When you attended driver’s ed in the Bay Area or elsewhere, you probably learned early on that the best drivers are defensive drivers. We all – or at least most of us – remember this idea. But when some idiot in a speeding Camaro cuts us off on the freeway, our impatience and rage often overcome us, and we may do stupid things that put us at great risk for accidents.
Being a defensive driver means adopting a set of smarter, more cautious driving habits and behaviors. In some ways, it’s easier to define defensive drivers as doing the opposite of aggressive drivers.
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Aggressive drivers do things like:
- Cause conflict on roads
- Scare or intimidate other drivers by driving fast or driving while under the influence
- of alcohol, narcotics, or medications
- Blast music
- Ignore traffic signs
- Generally don’t pay sufficient attention to other vehicles and pedestrians
- Change multiple lanes without signaling
Defensive driving is the opposite – being conscientious, aware, and in control of your vehicle. Defensive driving involves more than just adopting good habits – it involves paying attention to the strange or dangerous actions of others and meeting these with appropriate responses. For instance, say someone veers into your lane and cuts you off. You may beep at them – not to provoke a fight, but to alert the person of your presence. Being a defensive driver doesn’t mean being a wallflower or milquetoast. It means “advocating for your driving rights” in the safest, most sensible, and most compassionate way.
To really fine tune your skills, consider taking a refresher driver’s ed courses or studying “best driving habits” online or elsewhere. It may sound silly to pay so much attention to your driving. But think about how many miles you spend behind the wheel. Auto accidents kill over 40,000 people every year and injure millions more. So it’s really worth it to spend some time thinking about how to make your driving as safe as possible
– not just for you but for other drivers.
We’re Here to Help!
If you have been in a collision, and you need help fixing your car, connect with the team here at Shattuck Auto Collision Center. We’ve been serving the East Bay, Oakland, and Berkley areas since 1965. Learn more about us at www.shattuckauto.com, or call now for help with minor and major collision repair at 510-848-6281.