Do you like money? One way to avoid spending money is to be a defensive driver. Defensive driving means to be so paranoid about how you drive that you’re watching everything around you with the eyes of a hawk. A focused, undistracted, non-drowsy hawk.
What are the basics of defensive driving?
- Don’t assume you know what another driver is about to do
- Anticipate other drivers’ movements
- Only drive when focused, alert, and undistracted
- Have an escape route for whatever situation you’re in
The basic message is that other drivers are crazy, so you need to watch them and take initiative to avoid collisions.
What’s the opposite of defensive driving?
Well, it’s not offensive driving. That would mean yelling at other drivers constantly through your windshield, which is not very effective.
Instead, the opposite of defensive driving would be passive driving. You assume you know where other drivers are about to go. You don’t mind driving while sleepy. You fiddle with the radio or your phone and don’t pay attention to the road. You assume everything will be fine and collisions will happen to other people, not you.
Can you see the differences in these approaches?
One is vigilant about avoiding collisions that will negatively affect everyone involved. The other places responsibility on other people.
If you’ve ever dealt with the consequences of a collision, from vehicle damage, bodily damage, financial damage, and emotional damage, you know that the best approach is to make sure that collisions don’t happen. That’s the idea behind defensive driving.
How can I learn how to be a defensive driver?
Many websites offer online courses for something like $20. You can also study up via websites and books from the library. If you’re really serious, you could sit through the Driver Improvement Clinic (also known as “traffic school”) that the DMV makes bad drivers attend.
However you decide to get involved, we applaud your initiative.