I promised a follow-up article to my Westside Story – Failure To See The Light, in which I talked about FTC (Following Too Closely). Readers showed great enthusiasm for learning my next safe driving tactic, which I call STC. If you missed the FTC article, click the link above.
My acronym FTC stands for Following Too Closely. STC is similar to FTC but differs in that when we refer to STC, the cars are no longer moving. Picture several vehicles at a red traffic light or jammed up at a standstill in heavy traffic. STC is my acronym for Stopped Too Closely. Although the principles between FTC and STC are similar, by using the two acronyms FTC and STC, the two concepts are easier to understand and recognize.
I avoid STC for the following reasons:
AVOID STC REASON #1:
If a car hits me from behind, I may suffer a painful and disabling whiplash. The back end of my car is damaged, but maybe not totaled.
If, at the time of the crash, I was stopped too close to the vehicle in front, the first crash may cause my car to jet forward. I end up smashing into the car in front of me. A second collision might mean a second whiplash and front end damage to my car. With damage on both the rear and front of my car, my car may end up being declared a total wreck.
When FTC drivers ignore the laws of physics while in motion, they ultimately can suffer or cause injury, death, vehicle damage along with legal hassles.
STC drivers can experience the same negative results when they ignore the laws of physics while stopped in the roadway.
An STC example is when Driver #2 stops too closely behind Driver #1. Driver #3 smashes into the back of Driver #2, forcing Driver #2 into the rear-end of Driver #1, resulting in an unnecessary 3-car pile up. If Driver #1 is stopped too close to the car in front, then we have a 4 car crash, 5, car crash, or 6 car crash.
For those who relish the idea of limiting their lousy day to only one crash per day instead of a simultaneous two-car crash, I have a recommendation. Leave enough space between vehicles.
If you stopped too tightly and there is a sandwich crash, you may get a traffic ticket for following too closely along with the at-fault driver.
AVOID STC REASON #2:
When we stop too close to the vehicle in front, we set ourselves up for assault, homicide, car-jacking, robbery, and kidnap. All the perpetrator has to do is park tightly behind us, boxing us in leaving us with no escape. The evil-doer or several evil-doers then have control over us. We cannot move. He or they can jump out with guns a blazing and commit any number of heinous acts victimizing us as we sit paralyzed in our car. For a con, STC makes us a perfect mark, pigeon, and an easy target.
The scene from The Godfather where Sonny Corleone is assassinated is an excellent movie example of what I am talking about taken to the extreme. In the interest of sparing my readers from viewing this graphic example of what can happen when you stop too close, I provide you with NO LINK. Click my NO LINK and you will not be taken anywhere. My words should be enough. Avoid STC.
If we are attacked, and we have enough space between cars, we have options that can be used to defend ourselves. While I genuinely abhor violence, when evil invades my personal space, I am going to do what I have to do to survive. With enough room between cars, I might hit the gas and escape right or left even if my escape route means driving over the sidewalk and through a fence or some brush. To neutralize a threat, I am willing to drive over the evil-doer. When confronted by a felon who is driven to action by distasteful intentions, I am willing to pit my 3,000 pound vehicle as a weapon against the criminal’s 1 pound handgun. It seems like a fair trade to me.
A con is not likely to target me in the first place because I do not look like an easy mark in what is otherwise a target-rich environment. There are plenty of marks on our roadways, who volunteer to be the victim by stopping too closely thereby leaving us unscathed.
AVOID STC REASON #3:
I understand people have the right to enjoy making what I consider poor life choices by choosing to smoke tobacco, weed, and vape noxious chemicals. What the smokers and dopers apparently fail to understand is that some of us boring people, like me, who are missing out on all the benefits and joys of smoking, vaping, and doping are not interested in breathing the garbage by-products of their stupidity.
A law requiring smokers and dopers to roll up all their windows tightly and set their air control system to recirculate would go a long way to protect us from negative consequences of public stupidity. That way, smokers and dopers could enjoy the full benefits of their decision to smoke and dope more intensely without forcing those who choose not to partake in such destructive products to inhale their cloud of life-destroying garbage.
We can avoid being drawn into the stupidity generated by smokers and dopers by avoiding STC. Do not stop too close to a smoker or doper unless you simply desire to soak up second-hand smoke and dope for free.
Someone behind you may honk trying to intimidate you into moving forward. This happens rarely. If you comply, the horn honking road rage goof-ball may cause you to end up in a chain reaction collision nightmare.
Your best chance to avoid trouble is to not stop too closely. Avoid STC.