If the unexpected is expected is it really unexpected?
Let’s face facts, there are a lot of things we trust in our lives, especially when it comes to driving. We trust drivers will stop at red lights and not blow through the intersection, we expect drivers will check to see if it’s clear before changing lanes and we never expect to get into a collision. However, the reality of life is we can’t really trust too many things…except yourself. Trusting other people while driving can often put you at risk.
For the decades that I’ve been involved with road safety I’ve seen a lot; maybe too much and maybe not enough yet. Time will tell. What I do see every day is trust – blind trust. The trust I’m referring to is trust with the drivers around us. With so much happening in our lives these days it’s very common to lose track of what’s happening around us that serious mistakes tend to happen.
Over these many years I’ve taken out countless licensed drivers to assess their driving ability. Like most people, they get sucked into what’s happening around them that doesn’t pertain to their own driving. This takes their eyes – and thoughts – away from their own driving. They lose track of what may be coming from behind or the sides. Next thing you know their turn is coming up and they aren’t in the proper lane. This happened around me recently.
While I was in the left lane preparing to make a left turn up the road, the driver to my right suddenly turned left, just ahead of me. Was I startled? Nope. Was I annoyed? Not really. I was expecting it. I also know how to judge the movement of vehicles very early; which can be explained here http://bit.ly/1TBqv9W However, many drivers aren’t expecting it and they position their vehicle in the wrong place.
Letting another vehicle stay immediately beside you or slightly ahead of your fender while in traffic can lead to problems. When those drivers suddenly realize they have to make their turn and you just happen to be in their way, it spells trouble. To avoid this type of trouble, adjust speed when another vehicle occupies the space directly beside your vehicle. Either speeding up or slightly dropping speed will create a gap between your vehicle and their vehicle. This will place that vehicle slightly ahead or behind you and give those drivers room to make those unexpected lane changes or turns. Granted, in heavier traffic this means you’re going to have to work harder to keep that space, but I think it’s worth it.
We need to learn to position our vehicle in traffic to avoid being involved in the mistakes of others. We also have to avoid making so many of those same mistakes. Driving is a task that takes concentration and commitment. Put everything else aside and do the job of a driver. This keeps you ready for the unexpected, which makes me ask this question; if the unexpected is expected is it really unexpected?