Jeremy Stein - Journal

« »

Accident Prevention on the Cheap

In New York State, automobile insurance providers are required to take 10% off your automobile liability and collision premium for 3 years after you take an approved accident prevention course. Our 3 years have expired, and it’s time to take another course. This time, however, it’s a little more difficult to get away for the 6-hour course.

We had to decide whether it was worth

Then I realized that Geico had already solved the problem for us. Our liability premium is so low, it would cost more to take the course than we would save. Decision made!

Of course, I don’t want to miss the practical benefits of this course. So, why don’t you comment with your best tip for accident prevention. That’s got to be at least as valuable as hearing for the 17th time why I should keep 2 seconds behind the car in front of me.

May 5, 2005 16 Comments.


  1. Tara replied:

    Hey, I thought it was 5 seconds.

    May 5th, 2005 at 2:56 pm. Permalink.

  2. Jeremy replied:

    Google disagrees, but that might explain some of your criticism of my driving.

    Now, any advice?

    May 5th, 2005 at 3:04 pm. Permalink.

  3. Shannon replied:

    More important than how many seconds is the underlying principle, handed down to me by my father…you should never, ever drive faster than the car in front of you.

    May 5th, 2005 at 3:48 pm. Permalink.

  4. Dave Wolfe replied:

    According to info I obtained on the web, “rubbernecking” (defined by Webster as “looking about, staring, or listening with exaggerated curiosity”) is one of the major causes of car accidents. Also talking to another person in the car (and esp. looking at them!) is high on the list. I shouldn’t even mention that cell phones are a cause because it’s illegal to use them while driving in NY.

    May 5th, 2005 at 4:52 pm. Permalink.

  5. CJ Costello replied:

    Actually, it is at least 2 seconds behind the car in front of you. Trying to maintain exactly two seconds would probably require too much focus—making you lose track of everything else around you.

    The best advice I ever got was to stay away from old men who wear hats while driving.

    May 5th, 2005 at 5:44 pm. Permalink.

  6. Shannon the Great replied:

    Enough of this idle talk!

    The real issues are:

    1) How much does Tara criticize Jeremy’s driving?

    2) Does Jeremy criticize Tara’s driving?

    3) Who is the better driver?

    May 5th, 2005 at 5:49 pm. Permalink.

  7. Tara replied:

    Well, okay, you shouldn’t spend more than two consecutive seconds pointing out an interesting sight to Daniel while driving, especially while negotiating curves. Your wife already has problems with tension.

    Oh yeah, and you should never, ever drive with your knees.

    And, maybe we should modify our dating principle, now that we’re an old married couple: that is, a date is not a date unless we’ve taken (at least) one u-turn.

    May 5th, 2005 at 8:54 pm. Permalink.

  8. Shannon replied:

    Oh no…you can’t be an old married couple yet. You have to make it to at least year 10 to avoid the newly-wed label.

    May 6th, 2005 at 7:17 am. Permalink.

  9. Tara replied:

    Re: S the G — Always trying to stir up trouble! Tara doesn’t criticize, she just makes panicked sounding noises, death grips the door handle, and jams on her imaginary brake all the time.

    I’d say 90% of the time Jeremy doesn’t criticize Tara.

    Ah, he’s probably the better driver. I haven’t driven into anyone’s truck in awhile, though, so I think I’m improving.

    May 5th, 2005 at 6:42 pm. Permalink.

  10. Shannon replied:

    Re: S the G- if you think I’m stirring up trouble now, wait a few years- until I reveal my true identity, which comes from the paternal side of our family. Backseat driving is from the maternal side, of course.

    May 8th, 2005 at 6:22 pm. Permalink.

  11. Bob Aman replied:

    I just had to take a 6-hour the other day due to having 8 points (4 now after the course) on my license and not wanting to get slammed with the hidden $300 fine (in addition to the actual fine) they never tell you about that they hit you with if you top 6 points (until after they suspend your license for not having paid it yet, didn’t you know?). Tip of the day:

    Let’s say you’ve got your hand at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock like you’re supposed to. Now lets say the worst happens, and you can’t break fast enough and you see you’re about to slam into some immovable object for some inexplicable reason. Or you find yourself in a nasty spin during winter driving. Virtually everyone will do exactly the wrong thing in these situations. They’ll lock their elbows and clench the steering wheel nice and hard.


    Your thumbs break on the steering wheel as your body gets thrown forward with your elbows locked. Or, your arms go through the large open area in the middle of the steering wheel, the air bag goes off, hits you with a nice 250 mph impact, and breaks both your wrists.


    Drive with your thumbs on the outside. It keeps your thumbs from busting in the worst case, and your arms can’t go through the middle of the steering wheel. It’s a lot harder to lock your elbows as well if your thumbs are on the outside. Conveniently also doesn’t affect your steering adversely.

    January 4th, 2006 at 3:57 pm. Permalink.

  12. Jeremy replied:

    I am grateful that unlike previous commenters you left an actual tip, even though it wasn’t an accident prevention tip per se.

    My only comment is that in my accident prevention course I learned to hold the steering wheel between thumb and fingers at 4 and 8 o’clock. Are you sure you were paying attention? ;)

    January 4th, 2006 at 4:10 pm. Permalink.

  13. Bob Aman replied:

    Actually… when I was first learning to drive, I took lessons from two different schools. Both of them taught 10 and 2. And I definately feel more in control at 10 and 2 than 4 and 8. 4 and 8 has a certain careless, laid-back feel to it.

    January 4th, 2006 at 4:23 pm. Permalink.

  14. Jeremy replied:

    8 and 4 o’clock technique:
    – Reduces fatigue.
    – Keeps hands on the wheel with push-pull steering technique.
    – Avoids airbag injury.

    Article from AAA
    Article from Star Bulletin

    January 4th, 2006 at 4:38 pm. Permalink.

  15. Bob Aman replied:

    Oh, and I suppose there’s also the obvious tip, road rage is bad.

    January 5th, 2006 at 1:38 pm. Permalink.

  16. Bob Aman replied:

    The old school/new school thing is always kind of funny. Every time I visit the dentist they tell me that some new advance in brushing my teeth or dental flossing had made the “old” way obsolete. Ironically, I still get cavities no matter which way I brush.

    January 5th, 2006 at 1:41 pm. Permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *