In Road safety / Citizen Matters

Defensive Driving and Citizenship are two sides of the same coin. The conscious driver does not exhaust his citizen capacity exclusively in the act of driving a vehicle, but he has an expanded view of the whole. He has the habit of driving, aiming to protect himself and others not only in traffic, but in society, in family, professional, political life, and in everyday life, in social life, he always acts in solidarity.

But what exactly is meant by defensive driving?

Defensive driving is understood as a proactive posture of the vehicle driver who values ​​the other’s life as his own. He is aware of the importance of reducing the risk of accidents from the practice of solidary, citizen driving, which always takes into account his right and that of the other when getting around.

From such competence, the citizen driver is able to predict attitudes, without needing external stimuli. In this sense, he has a perfect anticipation of safety maneuvers, foreseeing risk situations in traffic, exercising a habit that has become known as driving for himself and for others.

In practice, this is very simple and efficient. In other words, it is necessary to look ahead, anticipating in seconds what may happen, allowing time to react to the unpredictability of traffic.

But that alone is not enough, it is necessary to have eagle eyes and make mirrors strong allies, constantly scanning them to know in advance what is going on around them.

According to a publication by Shell Global on defensive driving, when making a decision behind the wheel, you should not rely on the opinion of third parties next to you. Instead, give yourself and other drivers the time and space to react defensively.

This means, for example, maintaining a three-second distance from the vehicle in front. But, how to do this? It’s simple to do the three-second calculation, just look at the car in front and check if the rear tires touch the ground. If you see it, rest assured, as this is the desirable safety distance. By maintaining such spacing, it is possible to avoid rear-end collisions, allow an unexpected maneuver and even escape an undesirable approach.

Stop Texting, in NHTSA

This defensive driving technique allows you to move forward or out of the way when, through the mirrors, you can see a vehicle approaching at high speed. Remember, however, that mirrors have so-called blind spots, so always scan the different mirrors quickly before making any decision.

Keep full attention with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists who always have priority over other vehicles, even when they make a mistake or infraction.

Among the attitudes of the defensive driver, one can distinguish the fact of being attentive to other road users, drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, constantly checking the surroundings, reading signs and other signs, understanding and respecting them.

Pay attention to the places where there are more signs and prohibitions, as this means that it is a risk area and needs extra attention.

In traffic, as in life, practice love for your neighbor and do to others what you would like them to do for you.

José Roberto de Souza Dias.`. PhD, journalist, Doctor in Human Sciences and Master in Economic History from USP, former Director of the National Traffic Department , former -Counselor of the National Movement for Traffic Education – MONATRAN, Doctor Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Florianópolis – Cesusc, Two Flags Post – Publisher & Editor-in-Chief.

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