Defensive driving involves common sense
THE STARTER - Lord Seno (The Freeman) - March 5, 2018 - 12:00am

Car accidents don't "just happen," contrary to what some say in the net.  This is in reference to the incident that happened in the Cebu South Road in Talisay.  The Honda Civic reportedly was speeding, lost control and hit a tree in the center island. The car was a total wreck, resulting in two deaths.

Some would say it was just an accident and yet, it's something that can be avoided.  For the most part, motor vehicle accidents happen because someone is at fault.  If everyone behind the wheel always drive safely and follow the rules, there will be minor, if not fewer accidents on the roads.

Safety comes with a defensive mentality.Defense drivingly is constantly scanning the road ahead, staying alert to what other drivers are doing and keeping ahead of the traffic conditions. Watching vehicles ahead and behind reduces the likelihood of sudden stops, lane changes and accidents.

No matter how safely you drive, others don't always follow the rules. There's no guarantee that accidents won't happen or that you won't be injured due to an accident caused by the fault of another.  Driving defensively minimizes the risks.  All it takes is a moment of distraction for you to take a dangerous path.  If you focus on defending your position by anticipating what the others might do, then you expose yourself to lesser risk of accidents. Most importantly, follow the road rules even if you're the only one on the road.For example, rules of the road require drivers to obey posted traffic signals and avoid driving while distracted or drunk. A driver causing a motor vehicle accident because he drove while texting is negligent and will be held liable for injuries and damages of those hurt by the resulting collision.  But law enforcement is not easy and consistent. Some cars are heavily tinted and officers normally don't do random checkpoints on DUI.   All these result in accidents that could have been avoided if enforcement was simple.

Nevertheless, it all boils down to the us, drivers.  Driver distractions, drunk driving and other neglect often lead to serious car accidents such as the one I mentioned. This is common sense but apparently it is not so common nowadays, in spite of the public awareness campaigns and the newly enforced law on DUI.  Regardless, bad driving habits also continue to cause car accidents and injuries on the roads.

Get rid of those bad driving habits and practice driving safely and defensively.

Distracted driving is one of those bad habits.  All drivers get distracted and the risk becomes higher depending of the level of distraction. Allowing seemingly minor distractions to divert a driver's focus can lead to bad habits.  Distractions include a phone call, a text, even watching a video.  People cause accidents by eating or having an argument with somebody.

Planning your route and visualizing where to pass is a good habit that one should be practicing. Create a travel plan, that way, your mind will be ahead of the road conditions. Use technology like GPS or electronic maps and applications to guide you through. Most of them are free.

A calm driver handles rapid changes in driving conditions better than a road raged driver.  By being calm, one is able to easily roll through those road challenges, especially traffic.

Even good drivers make small mistakes.  But bad ones cause big accidents.

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