Thu | Jul 7, 2022

Components of a caring defensive driver

Published:Sunday | March 20, 2022 | 12:05 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Contributor
The driver of this Isuzu truck observes the mangled wreck after the vehicle ended up in a trench along the Old Harbour main road on Sunday. The driver did not appear to sustain any injuries. Jamaica registered more than 480 crash fatalities in 2021.
The driver of this Isuzu truck observes the mangled wreck after the vehicle ended up in a trench along the Old Harbour main road on Sunday. The driver did not appear to sustain any injuries. Jamaica registered more than 480 crash fatalities in 2021.
There are sports seats for the driver and front passenger.
There are sports seats for the driver and front passenger.

The driver of a Nissan Tiida motor car drives past a minor land slippage along the Irish Town main road on Sunday. Storm rains affected several parishes.
The driver of a Nissan Tiida motor car drives past a minor land slippage along the Irish Town main road on Sunday. Storm rains affected several parishes.
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Are you a defensive driver? Are you a caring driver who drives for the other motorist? Are you truly concerned about the spiralling accident rate, which, from all indications, has spilled over into 2022? Well, let us focus on components of a defensive driver.

A defensive driver is one who is trained, has good eye sight, knows and follows the road code, and drives to save lives and avoid any inconveniences caused by accidents. Dr Marie Stewart, psychologist, says a defensive driver is one who treats the other driver as he would want to be treated – “one who drives to save lives, in spite of the actions of others and the conditions around.”

A defensive driver has the following attributes:

Attribute 1: He is confident and believes in himself to drive safely regardless of the time of the day.

Attribute 2: He is responsible. He chooses to respond with the appropriate behaviour and accepts the consequences of his actions. He takes the credit for his success and learns from his mistakes.

Attribute 3: A defensive driver is punctual, which ensures that he does not have to rush to get to his destination. Persons can easily count on him to be present.

Attribute 4: He is friendly and compassionate. He accepts the differences of others and builds friendships by helping another driver.

Attribute 5: He is courteous and polite. A defensive driver shows politeness and treats other persons with respect. He patiently waits his turn, listens when others are talking, and considers the feelings of others.

Attribute 6: He is a good listener. He listens to instructions and follow directions. “A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying,” says writer Kenneth Wells from Guide to Good Leadership.

Attribute 7: A caring, defensive driver is prepared. One axiom says, “If you fail to prepare then you prepare to fail.” He has his tools and working materials at hand when needed. He has his tools and supplies in very good condition while he plans ahead.

Other pointers that are associated with the caring, defensive driver:

1. He snaps on his headlights when the sun goes down so that he is sure to be seen by other motorists.

2. He makes it a habit to switch on his low beams whenever he is approaching or overtaking traffic.

3. He increases his stopping distance during the rain to prevent the danger of skidding. He does not panic whenever he feels the skid begin. He turns the wheel gently at first, applying more lock if the slide persists.

4. He, while driving in wet weather, periodically wipes his headlight to maintain clear visibility.

5. He eliminates the need for lusty braking or steering because he keeps in mind that the faster one drives, the further he slides.

6. A defensive driver avoids a head-on collision at all cost. Also he does not give up that easily even if he should lose control.

7. He wears his seat belt once he gets into the motor vehicle. He knows and believes that a seat belt does double duty by keeping the driver where he belongs both before and during the moment of impact.

A caring, defensive driver is generous with praise, cautious with criticism, considerate with the feelings of others, and speaks and acts as if everything he does is genuine.