The Importance of a Safe Driving Attitude
May 15, 2009
One important aspect of driver training is the development of a safe driving attitude. The reason a safe driving attitude is so important is because you will make many choices as you drive, and your driving choices have consequences. There are many benefits to a safe driving attitude, including:
- limiting stress while on the road
- saving you money on tickets and increased insurance costs
- helping you keep your driver license
- reducing your chances of being in a crash
To have a safe driving attitude, you must have control of your emotions and behavior, practice defensive driving techniques, and accept responsibility for all of your driving decisions.
Emotion is a word used to identify feelings such as anger, fear and joy. If you allow them to, emotions can change the way you assess risk and make driving decisions. When strong emotions such as anger affect you, your ability to make wise decisions may be reduced, increasing your chances of making a mistake. You may be so preoccupied with your anger that you misjudge the risks involved or don’t even notice important events in a particular driving situation.
Always be aware of your state of mind. Look at yourself objectively and decide if you really have the focus and alertness you need to safely use a motor vehicle. If you have any doubt, wait. Give yourself time to calm down and concentrate on safe driving. Learn more about how to avoid a road range incident.
You can expect some emotional stress in your everyday driving. Learning to manage it is important for your safety and the safety of others:
- If you are angry and excited, take a short walk, write your feelings down or talk to a friend before you get behind the wheel.
- No matter what is going on in your life, when you get behind the wheel, make a decision that until you arrive safely at your destination, you will focus on driving.
- Always allow plenty of time to get to your destination so you won’t get impatient with red lights or heavy traffic.
- Realize that many aspects of driving, such as heavy traffic and the actions of other drivers, are beyond your control. Stay calm when faced with stressful road conditions.
Part of having a safe driving attitude is consistently practicing defensive driving techniques:
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained
- Wear your safety belt and make sure your passengers do the same
- Choose a speed appropriate for conditions
- Make sure you have a space cushion all around your vehicle whenever possible
- Be alert and aware of the actions of all other road users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians
- Watch the road ahead, behind and on both sides of your vehicle
- Anticipate problems early and select the best course of action in case the worst happens
- Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt when they make mistakes
Accepting responsibility for our decisions is an important part of becoming an adult. Willingness to do so demonstrates maturity and trustworthiness. When you drive, you must make sure you are willing to accept responsibility for all of your driving decisions. Other drivers cannot make you behave in one way or another; your reactions to their behavior are within your control. You must discipline yourself to put safety first no matter what any other driver does.
Developing a safe driving attitude is an important component of driver training; doing so from the beginning of your driving career will help keep you and others out of harm’s way on the road.