Hi, my name is Don Logan. I've been a professional driver for 29 years. I have 2.5 million safe driving miles. I had always considered myself a safe driver, but about 15 years ago I had a close call that drastically changed my driving habits.
One evening, I was traveling north on Kansas Highway 4, north of Topeka, with a set of doubles. It was dusk and it was the time of the evening that the headlights had not fully taken effect. I came upon a single taillight and what I thought might have been a motorcycle. It was, in fact, a flatbed pickup with one right taillight, carrying a big, round bale of hay on the spear on the back of the truck. The vehicle was traveling at a very low rate of speed, so I swung out into the passing lane to overtake it. I then realized we were approaching a gravel intersection. I also saw, once I was into the passing lane, the pickup's front left turn signal! The rear left turn signal was not working.
At this point I had no other options but to continue to pass the vehicle on the left and moved as far left as possible. Fortunately, the opposing vehicle saw me as it started the left turn, out of his driver's side mirror, and swerved to the right avoiding a collision.
I'm very thankful that no one was injured that day and that this non-event made lifelong changes to my safe driving habits. It taught me to improve my defensive driving awareness by increasing my eye lead time and anticipating dangers before they materialize. It also taught me that your environment is crucial to highway safety. Here in Kansas, we must pay particular attention in rural areas to agricultural equipment. Farming is our leading source of business in Kansas and we must be prepared to share the road.
I encourage every driver to be vigilant in their safe driving habits, to learn from their experiences, and to never take a day off from safety.
Don Logan is from Eskridge and is America’s Road Team Captain with the American Trucking Associations