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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 701
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:15 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I thought I need to introduce myself and provide you with my short background related to driving.

My name is Mikhail Alexandrov, and I was born in 1960 in Moscow Russia. I lived mostly there till 1999, when I moved to US, and currently live in McLean, Virginia.

I learned how to drive at 12. They had those funny little Kidís licenses back then in the Soviet Union, which allowed one of this age to drive on public roads, when accompanied by an adult. Since then, Iím always driving. As of now Iíve been driving for 34 years already. Never as a profession, but I do hold Russian commercial driverís license in addition to Russian and American regular licenses and Russian motorcycle license. I drove a vast variety of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, I can't even remember them all Smile

In 1982 I graduated with Masters degree in Engineering from Moscow Auto-Road Institute in Moscow, Russia. After that I served two years in Soviet Army as a commander of automotive platoon. This gave me some real life truck driving experience. After Army I worked for the State Automotive Research Institute in Moscow, Russia, from 1985 till 1993. My last job title there was Senior Research Engineer. I was researching combustion process of internal combustion engines, and also was creating and improving equipment and tools for combustion research.

Most of the time I drove in Moscow, Russia, which is very similar to New York by driving patterns and habits (I think most of really big cities are like this Ė I had a chance to see Cairo, Egypt, and it reminded me about both of those giants). Second largest by the time or miles driven would be US - Washington, DC area, mostly Northern Virginia. And there were occasional trips and rentals in different cities and rural areas all over the world, including former Soviet Union, Turkey, Hungary, Thailand, US Eastern coast (all the way from DC to Key West and back to Niagara Falls), and even Island of Cyprus (did you know they drive on the left side of the road? Ė I survived, and even did not do any damage neither to the rented car, nor to others Razz ).

My last accident happened in 2003 in Washington, DC, when I did not manage to dodge the car, which turned left from the right lane. The only excuse that I have is that I just returned from a trip to Egypt and was heavily jet-lagged. My last at-fault accident happened in 1997 in Moscow, Russia. This time I was turning to the main road, following another car, and due to the lack of traffic on the main road did not expect this car to stop completely. However, it did stop, and I hit its bumper at around 2 mph speed or so. Other than that, I did not have any accident for the last probably 12 years. I had my share of accidents when I was young, but I never was involved in an accident with somebody killed or seriously injured.

I routinely drive 90-100 mph on divided highways, and routinely drive 5-15 mph on local residential lanes. I get one speeding ticket in two years, on average, and pay $600 per half a year to insure all three of my family's cars (two Civics and Murano).

I taught my former and current wives and my older son how to drive, and no one of them ever had an accident with serious injury or death. No injuries at all for that matter during 20 plus years of their combined driving. My former wife and my older son still drive in Moscow, Russia Ė and this is like driving on Manhattan, or even harder. And everybody, including me, really enjoys driving. We all just love it!


Last edited by Misha on Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:41 pm; edited 6 times in total
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FRE
Active member
Active member



Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Albuquerque NM

PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:30 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The last ticket I had for a moving violation was in 1986. In 55 years of driving, I've had about 4 tickets.

I lived in Fiji from 1994 to 2004 and had three accidents there. Once a bus ran into me from behind. I was about to start down a steep hill and make a sharp right turn into an obscure driveway. The bus had been following ridiculously closely and I didn't want him behind me when I started down the hill, so I tried to get him to pass me. To do so, I had slowed to about 10 kmph, but he still wouldn't pass. So, I stopped with my left wheels on the shoulder (driving there is on the left) but couldn't get completely off of the road. As I very gradually stopped, he hit me.

The next time I was hit from behind, I was stopping for a pedestrian about to step into a cross walk. Because it was a congested area, I was going only about 30 kmph, and didn't even stop quickly, but he still hit me.

The last time, I was stopping for a stop sign when I was hit from behind.

Other than the above, my last accident was in 1978. In Minneapolis, I was on ice and had applied the brakes to avoid a truck that looked as though it was about to turn in front of me. The car behind me skidded into me. My car wasn't damaged, but his grille was caved in. Before that, I had an accident in 1972 when a car ran into me from behind after I had been stopped at a red light for about half a minute.

Although most accidents can be avoided, there's not much one can do if one is doing the right thing and is still hit from behind. That's one reason I favor a greater following distance. I may be able to stop in plenty of time but if someone is following too closely, he may not be able to stop if I have to stop, even if I don't stop quickly.
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Misha
Site Owner



Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 701
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

LOL My last one I got two years ago, and it cost me two days in jail, on top of monetary stuff Razz

As for you Fuji experience, I think you did not manage to change your tune to the local driving habits. They do differ, and sometimes it is really difficult to get used to drive in a foreign country. The bus driver probably just did not understand what you tried to do, hence the collision. Stopping for pedestrians or full stop for a stop sign likely are not habitual on Fuji, so drivers behind you did not expect such behavior from you either. Smile
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FRE
Active member
Active member



Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Albuquerque NM

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:53 pm Reply with quote Back to top

In Fiji, it seems that many accidents occur at pedestrian crossings because of following too closely or not paying attention. I've never seen an actual collision occur, except for mine, but I've seen the damaged cars immediately after the fact. Learning to drive on the left with right-hand drive was somewhat challenging. The turn signal windshield washer controls are on opposite sides, which at first caused me to make mistakes.

The speed limit is only 80 kmph which seems low, but for those roads it is reasonable. The accident rate there is ridiculously high.
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arun
Driver
Driver



Joined: Dec 25, 2009
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

To be honest with you just a week before i was booked for speeding and that was my 3rd ticket. I did 150mph and thought i would get away but a state trooper caught me n fined me.
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FRE
Active member
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Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Posts: 79
Location: Albuquerque NM

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:17 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If you drove 150 mph here in the U.S., probably you would go immediately to jail. Perhaps you mean 150 kmph; few cars are capable of going 150 mph.
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SaabLover
Member
Member



Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 15
Location: San Antonio

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:34 pm Reply with quote Back to top

For me, I have become more and more conscious of safety, the less and less young I get. In Germany I could not bring myself to go faster than 90 mph on the autobahn. There are few places and circumstances on the planet where you could go 150 mph or even 150 kph without endangering others. Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Confused
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