Ever since the invention of the automobile, numerous efforts have been employed to try and improve its safety features. Judging by the current statistics, one could argue that driving has so far turned out to be a risky business. In actual fact, people of all ages and social status are considered to be in control of lethal weapons whenever they have to drive. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that more than 41,000 people lose their lives in road accidents annually and no less than 2 million more suffer from serious life threatening injuries (2009). Furthermore, it is estimated that at least 50% of the people killed in road accidents is as a result of their failure to adhere to safety measures such as wearing seatbelts while driving, driving under the influence, or careless driving (Ingalls, “Defensive Driving Strategies”). As an effect, huge losses occur with respect to life, injuries ...view middle of the document...
In other words, a driver is required to always exercise good judgment in addition to practicing good driving habits with the awareness that he or she cannot rely on others to drive safely.
As a result of these campaigns, it becomes the duty of each motorist to demonstrate his or her understanding of the five elements of defensive driving, which include knowledge, alertness, vision, judgement, and skill. In other words, the driver should be aware of the existing traffic laws, develop powers of observation, raise his or her field of vision while driving, avoid distractions, demonstrate good judgment by knowing what to do and when to do it, and have good knowledge of how to handle the vehicle under different conditions (Ingalls, “Defensive Driving Strategies”). Drivers need to also understand that as a defensive driver, he or she bears the responsibility of not only looking out for him/herself, but also making sure that he or she keeps an eye on other road users. Drivers need to make sure that safety measures such as the use of seatbelts and driving under the required speed limit is adhered to.
In conclusion, what defensive driving endeavours to do is to make roads safer as it involves training that goes beyond the mastery of traffic rules and the fundamentals of driving. It uses specific driving methods, which are aimed at reducing driving risks by anticipating dangerous situations, extreme conditions, and the mistakes of other road users.
It is very unfortunate that not everyone is a careful driver. However, the important thing is to be aware that careless driving can kill and therefore, it is important for drivers to learn road discipline and safety rules. Driving defensively ensures that drivers instinctively anticipate for dangerous situations while driving in normal as well as adverse road conditions. Consequently, with defensive driving, the levels of risk involved while driving is reduced significantly and therefore, the loss of lives, the risk of sustaining injuries, and damage to property is reduced.