OSEA Safety Blog

Always Drive Defensively

Friday, August 24, 2018 Natalie Salem

It seems like every day on my way to work, I have someone tailgating me, cutting me off, or I watch someone run a red light. Driving is starting to become one of the most dangerous human activities with nearly 1.3 million people dying in car crashes each year and around 3,287 deaths per day, and also 80% of drivers exhibit road rage. There are many ways to remain focused when driving so you can avoid becoming part of those deadly and angry statistics.

Ways to stay defensive when driving are:

  • Stay focused. Your main priority is to get from point A to point B safely without distractions, so put your phone down and focus on the road and other drivers around you.
  • Watch out for others. Don’t expect the person with their blinker on to actually turn or for the person with the red light to actually stop. You should confirm they’re making the turn or actually coming to a complete stop before entering the intersection. Plan your actions based on the worst case scenario of the other driver not stopping. Always drive defensively.
  • Think safety first. If you are in a road rage situation, pull over to the side of the road (making sure your doors are locked) and let the other driver pass. If you feel your life is in danger, drive to the nearest police station and call 911. Stay in your car if the person follows you there.
  • Follow the 3-4 second rule. Always keep enough space between you and the car in front of you by using this rule. When the car in front of you passes a stationary object count to 3 or 4 and then you should pass that same object. Using this rule will give you ample time to stop without hitting the car in front of you should a deer or anything else that could cause the driver in front of you to brake quickly.
  • A tip that I always keep in mind is to have my headlights on if I don’t have daytime running lights. Those headlights can help you be seen by someone who may not be paying attention.
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