One of my greatest life lessons came from the 1986 movie The Karate Kid II when Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) was talking to Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) about the "Drum Technique." He said, "Best way to avoid punch...No Be There!" (Here's the scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nel9hgv54e0) I've used this line a thousand or more times in trainings. It also holds true while driving. The best way to avoid a crash...don't be there.
You've likely heard the saying, the best offense is a good defense, right? Well, when it comes to navigating our roadways safely, I think this is saying is very true.
My mother said it to me and my wife said it to our kids, "It's not you I'm worreid about, it the other people on the roadway." Sound fimiliar?
Think about it. How many people are driving under the influence on our roadways today? Some are easy to see at every stoplight, like people on their phones Driving Under the Influence of Technology (DUIT), while others may be Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and drugs...also on their phones.
The best way to protect ourselves, because we are sharing the road with these people, is to drive defensively. That means we need to drive with situational awarness by focusing on and paying attention to the traffic and the ever changing situations around us. The perfect storm occurs when two or more people, driving under the influence, run into each other. Yes, pun intended. If one person is driving while using their phone meets another person who is driving while intoxicated, it becomes increasingly dangerous for them and everyone around them. Lets do our part and to parahrase Mr. Miyagi, Don't Be There!
That's great, but there are times when we are doing everything correctly. We drive defensively, we pay attention and BOOM out of left field something totally unexpected and unavoidable happens. This is why we always prepare for the worst case sinerreo before we even move our cars out of the driveway, we wear a seatbelt. Simply put, our seat belts and our child's properly installed car seats are the ultmate last line of defense.
Notice I say properly installed...wearing a seatbelt improperly or not having a car seat installed properly is like running into a football game with this helmet on.
Sure it's a helmet, but it's a bike helmet and it's on backwards. It's not going to offer the right amount of protection and would be really poor defense against other football helmets crashing into my face.
I see defensive driving more often than aggressive driving. That may seem odd to say because there are a lot of crazy drivers out there, but we often don't notice the good drivers cause they give us space. They don't tailgate, they don't speed, they don't change lanes over and over again attempting to get to the front of the line. I see it because I'm looking for the good examples. I see you out there. Keep it up and thank for driving in a manner that makes it safer for me and my family. I'll be sure to return the favor.