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Thompson: Don’t veer for deer — just slam on your brakes

POSTED: March 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.

There’s a safety campaign out now and its slogan is, "Don’t veer for deer." Good advice. I personally don’t think you should veer ever. A lot of roll-over accidents are caused by people veering to avoid a car that quickly pulls in front of them. This happened to a good friend of mine last week while he was driving up to Ohio to visit relatives. A car swerved in front of him and he swerved to avoid it. His Tahoe rolled twice, but fortunately no one was injured. My safety slogan is, "Don’t veer for anything, just slam on the brakes." If you do veer and your car goes into a slide, you need to turn your steering wheel in the direction that the back end of your car is going. For example, if you swerve and begin fish-tailing, when the back end of your car starts going left, turn your steering wheel to the left. When it starts going to the right, turn your steering wheel to the right. Now I have to tell you that if you get in this situation, you’re probably not going to remember the advice I just gave you. Let me offer you a simpler way to remember this. When you’re sliding or fish-tailing, always look where you want the car to go. You’ll naturally turn the steering wheel in that direction and that’s exactly what you want to do.

It’s interesting to me to go into someone’s home and see how many remote controls they have for their TV. I personally have three: one for the TV, one for the cable box and one for the DVD player. Some people have four or five! (I can actually remember when I was a little kid and I was my dad’s remote control. He’d tell me to get up and change the channel and I would). With all of your remotes, it’s difficult to just turn a TV off and on anymore. Let me make a recommendation. Type up some basic instructions on how to use your remotes and how to do the basics like change channels. Laminate the instructions and then put them in an easily accessible place near your remotes. Why? Because you’ll be doing your guests and your babysitter a favor. You’ll probably have to refer back to them yourself from time to time.

This is a great tip. Program the phone numbers of your credit card companies into your cell phone. When you lose one of your cards — and you will — you can immediately call the credit card company and have them flag the account.

If you’re going to be flying with an infant, let me make this recommendation. Bring along a bunch of disposable earplugs — not for you, but for your fellow passengers. When the baby starts to cry, you won’t have to feel guilty!

For Christmas, my wife bought me an over-the-ear task light. It looks like one of those over-the-ear microphones that people use with their cell phones. However, it has an LED light on the end of it. What a great little product. I use it when I’m reading in bed and I don’t want to disturb my wife. I’ve also used it to work on small projects where I’ve needed concentrated light. There are several different manufacturers that are making them. Just Google it or have someone Google it for you. They cost between $20 and $30.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.



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