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Inside Lingo Tags: writing

                                 

Has this ever happened to you? You’re typing away, describing a scene, and something like this comes out.

“As the lane beside him ended, the car behind him sped up to pass him in the ever-diminishing space beside him.”

Okay, that just toppled the flow of the go.

How about, “If Victoria had not made sure everyone was stopped in the intersection before going through it, everyone in the car would have died.”

Wait, what?  That’s just way too many words.

It probably happens most when your characters are adventuring in an arena you don’t typically write about.  All of a sudden, that inside language every trade, profession, hobby and lifestyle has is knowledge you need RIGHT NOW!

Today I thought I’d blog about words and phrases commonly used in driving.  As a driving instructor, I use them every day.  So might you, as a driver yourself.  But I bet there’s a few you’d not thought of.

So here’s a bit of inside lingo you might use in your stories.

Instead of the first example how about  “As the lane beside him ended, the car behind him sped up to shoot the gap.

And for the second example let’s try “If she’d not secured her intersection before proceeding through, everyone would have died.

Here’s some more:

The poorly distributed load teetered dangerously to one side.

He was boxed in, with no out on either side of him.

He was good at scanning for both actual and potential hazards.

He rolled past the two fighting dogs, cautiously covering his brake and giving them extra room.

She signaled her intention to move over a lane to give him time to follow.

He created space for the merging truck, allowing him to pull in front of him.

She considered the road and traffic conditions before setting out.

“He has excellent hazard awareness, I’d be surprised if it was his fault.”

A good driver is a predictable driver, one who matches the flow of traffic, facilitates merging and lane changing, maintains space cushions and always signals their intentions.

Grimly, she determined the closing rate of the oncoming vehicle would not allow her time to pull back.

It was his superior slow speed maneuvers, reversing, positioning in narrow spots and turning in tight spaces that won him the Waste Remover Award of 2018.

The child stepped into Logan’s path of travel forcing him to make an evasive maneuver onto the gravel shoulder.

Her eye-lead time was severely restricted, leaving her little time to determine her options.

Without space to maneuver she was destined to collide with the object.

It was a matter of managing space and time, and she knew she was up to the task.

As the car spun out of control, Mr. Webb’s words from driving 101 came to her, clear as the rain on her windshield. “When hydroplaning, avoid using the pedals or the steering. Wait for the vehicle to re-establish traction before applying either one.”

The winding roads and hills severely restricted her sightline. The dense shrubbery and trees on either side of the road created continuous blind spots for her. 

For drivers who hyper-focus or have tunnel vision, it is our job to teach them how to expand their scope of awareness.

Understanding sequential priority of focus is essential for new drivers. Without this, they will be looking at the wrong things at the wrong time.

She drove past him in idle speed, insuring he saw her in the 1967 Mustang.

He proceeded through his turn as if that was what he’d intended all along.

She sped through the semi’s no-zones, paranoid he would move over without seeing her.

It helped alleviate her anxiety to repeat, pace the space” over and over when merging onto the freeway. 

And a few straight-up definitions:

Pinch points: Areas where traffic condenses, such as where lanes end, intersections, and on/off ramps.

Point of No Return: The PONR is that point beyond which we can no longer safely stop for the light.

Traction patch – the amount of tire touching the ground, about the length of a hand.

Space cushion: The distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Also called “following distance.

Spatial reasoning: The ability to judge distances and the amount of space around your vehicle.

Staying staggered: Maintaining an empty space on either side in traffic

 

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