Do you respond or react?
I was recently driving along a multi-lane road when I noticed a pedestrian doing some work at the end of their driveway. I immediately changed lanes to give some space between myself and this pedestrian if they suddenly fell or just walked out onto the road. I like being proactive with most things. It gives me the feeling that I’m under control. Are you a proactive driver; or a reactive driver?
Driving is more than just aiming the vehicle in the direction you want to go. Most of us already know that. Each day when I drive I tend to see drivers waiting until the last possible moment to respond to another driver, pedestrian, traffic light or traffic sign. Why would they do that? If you know it may affect you, why not respond early so you can drive in a more relaxed state? If you looked further up the road, it would give you more time to see, think and respond.
I constantly watch drivers do lane changes and when they are almost completely in their new lane, the driver behind them finally slows down enough to give the driver space. If you see the signal on and you know they are moving into your lane, why wait until they are completely in your lane before you adjust speed? Proactively speaking, doesn’t it makes sense to adjust your speed once you see their vehicle begin drifting toward you lane? Or better yet, change lanes if you can to create more space between you and this other vehicle.
The other morning on my way to work, I had to change to the left lane as the right lane was ending. I saw the yellow ‘lane ending’ sign quite a distance away, so I changed lanes early. The driver ahead of me drove up to the end of the lane and then signaled to change lanes. The problem this time was that there were other vehicles immediately beside them. This forced the driver to stop. Why did they wait until they reached the end of their lane before changing lanes? Didn’t they see the lane was ending? If they looked well ahead, it would give them time to see the problem and then time to respond to it. It would give them time to adjust their speed and signal to make the lane change with greater ease.
Maybe it’s a sign of being a procrastinator. We may live the rest of our lives this way, but we can’t drive this way. Think how more relaxed and in control of your driving you would be if you made driver decisions earlier. We could reduce our stress and also the yearly collisions that hike up our insurance rates because of these fender-benders. It’s never too late to change how we drive, think about it.