Driving Ideas.

    A more accurate title would have been "ideas concerning driving".
These include fun things to do while driving, innovative ideas for the
automotive industry and useful safety tips.

    This section has nothing to do with ideas that drive or motivate people
(myself among them), nor with the driving or carrying forth of ideas :-).
Please let me know what you think, tell me about interesting ideas
of your own and feel free to pass this information along.

    My email address is the.ngneer rat gmail.com

Fun things to do while driving.

    Driving has become an indelible part of everyday life.
That doesn't mean it has to be boring, repetitive or stressful.
  • Blow soap bubbles. I keep a small canister of soap mixture and
    blow bubbles at nearby cars and passers-by. It really helps when
    you're stuck in traffic, and it never fails to attract smiles from
    grown-ups and children alike. It always makes me smile, too.
    • Note: bubbles can leave (an easily removable) residue.
    • Note: obviously only do this when you are fully stopped.
      (otherwise you'll spill soap mixture all over yourself ;))

  • Occasionally go around a roundabout (traffic circle) more than once.
    Not only can it cause the person sitting next to you to feel stupefied,
    but it's also a lot of fun. When utterly alone, I sometimes go around five
    or six times or more. This is empowerment - unlike any other stretch of
    road, you *never* have to stop and you *always* have the right of way.
    • Note: be very careful not to get dizzy.

  • Look at license plates and find interesting patterns. I guess this would
    fall under the category of road trip games, which include word games,
    counting car colors and finding US states (or EU countries) license plates.
    • For alpha-numerical plates, it's all about finding funny combinations.
    • For numerical plates, finding palindromes (numbers that
      read the same in both directions) can be very gratifying.

Things that would be nice to see.

  • A different signal or signaling pattern for signifying a U-Turn.

  • A more communicative version of horn bells / honking / dimming lights.
    • Your lights are turned off.
    • Your lights are malfunctioning.
    • Careful, you're still in reverse gear.
    • Could you move a little, please, you're in my way to turn?
    • There's some serious danger - look out for the [danger]!!!
    • And maybe for less usual circumstances I've found myself in
      (requiring the good Samaritans to open a window and shout):
      • You left your spare keys in the trunk door.
      • You have a flat tire - how did you not notice?

  • A mechanism that detects the accumulation of carbon dioxide
    inside the cabin and cracks open a window for children who get
    trapped inside. Should be combined with a heat sensor to allow
    for reduction of extreme temperatures as well.
    • As far as I can tell, this will not compromise security. As a
      car thief, you would need to find a way to inject CO2 into the
      cabin, but even then it will only afford you a crack, which you
      didn't even need in the first place, did you?
    • Come to think of it, cracking a window is just the simplest
      implementation, and would be harder to achieve in a car with
      manually operated windows. I suppose you could activate a fan
      that will let air in and cool the temperature down at the same time.

Things I would personally like to see.

  • Unnecessary horn abuse makes everybody more prone to error.
  • Never place intersecting roads' signposts at the same height!
    This is how it's done around here, and it's very frustrating.
    You are never able to tell which street you are crossing.
    You can only see the name of the street you are on.

Useful safety tips (for those who value life).

    These nontrivial tips reflect my experience as a driver in a hostile driving
environment. "Hostile" refers to an error-intolerant, less-than-forgiving road
infrastructure and to inconsiderate driving habits. I've also taken several
hands-on (or is it feet-down? ;-) advanced road safety courses.
  • When braking in an emergency situation, brake the hardest you possibly
    can. This applies even if you don't have an ABS system (in which case you
    should brake intermittently). Let's say you're headed straight for a truck:
    • You don't want to reach it and realize you didn't brake hard enough.
    • The person behind you will have to brake as hard as you no matter
      what. Braking gradually will not make any difference to him/her, as
      they're just going to brake gradually too, and if they didn't keep their
      distance they're going to hit you either way.

  • Adjust your side mirrors to the point where you can barely glimpse the
    sides of your car. This way, you'll be able to see much more when you're
    changing lanes and driving. The sides of your car will always be there, so
    you don't need to be looking at them all the time. You get used to this setup
    fairly quickly and you can't realize how you've managed without it.
    • When parking, just tilt your head a little if you feel you need to see.

  • Whenever you find yourself with two wheels on the asphalt and two wheels
    in the dirt, it's important to NOT panic. This can happen if you fall asleep for a
    moment or if someone forces you off your lane. You should NEVER slam the
    brakes in this situation, because the differing friction will cause your vehicle
    to swerve back onto the road, where it might be hit by another passing car.
    • You can continue driving in this condition indefinitely, so don't worry.
    • When it's safe to return to the road, make sure you slow down first,
      gradually, and come back at an angle of no less than 45 degrees.
      This will ensure both front wheels are on the road before the back
      wheels are, and won't cause any instability like I mentioned before.

  • Remember your hand/foot brake when the regular brakes don't work.
    It's easy to write about, but you have to have fairly good reflexes to
    realize what's happening in time. A friend of mine saved us once
    that way, and I really admire him for thinking on his feet like that.

  • Take a hands-on road safety course. The kind where they make
    you face real situations in your own car. It's never the same just
    reading about it, and it contributes a lot to your confidence. They
    have them for companies, too, which makes for a nice outing.