Letters: Here's a way to keep car trips trouble-free: Just shut up!

November 30, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

In re: Catharine Hamm’s “The Toll of Back-Seat Drivers,” On the Spot, Nov. 24: I do not tolerate back-seat drivers — they either shut up or get out. My wife is my co-pilot and, if needed, speaks up, but we rarely speak to each other while I or she is driving, even on longer trips.

When we travel by car, it will be silent 95% or more of the trip. A driver cannot concentrate on driving and schmooze at the same time. The minute you have three or more occupants in the car, especially for young drivers, the accident rate goes up. Parents should limit their teen drivers to one other occupant in the front seat only. Most people yap far too much in their cars and/or do not concentrate on driving.

I have every emergency system made by my car’s manufacturer. Some are included and others are options, but they include a full 3-D camera system; pedestrian warning and emergency braking; adaptive cruise control plus stop and start; full emergency braking and stopping; lane control; automatic parking; cross-traffic warning for backing or pulling out; and automatic headlights.

With all this, I am still 100% focused on my driving and surroundings.

Ernie Salomon
Santa Barbara

One more point on the subject of back-seat driving: Passengers, please refrain from bringing up controversial and upsetting topics while heading down the highway at 70 miles per hour.

In this day of divorced parents, remarriages and seething grievances, arguing in a vehicle on the way to family gatherings can be dangerous. An upset driver is no different from an intoxicated one.

Kyle Kimbrell
Playa del Rey

Being nice has rewards

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In re: Elliott Hester’s column about being nice to the airline’s customer service agents (Fly Guy, “The Ones Who Get Yelled At,” Nov 17).

Speaking for myself, I see the airlines as God and am mindful never to get on their bad side. Especially the gate agents, who are the real gatekeepers.

I assume that courtesy goes far with gate agents. A few years ago, I was on the bottom of the list for a stand-by flight. I received a seat; perhaps my politeness got me on board.

Paul Perez