Humans love driving. Automotives are one of the biggest industries in the world, and with the growth of major cities in geographic size it’s only getting bigger. When you purchase a car it’s an exciting time, and when crashed occur – which they often do, it can be extremely devastating for all involved. That’s why it’s important to drive safely and learn how to act appropriately in on-road situations.
Defensive driving is a popular term used to define the considered best way to drive on the road. It’s goal is to reduce the chance of an accident occurring by attempting to predict the behavior of other drivers around you. This has become a commonly desired trait amongst both learners and senior drivers. But it’s interesting to consider that it may not be the only way to drive safely.
Being a defensive driver means looking out for other motorists, cyclists, pedestrians – all other road users. When an event occurs where they disrupt your usual driving you respond in a certain way. This response can be either beeping your horn, slowing down, swerving or stopping completely. Defensive driving is synonymous with braking and changing your behavior to avoid an accident after an incident occurs. However, this does not always go as planned.
Sometimes while driving you really do need to make the first move, this is called thinking ahead. Anticipating actions and putting your vehicle in a safe position after considering possible problems occurring is another method of driving that attempts to avoid an accident. This is called proactive driving or offensive driving.
While the word offensive comes with negative connotations. Considering the phrase “the best defense is a good offense” offers some insight into this concept.
An offensive side in a sports game controls the play. The team that is on the defense responds to moves made by the other side. This can also apply to driving. Driving on public roads requires working with other drivers to ensure that everybody is safe. It’s essentially a team effort.
An example of this is the process of purposely leaving open space to allow for the driver in the next lane room to move in. This means you took action before you had to, different to waiting for a driver to take action before responding.Another example could be driving with an acceptable amount of space between you and the vehicle ahead to allow room to stop if the driver makes a sudden stop. These examples are what you would do first; before the other drivers around you make mistakes.
Offensive was previously thought to mean making drivers around you respond to your actions. Offensive driving should have a changed meaning. Think of offensive driving as proactive driving. Driving isn’t only about moving slower and cautiously, it’s about considering how your actions can be used to prevent an incident in the first instance.