There are so many topics that fit under this title, but today let us discuss personal safety and add a touch of driving safety for good measure.

When receiving phone calls, e-mail, mail, on getting a package in the mail or on your doorstep, if you did not ask for it, suspect it. Legitimate businesses should never call you to ask for your personal information, your login name, your account numbers, your pin numbers, or your passwords.

When your life or financial security are on the line, never take someone else’s word at face value or let them intimidate you into doing something you would not normally consider doing. Test the theory, research the subject, right-click that link and paste it into notepad to get a good look at it, call the official number, go to the site directly (without using a link to get there), definitely ask people you trust to know something about the subject for a second opinion, and above all… if it doesn’t seem right or safe, DON’T DO IT!

Example: Shifting to neutral is a faster way to regain traction on ice or when hydroplaning, than leaving a vehicle in gear and attempting to stop a vehicle against the continued action of the engine. The tires naturally sync themselves to the surface they are on, when the engine is no longer spinning them. This is my opinion. I have tested it. I have seen it work. Does this mean that you should, without ever having tested the theory in a non-critical situation, think to yourself… I’ll do that next time I’m in a situation? Please don’t. If you ever expect to have to drive on ice and snow, the best thing you can do to prepare against the eventuality is to find a nice big parking lot with no obstructions and test how your vehicle reacts on ice and snow; with the permission of the parking lot owner and with someone on hand who can call for help if something goes terribly wrong. Because even if you, in your estimation, have plenty of room… things happen. This was my driving instructor’s recommendation, my parents seconded it, I agree with it, and every other driver (experienced with driving on snow and ice) that  I have spoken to concurred with that recommendation. If you try this, remember my statement at the top. It’s your life, your judgment, and if you do something that is possibly hazardous, like testing my example and something goes wrong, it was your decision to do it and you have only yourself to blame. An adult makes their own decisions and lives with the consequences.