Andy Pilgrim's blog

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Mar
30
2018

The Hazards of Not Using Turn Signals

By Andy Pilgrim

“Common sense is not so common”. The French writer and historian Voltaire is credited with the origins of this phrase and though I’m fairly certain he was not talking about 18th century traffic safety, it applies perfectly to many of the problems we all see on U.S. roads these days.

This month I’d like to talk about one of the most dangerous driving behaviors I see every day; drivers not using their turn signals.

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Feb
23
2018

Crosswalk Dangers for Pedestrians

By Andy Pilgrim

I was recently in the same hotel for an entire week, which was quite unusual for me as I’m usually in and out of places in a couple of days. I took the opportunity to do some pedestrian traffic safety research by walking for several miles each afternoon, foraging for food once my work day was over.

I would walk a couple of miles in any direction from the hotel, to whichever restaurant I had chosen. In doing so, it was necessary to use four or five light-controlled pedestrian crosswalks along the way.

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Jan
19
2018

A Dangerous New Normal: Distracted Drivers

By Andy Pilgrim

Adaptation is a useful genetic tool; you might remember some guy named Darwin wrote about it over 150 years ago.

The U.S. distracted driving epidemic is getting worse and worse. Traffic deaths passed 40,000 in 2016, a 14% increase over 2014. We have not seen an increase like this in decades. I can honestly say my driving has adapted more in the past few years than in my other 34 years of driving. Why? “To survive!” Thanks to Mr. Darwin, again.

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Dec
1
2017

Winter is Coming!

By Andy Pilgrim

Traffic fatalities and injuries in the U.S. are increasing faster than we have seen in decades. Winter always brings its own unique set of traffic problems, so this month I want to highlight a few points and techniques that have helped me be a safe winter driver over the years.

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Oct
27
2017

How Every Driver can Help End Traffic Fatalities

By Andy Pilgrim

The latest statistics on U.S. roads show that we are continuing the dangerous increases in fatalities and injuries we have seen over the last two years.

I am travelling all over the world this year, both for my racing and for my work with Automobile magazine. So far, I have been to England, Germany, Spain, France, Australia, Portugal and the UAE. Wherever I go in the world, I rent a car and often drive hundreds of miles over a race weekend.

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Sep
29
2017

The 4 Types of Tailgaters and How to Avoid Them

By Andy Pilgrim

Tailgating crashes are becoming an epidemic in the U.S. When a driver tailgates, or follows another vehicle too closely, it prevents them from avoiding a crash when the vehicle in front of them brakes suddenly.

To help your teen understand this problem, let’s have a look at the psychology of tailgaters. Drivers choose to tailgate other vehicles for a myriad of reasons:

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Aug
17
2017

Traffic Safety Readiness Level DEFCON 1

By Andy Pilgrim

The defense (DEF) readiness condition (CON) is an alert state used by the United States Armed Forces. DEFCON 5 is the condition denoting normal readiness, going up to DEFCON 1 which signifies maximum readiness.

Similarly, driver training in Europe emphasizes always having a high state of readiness. I passed my driving test in the UK for both motorcycles and cars and have ridden mopeds and motorcycles since I was 16 years old (the UK tests are among the toughest in the world). Expecting the unexpected is my driving life mantra.

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Jul
21
2017

The Danger of Using Smartphones at Red Lights

By Andy Pilgrim

“I don’t text and drive, I only mess with my phone at red lights”. If I had a dollar for every time I heard adult drivers tell me this, I would have a lot of dollars.

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Jun
26
2017

Road Rage!

By Andy Pilgrim

We often hear about road rage through media reports. One incident I read about involved a young child, shot to death while sitting next to her father. A person in another vehicle was apparently upset with her father’s driving. There had been no crash and nobody was hurt, but the shooter felt the need to fire his gun at the other vehicle, killing the young girl. Of course, the perpetrator fled the scene, but thankfully, they were later caught by police. 

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May
19
2017

Parents Need to Set a Safer Example

By Andy Pilgrim

I have been talking to parents for over two decades about the important role they have in their child’s driving education. I have spoken about traffic safety to hundreds of adult groups att over the U.S. ranging from parents at high schools, to church groups, to company sponsored employee meetings.

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