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So long as we are blaming others (mild rant)


ShovelStrokeEd

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ShovelStrokeEd

Been on another of my ride to work trips. Palm Beach, FL to Manhattan, KS this weekend and today.

 

4 separate times, in 3 different cities, I have had my life threatened by the actions of elderly drivers. Now, before you say much, I'm no spring chicken myself having attained 65 years a couple of weeks ago. I know, Marty and Paul consider me a kid but darn few others can say much.

 

#1, destination fixated old fart in a white Caddy, crossed 4 lanes of I-75, narrowly missing my well preserved ass to arrive at the merge between I-75 and I-85 in the northern reaches of Atlanta. This, despite about 7 miles of 15 foot high road signs indicating the right 3 lanes are for I-75. No real drama as I was able to brake and then, when he slowed back down to the 55 or so he felt appropriate, resume my 80 mph run towards the curve. A mere pucker moment but illustrative of what was to come.

 

#2 came at the end of day and passing through St. Louis on I-70. A high alert zone if there ever was one. It makes Houston look calm. Geezer, oddly enough in a white Caddy, decides he needs to be in the left lane as the signs on the road indicate there will be a split in a couple of miles. Trouble is, I'm rear door high at the moment. I was watching for him and looking in his mirror at his eyes and he never even glanced in it. Luckily, he changed lanes as if driving a container ship rather than an automobile so, a little goose of the throttle and I was past before he got more than 1/2 way into my lane.

 

#3 was also in St Louis, this time a white Lincoln Town Car. Those who have been there know there is a bunch of position change involved in maintaining your route on I-70 and following the highway. This time it was Granny. She became confused and all but stopped in the left lane of 5 lanes of heavy traffic, all moving at about 70. Seems she wanted to be over on the right. I came around a left curve doing well over what the traffic pattern was running at with a guy in a hopped up GTO on my butt. I grabbed a bunch of both brakes and prayed the GTO wouldn't cream me. Good driver back there. Meanwhile, Granny does a 15 mph merge into the adjacent lane and causes an 18 wheeler to lock 'em all up. Me, I'm down into first, front wheel in the air and bookin' for all I'm worth. GTO falling back but not much.

 

#4 was in Kansas City this morning, lots of twisty freeway and convoluted signage due to road construction and general pi$$ poor design. I finally get mostly clear and almost into Kansas. 3 trucks are merging into the #1 lane on my right, I'm in #2 of 4 with a car passing me in 3. You guessed it, old critter in a white Ford LTD decides to change into my lane from behind the merging trucks. Trouble is, I'm doing 70 and he is going maybe 30. I had to split between him and the car passing me to avoid a collision. BTW, he made no attempt to speed up, just changed lanes.

 

Moral of the story, when traveling the freeway system through cities, beware of white cars with out of state plates. 'Tis the season for Maw and Paw to be on the move and none of them possess the ability to deal with high speed freeway traffic.

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Paul Mihalka
BLUE HAIRS..........the scurge of the open road

 

Now that's an catagory of driver we can all agree on... lmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

Hey, my hair might be blue if I had enough left for it... grin.gif
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Lone_RT_rider
Amen.

 

For me it is Buicks. Then out-of-state plates. Buicks w/ out-of-state plates induce max pucker.

 

When I used to live in Southwestern, FL in the mid 80's... it was the white Chevy full size Impala's you and to be on the watch for. They usually had those full size sunglass things on to, the ones that go over the normal glasses. Man, nothing prepared me for riding in Detroit rush hour traffic like living in Florida for 2 years. crazy.gifeek.gifdopeslap.gif

 

Shawn

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Why, just the other day, I was minding my own business on the freeway, when some a$$hat on a Blackbird blows by me in a power wheelie! Darn near blew the rug right off my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lmao.giflmao.gif

 

Nice ridin', Ed. thumbsup.gif

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Lone_RT_rider
Why, just the other day, I was minding my own business on the freeway, when some a$$hat on a Blackbird blows by me in a power wheelie! Darn near blew the rug right off my head.

 

Was he wearin those big sunglasses? You know, the ones that go over your regular glasses? grin.gifthumbsup.giflmao.giflmao.gif

 

Shawn

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[soapbox] I strongly favor mandatory annual or otherwise regular driving tests for those over age XX. We lose important sensory and integration function with age and there is nothing we can do about it. Spectacles and hearing aides can improve the input, but what happens with that data once it goes upstairs is something that no drug or assistive device can improve. [/soapbox]

 

I watch patients that can B-A-R-E-L-Y walk into the office then drive themselves home. I'm all about independence, but at what price? And to bring this up to them - yikes. Don your armor man because they will fight it till the death.

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ShovelStrokeEd

Unusual? Not really, this kind of crap goes on all the time down in my neck of the woods. I somehow, foolishly it turns out, expected it to be better outside of Florida. NOT!!

 

Summertime is not the best time to be out there although I know some of you guys have no choice in the matter.

 

I wonder if I might not have been contributing a bit on #'s 2 and 3. It was the end of a 600 mile day in mostly 95+ degree heat. I probably wasn't at my best either. I know for a fact I was riding like a mad thing going through KC, MO. I-70 through there is just NUTZ!!!. Mixmaster doesn't even begin to describe it with about 123 freeways all merging in and out of each other, zero lane discipline and aggressive drivers mixed in with self satisfied schmucks driving 55 in the passing lane. Good chance I violated just about every statute on the books and would do it again. Last time through there was about 2 years ago and it was equally entertaining. Gotta find another route.

 

Wellllll, not all the statutes, although I did accuse another driver of having sex with farm animals. Too bad he couldn't hear me. eek.gif

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There must be a special driving skills test that's given before someone can buy a full-sized Caddy, Lincoln, Buik or similar dinosaur -- and if you don't flunk the test, you can't buy one!

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ShovelStrokeEd

On a serious note, I don't worry so much about bad vision, poor hearing or even slowed reaction times. It is the lack of ability to make a decision that is really scary. I see so many instances of what I call "brain lock" among the elderly drivers that it flat scares me to death.

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It is the lack of ability to make a decision that is really scary. I see so many instances of what I call "brain lock" among the elderly drivers that it flat scares me to death.

Agree (strongly). That's what I mean by integrative. Difference between a 'reaction time' and 'making a decision' is the type of information and the brain areas involved. It's all part of the same system and that system slows with age. Decreased input however, is one of the reasons why decision making is impaired. Limited info to integrate and a slower cpu = bad news in a cage.

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I always pay extra attention when I come up behind a car, especially on the freeway, that appears to be driverless. Nothing gets my attention like a car with no head behind the wheel. You do know we shrink as we get older, right?

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

Each Fall we have to plan for the return of the snow birds (best wWinters on earth)and a huge influx of college folks. A very odd and dangerous combination You've got the blue hairs pulling out in front of you left and right, driving 10 to 15 under, while at the same time the invincible college kids are yapping away on the cell phones, texting, drag racing, wheelying, and playing their earth shaking, arena sized, sound systems so loud that no ne can focus, makes for some very interesting driving conditions.

 

Oh, how I long for the peace and quiet of Summer and the 110 degree heat after several months of this circus. smile.gif

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I'm no spring chicken myself having attained 65 years a couple of weeks ago.

Attaboy! Now go get a full-size sedan and show 'em how a 4-lane change is really done. lmao.gif

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I have determined that it is the inability of the elderly to turn the head. The neck muscles have atrophied. Worst thing to have happened to a senior citizen was to give them rear view mirrors and side mirrors thus, not requiring the swiveling of the head to view in real time the action going on around them. Their entire world view is distorted when using the mirrors (if at all) and focusing frontally only. I believe that seniors and I'm 60, should be required not only to have a vision check, they should also have a swivel check. If they can't move the head further than 15 degrees of central, they should be provided with an annual bus pass, compliments of the local or state government.

Bruce

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I'd drive an extra 100 miles to avoid St. Loius. I've concluded they have an open season there on motorcylists....perhaps even a bounty.

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#4 was in Kansas City this morning, <snip> I had to split between him and the car passing me to avoid a collision.
Well see, after that you should have just said screw this, pulled off, called me, and let me buy you breakfast!

 

Glad you survived yet another road warrior day to tell another tale Ed!

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I'm no spring chicken myself having attained 65 years a couple of weeks ago.

Attaboy! Now go get a full-size sedan and show 'em how a 4-lane change is really done. lmao.gif

Naaaah, don't bother tryin' to show them nuthin'. Either they won't see you or they won't process the input in the gray matter fast enough. Besides, would they remember it tomorrow? But that's another subject - and one I'm sure will come to visit me in my '70s (if I make it that far). crazy.gif
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I have determined that it is the inability of the elderly to turn the head. The neck muscles have atrophied. Worst thing to have happened to a senior citizen was to give them rear view mirrors and side mirrors thus, not requiring the swiveling of the head to view in real time the action going on around them. Their entire world view is distorted when using the mirrors (if at all) and focusing frontally only. I believe that seniors and I'm 60, should be required not only to have a vision check, they should also have a swivel check. If they can't move the head further than 15 degrees of central, they should be provided with an annual bus pass, compliments of the local or state government.

Bruce

 

I heard a Dr.on the radio a few days ago say that the regular vision test for aging folks is not good enough. They should be tested for seeing contrasts, not black letters on a white board. Seems as we get older we lose the range of contrast we can see and interpret. A dark car sitting in the shade of a tree can be invisible to some of those folks.

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On St Louis...

I was there Saturday, running on I64 west bound. My new Zummo 550 did not have the same lanes and routes as the St Louis Highway department. It was very confusing. Several miles of 64 is closed west and east bound. We were sent into a traffic jam and it was 100 degrees. That heat did me in.

Does anyone make wings to direct air to your seat for an R1100rt?

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We live in a society that has decided to abandon public transit in favor of everyone driving themselves everywhere. The elderly have no choice but to drive. It is either that or never go anywhere. If there was an option to driving yourself besides not going anywhere, I suspect we would see a lot fewer people continuing to drive after their ability has left them.

 

If you don't like having the elderly sharing the road with you, vote yes on transit bond issues. They (and I am fast becoming one of them) just want to be able to get around.

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ShovelStrokeEd

I fully agree. I live in a "senior" complex and our city does provide a little help in the form of a bus that comes twice a week with stops at a local mall, a large chain food store and the like. There is also a small van that is part of the city bus system available on call, for a fee. It is better than nothing but not much.

 

A 2 mile walk to even a convenience store and that through a rough neighborhood. The nearest large food store is almost 4 miles away and a tough hike with hills and a couple of very busy streets to cross. My neighbors car pool when they can. The internet food shopping experiment went straight down the tubes and many in my complex don't own computers anyway.

 

I have no idea how to even begin to solve that problem and dread the time when I will no longer be able to drive/ride. It is a problem without anything like a viable solution and there are millions of folks in the same or worse situations.

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We live in a society that has decided to abandon public transit in favor of everyone driving themselves everywhere. The elderly have no choice but to drive. It is either that or never go anywhere. If there was an option to driving yourself besides not going anywhere, I suspect we would see a lot fewer people continuing to drive after their ability has left them.

 

If you don't like having the elderly sharing the road with you, vote yes on transit bond issues. They (and I am fast becoming one of them) just want to be able to get around.

 

Yeah, and drunk drivers need to get home too.

 

The standard has to be the same for everybody, elderly included. If you can't share the road safely, you shouldn't be on it.

 

Fortunately, we seem to have very few problems with elderly drivers around here. I'm glad I don't live in FL.

 

Dave

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Fortunately, we seem to have very few problems with elderly drivers around here. I'm glad I don't live in FL.

 

What's the matter with living in Florida, too many New Yorkers for ya? lmao.gif

 

I think I'm entitled to say that, after all, I'm a native Floridian. Which of course, has it's own special set of stigmas. But, I get to pick on yankees, and that's ok by me!

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Old farts in small cars are just as dangerous! Got nailed by one who turned left from the right lane on a 2 lane one way. The futz didn't even get a ticket from the cops for his jackass move... and I watched his eyes in the mirror and he too didn't look where he was going, much less check his blind spot. Fortunately it was a 25 mph zone and I just had time to bring the bike down to 5 or 10 before he hit my right side with his left front fender. I was just passing his right rear door when he pulled this stunt. No turn signal. No nuthin'!

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Amen.

 

For me it is Buicks. Then out-of-state plates. Buicks w/ out-of-state plates induce max pucker.

 

When I used to live in Southwestern, FL in the mid 80's... it was the white Chevy full size Impala's you and to be on the watch for. They usually had those full size sunglass things on to, the ones that go over the normal glasses. Man, nothing prepared me for riding in Detroit rush hour traffic like living in Florida for 2 years. crazy.gifeek.gifdopeslap.gif

 

Shawn

 

Hey dammit watch it...I drive a 94 white impala....and I am only 35!!! dopeslap.gif

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Ted Drewes Frozen Custard is in St Louis.

You should have stopped there.

 

And the thing to order is a CONCRETE! That has the goodies blenderized in with the custard. There can be long lines at Ted Drewe's, but they move pretty quickly.

 

Although my personal favorite is Mr. Wizard's on Big Bend just south of I-64. They do concretes with non-fat frozen yogurt.

 

Personal recommendation: Vanilla yogurt w/dipping chocolate and peaches.

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Around here we have a lot of bad drivers that aren't elderly. The "sorry kid inattentive and inexperienced driver," the "middle aged aggressive driver in the really big SUV (that thinks its a sports car)," the "mother yelling at her 4 kids in the backseat while eating a big mac," the ubiquitous "cell phone talkers" weaving all over the road and running red lights. At least the old folks usually drive slow albeit unpredictably.

 

We had a fatal head on collision in the newspaper last week in which the surviving driver who drifted into the opposite lane was texting up until impact! He denied that he was using his cell phone at the time of the accident. The LEO's checked his phone records. Unfortunately, the lack of public will to reign in unsafe drivers will simply reinforce bad driving habits and increase the danger to all of us.

 

Oh, and one more thing: Why do they always try to blame the crash on the weather? The SUV didn't slide in the ditch and roll over because of the snow. It was driving too fast for the conditions.

 

(I like a good rant as well as anybody) blush.gifwave.gif

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Okay - my 2cents worth ... Let's consider 5 types of rider (artificial number, I know), and one over-riding principle of traffic and safety management:

 

TYPE 1 - The Pro thumbsup.gif

Track trained, highly skilled. Measures success by performance on the track, in competition. Likely to off road for non-track thrills, and rides the highways in a sober and conservative manner, having nothing to prove.

 

TYPE 2 - The Thrill Seeker cool.gif

Thinks the road IS the track and the law doesn't apply to them. Everyone should just get the hell out of the way. Measures success by lean angle and speed through the turn.

 

TYPE 3 - The Tourer thumbsup.gif

Uses speed on the highway to stay safely away from danger and tends to ride more slowly in twisties, always slightly afraid of the unseen obstacle. Wishes that he has better skills and measures success in accident free miles. Doesn't feel the need to 'keep up' with anybody.

 

TYPE 4 - The Novice dopeslap.gif

Loves the freedom, physical pleasure, and comeraderie of the riding lifestyle. Is blissfully ignorant of the dangers but (hopefully) is always a little scared and rides conservatively.

 

TYPE 5 - The Oblivious lmao.gif

Just goes like hell 'cause the bike will and he never got over the immortality illusion of his teen years. Measures success by the bugs in his teeth and the number of beers consumed at the lunch stop and the number of tatoos ... runs over deer for the fun of it ... wears a cape.

 

WHAT GROUP DO YOU BELONG TO? I contend we all fit into these five groups. Personnaly I think that TODAY I'm a:

 

1 - 2%

2 - 2%

3 - 70%

4 - 20%

5 - 10% (except for the tats and beers)

 

Tommorrow - who knows, depends on my meds and my math skills ... right now I'm at 104%! clap.gif.

 

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SUGGESTIONS-

You will encounter a**holes everyday. You improve your chances by staying away from them, and everybody else. Just get out of the way!! You can't control anyone but yourself. Just stay the hell away from everybody!!

 

IN THE FINAL ANYLYSIS YOU CAN'T "BLAME" ANYBODY!

 

Traffic will bunch up behind an obstruction and the tighter it gets, the more likely the accident. Don't be the obstruction. Move to the right and slow down - let the wolf pack pass. Traffic flows like water ... stay away from the turbulence and don't be it's cause. Drivers/riders may or may not be courteous or considerate - don't trust any of them.

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You know, for all our whining about elderly drivers, teens who are texting, street racing, etc., the injury and fatality rates per vehicle mile driven have plummeted over the past twenty years or so. Don't believe me? Click on this NHTSA web page, then download the .pdf report entitled "2006 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment--A Preview."

 

But, that's not nearly the whole story for motorcyclists. While the overall injury and fatality rates have been dropping, we motorcyclists are dying at about twice the rate we were a decade ago.

 

Now, I'd concede that the decline in the overall rate of injury and death is largely attributable to seat belts, air bags and curtains, and improved safety design of cars and trucks. But the statistics suggest to me that a large part of the responsibility for what's happening to motorcylists lies with our own behavior.

 

This is not to suggest that we should excuse aggressive or inept drivers; rather, it is only to suggest that we're not doing a very good job of taking care of ourselves.

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Okay - my 2cents worth ... Let's consider 5 types of rider (artificial number, I know), and one over-riding principle of traffic and safety management:

 

TYPE 1 - The Pro thumbsup.gif

Track trained, highly skilled. Measures success by performance on the track, in competition. Likely to off road for non-track thrills, and rides the highways in a sober and conservative manner, having nothing to prove.

 

TYPE 2 - The Thrill Seeker cool.gif

Thinks the road IS the track and the law doesn't apply to them. Everyone should just get the hell out of the way. Measures success by lean angle and speed through the turn.

 

TYPE 3 - The Tourer thumbsup.gif

Uses speed on the highway to stay safely away from danger and tends to ride more slowly in twisties, always slightly afraid of the unseen obstacle. Wishes that he has better skills and measures success in accident free miles. Doesn't feel the need to 'keep up' with anybody.

 

TYPE 4 - The Novice dopeslap.gif

Loves the freedom, physical pleasure, and comeraderie of the riding lifestyle. Is blissfully ignorant of the dangers but (hopefully) is always a little scared and rides conservatively.

 

TYPE 5 - The Oblivious lmao.gif

Just goes like hell 'cause the bike will and he never got over the immortality illusion of his teen years. Measures success by the bugs in his teeth and the number of beers consumed at the lunch stop and the number of tatoos ... runs over deer for the fun of it ... wears a cape.

 

WHAT GROUP DO YOU BELONG TO? I contend we all fit into these five groups. Personnaly I think that TODAY I'm a:

 

1 - 2%

2 - 2%

3 - 70%

4 - 20%

5 - 10% (except for the tats and beers)

 

Tommorrow - who knows, depends on my meds and my math skills ... right now I'm at 104%! clap.gif.

 

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SUGGESTIONS-

You will encounter a**holes everyday. You improve your chances by staying away from them, and everybody else. Just get out of the way!! You can't control anyone but yourself. Just stay the hell away from everybody!!

 

IN THE FINAL ANYLYSIS YOU CAN'T "BLAME" ANYBODY!

 

Traffic will bunch up behind an obstruction and the tighter it gets, the more likely the accident. Don't be the obstruction. Move to the right and slow down - let the wolf pack pass. Traffic flows like water ... stay away from the turbulence and don't be it's cause. Drivers/riders may or may not be courteous or considerate - don't trust any of them.

 

Eh, I dunno, I still like to blow of Harleys! Specially a group of em with women riders. Even if the guys get pissed they gotta stay with em. Sorry girls.

 

I try and stay away from everybody but sometimes that calls for offensive driving! lmao.gif

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I was in St. Louis just a week after the thread starter, and I agree, it's pretty hair raising at times. I found hte easiest thing was ot just relax, and find a speed and lane where you're just going with the flow of traffic.

 

Trying to drive 10mph over was too much work to save a couple minutes. I also found that people left so little room between cars in teh right lanes, they you had to either cut people off or change lanes miles before your exit and add to the congestion.

 

People in the right 2 lanes need to realize that cars are merging and and out and either get over or leave room.

 

I think a lot of drivers are so overwhelmed with the actual operation of the vehicle that they don't have enough brain power in reserve to actually think about the other cars around them. OR their in car or cell phone conversation is occupying too much of their brain.

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....find a speed and lane where you're just going with the flow of traffic.

 

 

Gotta jump in here with a BIG disagreement.

 

Going at the same same speed with the flow of traffic makes you a sitting duck. The lame-brain that saw you in their mirror 30 seconds ago forgets you are still there. They make some bone-headed move & suddenly, you're all over the brakes/horn/emergency lane, wondering what the hey.

 

No, I'll always move faster than the flow, thank you very much.

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ShovelStrokeEd

No, I'll always move faster than the flow, thank you very much.

 

Me 3, I like that movie coming toward me and, while I still check my 6 with far more frequency than most of the denizens of the "fast" lane, I have to do it less often if I'm moving faster than the flock.

 

I agree very much with David Baker on the principle that a license to operate a motor vehicle in general and a motorcycle in particular should be much, much harder to get and keep. I would be very much in favor of stricter testing and, indeed, retesting on some periodic basis. You should have to prove you still have the skills/ability to control a couple of tons of moving machinery or a basically unstable high performance machine such as a motorcycle.

 

Further, you should probably have to demonstrate basic control skills on a vehicle without automatic transmission, power steering, cruise control, stereo, navigation aids, or even AC. Prove you can do that in a smooth and safe manner and you can qualify to operate a more complex vehicle. Pilots have to and they have far less traffic to concern themselves with. A little basic understanding of physics wouldn't hurt either. Maybe drop a ping pong ball on someones forehead from 10 feet and then follow it with a golf ball from the same height.

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