Drive Defensively

We’ve discussed this topic in the past, but after spending some time driving in the southwest part of Houston I thought it might be a good idea to bring it up again.  Yesterday, I noticed that there are many drivers who feel comfortable driving within two lanes of traffic, feel comfortable swerving in and out of their lane and have the ability to focus on texting as they drive.  It made a simple trip a bit stressful.

Remember that defensive driving means driving so as to prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others or the presence of adverse driving conditions.  Simply stated, defensive driving means “no surprises.”

Defensive driving requires a constant alertness for the illegal acts and driving errors of other drivers, and a willingness to make timely adjustments in your own driving so that these illegal acts and errors will not involve you in an accident.

Defensive driving requires a knowledge of all the adjustments required in your driving for the special hazards presented by abnormal, unusual or changing conditions (in the mechanical functioning of your vehicle, type of road surface, weather, degree of light, kind of traffic, and your physical condition and state of mind).

Don’t forget that defensive driving requires a thorough knowledge of the rules of right-of-way and the willingness to yield the right-of-way to the other driver whenever necessary to avoid an accident.

Defensive driving requires us to:

  1. See the hazard and think about what is going to happen or what might happen.
  2. Understand the defense and learn them well in order to apply them when needed.
  3. Act in time and never take a wait and see attitude.

Taking these three steps and keeping good driving techniques in mind, you will learn to “give in” a little; to tailor your driving behavior to the unexpected actions of other drivers and pedestrians; to the unpredictable and ever changing factors; to the mechanical condition of your vehicle; and even to how to feel.