What are we thinking about when we drive?
More and more often I am convinced that we are thinking about anything but the driving task. Please be assured that when I say this I am giving drivers credit that they know how to drive properly in the first place.
I was waiting at a red light watching drivers turn left around me when I began to ponder this. Most of the vehicles I observed turned into the wrong lane and all of those drivers failed to shoulder check and signal as they moved over.
If another driver had overtaken them intent on using the outside lane or had decided to turn right from the other side, would these drivers have been able to avoid a collision?
I suspect that their first awareness of any problem would have been the noise and sudden change of direction produced by the collision they were involved in. This is far too late!
Awareness of the vehicles around you and anticipation of what their drivers might do are paramount to preserving your own safety as well as that of others.
Defensive driving means following the rules so that others know what to expect of you and maintaining a constant awareness of what is around you. Focus only on where you are going and you are going to eventually have trouble.
You may wish to consider this in the context of what the drivers around you might (or might not) be thinking.
For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.