Use the IPDE to cut accidents
The IPDE is an organised, thinking-doing process that you can use over and over again in performing the defensive driving task. The four steps in the IPDE process are as follows:
Identify: Locate potential hazards in the driving scene.
Predict: Judge where possible points of conflict may occur.
Decide: Determine what actions to take and when and where to take them.
Execute: Act by manoeuvring the motor vehicle to avoid and conflicts.
The IPDE can assist the driver to avoid collisions, and become a defensive driver. Defensive driving is the art of protecting yourself and others from dangerous and unexpected changes in the driving environment. The defensive driver anticipates actions of other road users and is willing to adjust speed and position if they make an error.
Collisions and traffic tie-ups are prime examples of breakdowns in the transport system. “Driver judgement is a factor in avoiding or minimising the danger in every breakdown,” says Norris Christian, an experienced driver instructor. “Drivers in the tie-up are responsible for driving in a safe, cooperative manner,” he adds. A collision is a more serious breakdown on our Jamaican roads.
A collision occurs when there is crash between two or more vehicles or between a vehicle and another object. An accident suggests that something ‘just happens’ to a person that could not be avoided. “However, collisions do not just happen, they are caused,” says Christian. The causes of collisions can be determined and steps can be taken to eliminate many of the causes.
Driver error is the main cause in a majority of collisions. Frequently, these errors occur because a driver violates a traffic law. Other causes of collisions include adverse weather conditions.
Also defects in vehicles and roadways, nonetheless, many crashes have multiple causes. For example, a car skids in the rain and crashes through a guardrail. An investigation reveals that the car was travelling too fast for the curve and conditions of the pavement.
Some pointers for our drivers:
1. Avoid looking only at the rear bumper of the motor vehicle ahead.
2. Look over, through and around the car ahead.
3. Be alert for brake lights and for anything that might cause the car ahead to stop.
4. On hill tops and in curves, check ahead for possible problems so you can adjust speed and trailing distance.
5. Watch for brake lights ahead as early warnings to stop or slow down.
6. Knowing where sudden stops might occur can alert you to areas of greatest danger. Some common areas include: intersections controlled by signals, lanes next to parked cars and parking lot entrances.
7. It must be noted, according to one sergeant of police, that when a rear-end collision occurs, the driver at the rear is usually at fault; however, an error made by the lead driver may have actually contributed to the rear-end crash.