One of the most important things you can teach an individual regarding driving safely is having the correct mindset and keeping that mindset no matter the situation.
One area I put a great deal of emphasis on during my defensive driving presentations is simply not allowing others to drive your vehicle by changing your mindset.
If you allow the actions of someone else to change your actions, then you are no longer in complete control.
One of the most evident examples of this is road rage. Unfortunately, it is just as important to see the signs of the not so evident situations that slowly escalate without immediate consequences.
A prime example is following too closely.
You notice a vehicle weaving in and out of traffic behind you and your subtle reaction to this is to get close to that vehicle in front of you, closing off the other driver. Without realizing it, this reaction has no put you and your vehicle at a much greater risk of being involved in an accident.
It is also likely that this reaction will increase the severity of any accident you are involved in.
You reaction to that other driver weaving in traffic has clearly changed your mindset or attitude and prompted you to make the wrong decision.
This likely happens many times every day without you even realizing it.
For a professional driver that is behind the wheel for long periods of time, it likely happens many times every hour.
Teaching people to recognize these subtle reactions and to react completely different is the key to safe driving.
Using the examples from above, you have already anticipated what that other driver is likely to do, so instead of putting yourself at risk, as a reaction you anticipate and remove yourself from the potential. In this case, it would be leaving more room or maybe changing lanes. Please remember, do not let other people’s reactions change your mindset towards driving safely. Stay in control and drive safe.
Hargraft Schofield LP
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