DEFENSIVE DRIVING is driving to avoid collisions: “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.”
SPACE CUSHION: Maintaining a safe reaction and stopping distance behind the vehicle ahead. Nicky’s recommendation in a car – 3 seconds.
When the back bumper of the vehicle ahead passes a stationary object on the side of the road, begin counting “one-thousand and one”, “one-thousand and two”, “one-thousand and three”. If your front bumper passes that same stationary object before the word “three”, you are too close. Back-off and begin your counting again.
KEEP YOUR EYES MOVING. Make a habit of moving your eyes to see things far off in the distance, up close in front, from side to side and alternate to your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds. Knowing what’s all around you when you drive can provide you with that correct evasive maneuver when it’s needed.
FORCED INTO A NARROW SPACE? When you think you are being forced into a space that is too narrow to fit, look up at tree level. You’ll be surprised that you drive precisely into the middle of the opening, in many cases getting through unscathed. Your peripheral vision will keep you centered.
BRIGHT LIGHTS IN YOUR EYES? Intentionally look down along the right edge of the roadway until the lights pass. It will keep you safely within your lane.
DRUNK DRIVERS OFTEN DON’T GET HURT! The reason is that they remain loose before the crash. If you see that a crash is inevitable, loosen up before the impact. You’ll have lesser injuries.
NEVER CROSS YOUR LEGS AS A PASSENGER! A frontal impact will hit the crossed leg first and snap your pelvis instantly. The same goes for resting your feet on the dash. An activated airbag will drive your knees into your chest breaking your sternum.
About the Author
Nick Nicholson, is a retired safety practitioner who spent many years researching the human behaviour factors of driver and pedestrian actions. Specifically, he spent 25 of those years devoted to highway crash investigations, regulatory compliance, the design, implementation and presentation of safety programs. Nick enjoyed many hours presenting professional driver enhancement training to adult participants.
As a long time Fleet Safety Council Member (1988) and the Founding Chair (1992-1995) of Council’s Hamilton-Niagara Chapter, he presents his opinions in hopes of improving the safety knowledge of readers. Nick is a firm believer in human advancement through positive attitudes, solution thinking and the understanding that the beauty of life is always in your hands.
Old Uncle Nicky’s Opinions are his own and in no way reflect the opinions of Fleet Safety Council.