In part one of “Become a Better Driver,” our advice was that the roads will be safer for all when, as individuals, we reject distractions and become more attentive while operating vehicles. Tat advice is quite solid. However, driving trends still show that, in recent years, accidents have been increasing, so many people are, literally, not paying attention.
A major reason for our growing vehicle safety problems are the growth of distractions, primarily those caused by smart phone use. Driving Safety and authorities continue to warn us, but our use of smart phones has become so popular that they are routinely causing dangerous behavior by both drivers and pedestrians.
In such times, it makes sense to take greater steps to keep yourself safe on our roadways. Building on the base behaviors that make you a safer driver, you must consider the strategy, embracing defensive driving. The chief element of defensive driving is to assume that outside forces are actively working to endanger you, therefore you have to shift your driving behavior us a notch from attentive to vigilant.
A method for defensive vehicle operation comes from a paper titled SPIDER: A Framework for Understanding Driver Distraction. It was written by David Strayer, D. and Fisher, D. and appeared in University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Human Factors, Vol. 58, No. 1, February 2016.
In that paper, SPIDER is an acronym that provide guidance in how to behave while behind the wheel. More specifically, while driving you should also be: Scanning for potential threats
Predicting where those threats will come from
Identifying actual threats
Deciding whether to act and what action to take
Responses to those threats.
This can be an effective approach that recognizes and mitigates the driving danger that others create by their distracted behavior. Actively assuming that others may be distracted allows you to take extra precautions when approaching intersections or when dealing with pedestrians.
So take more responsibility for your own safety while driving. Be attentive and be defensive.
COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017
All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.