clean says "oh look"
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 6,244 Senior Member
    I practice offensive driving. Do a lot of preemptive striking.

    Also, if you pass a hot girl, slam into her car. She HAS to give you her number then.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,684 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    This.
    And, always remember...NOTHING parties like a rental! If Im in a rental car, FIRST thing I do is floor it and see what it will do.

    Rental car, empty parking lot and snow. That is some serious fun.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    I used to drive like I was destined for a road rage incedent. Used to speed in the triple digits, cut people off, abruptly change lanes and always let the "slow" drivers know that they were "number 1." The first day I drove my daughter home from the hospital as a newborn, my driving habits changed drastically for the better. The only one thing that pisses me off like no other is someone that doesn't AT LEAST, do the speedlimit. There is no reason to drive under the speed limit...... ever.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    The only one thing that pisses me off like no other is someone that doesn't AT LEAST, do the speedlimit. There is no reason to drive under the speed limit...... ever.

    Sorry, dude. There a a lot of reasons that you shouldn't do the speed limit sometimes. Traffic and weather are two of them.

    The speed limit is totally dependant on the current driving conditions. Out here in the Southwest, there are frequent wind storms in the spring that can reduce visibility to 25 yards. Freeways are sometimes completely closed down. You don't drive the speed limit in extreme conditions.
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    In my instances, there are no reason. I was behind a guy today driving 40 in a 55, clear skies, dry roads and no impeding traffic. I layed on my horn for about a full 8 seconds. Still did no good.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    I personally have changed my driving habits a lot. Partially because I grew up and partly because of my career choice. When I was 16-17, I was into hotrods and I was a maniac behind the wheel. Still, I've never been in a wreck. But I did some stupid things back then.

    The only thing that bothers me now when I drive is people who drive like they own the road. They are entitled to get where they are going and nobody and nothing else matters. They are better and smarter than everyone else. They seem to think they have a say about how I drive. It's much easier to do when they're in the safety of their cars.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    In my instances, there are no reason. I was behind a guy today driving 40 in a 55, clear skies, dry roads and no impeding traffic. I layed on my horn for about a full 8 seconds. Still did no good.

    Gotcha. Just saw a blanket statement there that we know isn't always true.

    It might be annoying to you, but I think you should drive your own car and not thiers.....

    ETA - not trying to be a butthead. But it's the truth. I get annoyed with people driving like that all the time. But horn honking, fingers and tailgating rarely get anything usefull accomplished. Do what you want. If it was a friend or relative of yours, you wouldn't do that to them......
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,617 Senior Member
    I have become a very safe and courtious driver in my old age with great concern and care for my fellow drivers. Well that is as long as the wife is watching; if you see me by myself I'm still the raving lunatic so lead,follow or get the hell out of the way!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,939 Senior Member
    In my instances, there are no reason. I was behind a guy today driving 40 in a 55, clear skies, dry roads and no impeding traffic. I layed on my horn for about a full 8 seconds. Still did no good.


    40MPH seems about right to me.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,655 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    My '96 T-Bird LX, the "Great White" w. the largest V8 Ford made is a rocket for a fairly heavy car, all the speed that I really can handle these days. And more.

    What size motor do you have?
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,078 Senior Member
    If it's a '96 with a stock engine, it has a 4.6 L V-8. Not a 460. And a blistering 205 horsepower. 0 to 60 in 7.9 seconds, and the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds at 88.4 mph.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    faster my cars got, slower I drove on the road. every now and then I would open up the evo, on a twisty mountain road or way out in the middle of nowhere.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,715 Senior Member
    I changed my driving habits to try and keep the road death toll down. Now I just drive on the footpath.
    I also stopped drinking and driving cos I kept spilling my drink when I ran over pedestrians.
    Rentals have no speed limits and irrespective of make, size or shape are designed to go offroad fast. ( The only thing that pisses me off about US made cars is that stupid park brake activated by your foot....How the hell are you supposed to do handbrake turns ???)
    I am still a believer in the ' If you travel twice as fast as everyone else, you wont ever get rear ended'..........which is why I dont stop at lights or stop signs......
    I have been told by passengers that I scare their pants off...............unfortunately I have never had a female passenger in the vehicle at the time. Although there was this one time when I was ...uh......never mind, you wouldnt believe me if I told you.

    I have modified my driving though cos I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather...........not kicking screaming and yelling like the rest of the passengers in his vehicle.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    If it's a '96 with a stock engine, it has a 4.6 L V-8. Not a 460. And a blistering 205 horsepower. 0 to 60 in 7.9 seconds, and the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds at 88.4 mph.

    No !!! you forget, this is a special edition made for Sam !!! the exclusive Limited Yosemite Sam Edition............ one of 50 made !!! :jester:
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,610 Senior Member
    I have transitioned from an attention-seeking speed demon in my youth to an also-ran wallflower, in middle age. Where I once was an aggressive driver whose goal was to keep the pressure on anyone driving safely, I now get my kicks out of frustrating those kinds of drivers. I'm like the ex chain smoker who is now a smoking Nazi. :tooth:

    And in a few years, I intend to extend this behavior to the grocery store, where I will show up at peak business hours, with a cane and wearing a plaid shirt, suspenders, khakis, and a pork-pie hat. I will stand in the middle of the aisle, seemingly oblivious to the traffic back-up I'm causing, and tap individual items on the shelf while reading every word on the labels out loud. It will be a blast. :jester:
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    I find my driving habits pretty much the same as when I was 16. I think this is due in part to the fact that I can still hear the voice of my driver's ed teacher while I'm driving. He was also the Football coach. His voice was very.................distinctive.

    BTW, I like two old sayings about driving:

    1) "Anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac."

    2) "When I was 15 I used to do 90mph; now that I'm 90, I do 15."
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    I have learned to dlive on the light side of the load. Still have tlouble keeping eyes wide open though.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • calebibcalebib Senior Member Posts: 1,701 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    This.
    And, always remember...NOTHING parties like a rental! If Im in a rental car, FIRST thing I do is floor it and see what it will do.


    Agreed. We rented a 2013 Suburban to drive to Yellowstone with some in-laws a couple weeks ago. Fun fact, a fully loaded Suburban will easily do a steady 100mph across the middle of Wyoming.
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »
    But horn honking, fingers and tailgating rarely get anything usefull accomplished.


    I think the horn button on cars should be solid metal and should have a half power tazer hooked up behind them.

    You can still press that button.........but you'd better have a DAMN good reason for doing so.

    Getting into wrecks sometimes happens, I have no problem with that, but somebody blowing their horn (even if it isn't at me), is probably the # 1 thing in this world that makes me more angry than it should.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,504 Senior Member
    Like I said awhile back, the Camaro is supposedly limited to 138mph. It has a patch in one tire from a nail, so I have never tried to see if it is true. Twenty years ago, I'd be at 138 with the nail still in the tire....

    Back in the day, I used to have the 120mph speedo on my Mustang buried coming down Tappan lake dam (jbohio will know where that is). One deer decide to run across the the road and I'd have been toast.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,338 Senior Member
    calebib wrote: »
    Fun fact, a fully loaded Suburban will easily do a steady 100mph across the middle of Wyoming.

    I'll bet it can pass everything but a gas station while it's doing that, too!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,245 Senior Member
    I go through more redlights now than when I first started driving.
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Not Me, I did not do that even as a LEO lights & sirens.......
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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