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Driving while black can be life or death. Here are 4 rules for staying alive.


As a frequent traveler and black American who’s painfully aware of the many police-involved deaths of black drivers, I now have “The Talk” with my white and non-black minority friends before getting into their cars.

To feel safe, I always tell them my four non-negotiable rules of the road—even if we’re only going on a jaunt across town—and none have to do with the physical act of driving.

I first expressed my rules during a road trip this summer with my friend Laura, a white woman. Laura offered to drive us from Durham, North Carolina, to a mountain town nearly four hours away in the cooler highlands. As the owner of a perennially cluttered car and someone who falls asleep after three hours at the wheel, I happily accepted.

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