All Good Kids Like Milk

Traveling across country is an exciting adventure, but if you think about it, it’s also a perilous one. Unless you consciously focus on road safety the entire time you’re on the road, you’re putting yourself at risk every tire rotation down the highway. The truth is, 90% of crashes aren’t random occurrences, they are the result of poor driving habits.

It is simply amazing to see how many people are looking at just about anything but the road while they are on it.  And it is simply amazing to see how many people are doing just about anything but focusing on driving while they are driving. 

One place where it doesn’t seem to be so widespread is New Jersey.  I appreciate getting onto the roads to see people looking ahead and paying attention.  No texting, no cell phones, they are just plain driving.  Wow. 

But it certainly isn’t like that everywhere.  We’ve all seen those people.  Distracted, defiant, and downright dangerous.  Somehow, the roads were made just for them to take chances on at everyone else’s expense. 

Fortunately for me, I’ve been engrained with defensive driving habits that have saved me from dangerous motorists more times than I can count.  I was exposed to the UPS Space and Visibility Program.  Those habits are simply “All Good Kids Like Milk” and they go like this

Aim High In Steering

We do this so we can always see far ahead and plan out a safe path.  We do this so that the car centers on the lane instead of hugging one side or the other, and corners aren’t cut sharp.  We do this by picturing a target out far ahead you are trying to bullseye.

Get The Big Picture

We do this so we can see everything we are approaching and access it.  We do this to buy time and be able to react safely.  We do this to avoid slamming the breaks, and instead having smooth stops and turns.  We do this by staying back, and looking ahead to determine, how wide, how deep, what’s ahead, with both objects and the ground.

Keep Your Eyes Moving

We do this so we can see everything going on around us, especially crossing intersections, or anywhere there is traffic entering.  We do this by checking front view every 2 seconds, rear view every 5 – 8 seconds.  We do this to keep alive at intersections and keep our eyes ahead of the car.  Scan, don’t stare, things can change in a blink of the eye.

Leave Yourself An Out

We do this so we are prepared, because anything can happen at any moment. We expect the unexpected. We ensure we have space on all four sides, but always space in front.  We do this by identifying an ongoing escape route.  We identify the path of least resistance and stay with it.

Make Sure They See You

We do this so there is no second guessing what our intentions are.  We don’t gamble or assume other motorists know what our next step is, we use our horn, lights and signals.  We do this by communicating in traffic, honking, signaling, and establishing eye contact.

Bottom line, you need to be constantly aware of space for your vehicle and clear visibility to get around.

All Good Kids Like Milk is pretty simple to remember.  It’s a World Class Driving System created by UPS.  Their drivers have a long history of being among the safest in the entire transportation industry.  That’s good enough for me.  I hope you find it useful as well.

And for anyone who is in such a hurry that they are riding bumpers, talking or sending messages, not allowing others to merge in, or cutting across lanes of heavy traffic with no regard, I have to ask:

Who will you be leaving behind?

When that accident finally occurs, who will you be leaving behind? And, is your situation so important you will risk taking someone from their family?

All Good Kids Like Milk.

Safe travels this holiday season, and always.


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About PR

I’m an “Oily Yogi” ready to inspire you to reach for limitless possibilities.

With a lifetime of experience in the outdoors, one of my biggest joys is to share my passion for adventure with others. After spending decades in suits and buildings, I found a way to combine the office and the outdoors in a way that optimizes positive results. There is a clearly defined correlation between nature, sensory contact, and high impact performance.

I am recognized as a change agent, who inspires people to allow their dreams to become reality through group and individual experiential settings. But perhaps the best gift I can bring to the table is my passion for your wellbeing. I enjoy coaching and training others to achieve their personal and professional goals, focusing on health, wellness wholeness, and limitless possibilities. Everything starts with the self; and is unique to each person. Simply tuning into the breath, mindfulness, and gentle movement for starters. Whenever I can, we take the work outside.

Life is an adventure! Whether it’s a business or personal situation, career path or life path, As Chief Experience Officer of PR Brady AdVentures, my passion is Inspiring Limitless Possibilities, Bringing Our Best Selves to Life.
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  1. Hey lady, it’s Minnesota calling! What a wonderful, fabulous trip you’ve had – I can’t wait to see the pictures!

  2. you have to give credit to Harold Smith who copyrighted/ trademark this set of safety driver ideas/seeing habits…

    UPS is just one of the many companies using this method of space cushion driving & have purchased the rights to use for training drivers

  3. I was trained in the Smith System at First Student for driving school buses.

    I found that by sitting back from the vehicle in front there is a point where the vehicle in front merges with the Big Picture and is no longer my primary concern. That point varies with speed and situation but when my primary concern is not the vehicle in front’s brake lights it is so much easier to make the best decisions. So I try to maintain my awareness of whether vehicles around me are emerging from the Big Picture as a sign that I need to change speed or direction.

    I also try to disconnect emotionally from interactions with other vehicles. In the school bus I used to treat the cars like puppies – letting them get on with their little games and disagreements and being careful not to tread on them if they got under my feet. If necessary slowing down and waiting for them to get out of my way rather than getting involved. I try to keep the same attitude in the car regardless of who is cutting-in or inattentively dawdling.

  4. Ms Starlight says

    I think Earl is right. You should be giving credit to who came up with the acronym.
    Otherwise, it’s going to look like you’re trying to take credit.

    • Greetings Ms. Starlight…no, I do not take credit for the program, or acronym. As “Earl” points out, UPS is one of the MANY entities that have embraced Harold Smith’s technique and process. Fortunately for me, I’d had the honor of learning Harolds methods–as an employee of UPS at the time, I was exposed to the UPS Space and Visibility Program. In that class, those habits were simplified to “All Good Kids Like Milk”. The program as far as I can recall, did not make reference to who came up with it…..Be assured, there was no disrespect intended. Simply writing a travel piece to share my experience traveling across country. Thankfully I have earned defensive driving habits that have saved me from dangerous motorists more times than I can count. Thanks to UPS, and thanks….to Harold Smith. Be safe out there on the roads.

  5. William Wilson says

    As a former UPS driver, UPS has always taught ( in my experience ) that this is the Hal Smith method which I believe UPS said was developed in or about 1957. There is much more to it than just the acronym.
    It works because UPS puts over 60,000 trucks on the road in the US alone every day. I’m not saying they don’t have accidents but they can probably credit the Hal Smith method along with their people for a low percentage of driving accidents.

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