What is the most important difference between a good, accident-free driver and an average or poor driver?
After a driver has acquired the knowledge and skill necessary to handle a vehicle and the judgment attained from years and miles of experience, the single most important factor in being a safe driver is ATTITUDE! Without the proper driving attitude, it is almost inevitable that sooner or later you will become involved in a collision.
Unfortunately, attitudes can change from day-to-day or even hour-to-hour. That is why a good driver can go for years without an accident and then be trapped by a poor attitude and become involved in a collision. Accidents normally don’t happen just because there is one adverse event. They are often the result of several things going wrong at the same time.
While you may normally have a very positive attitude, finding a flat tire on your vehicle on a rainy morning, or having someone cut you off on the way to work, or having a fight with a your spouse, fellow employee or boss, might be enough to trigger a change in your attitude for a day. Suddenly, you are no longer the easy, carefree person willing to forgive the mistakes of others. Now, your turf is your turf, and heaven forbid if anyone tries to enter it. Poor attitudes may cause you to drive more aggressively, drive faster, tailgate the vehicle in front or cut someone else off. These changes are often the final straw that prevents you from escaping from a close call without having an accident.
When something happens that affects your attitude in a negative manner, the first step in defense is to recognize that the change has occurred. Only then can you take positive action. Take a deep breath, slow down, deliberately increase your space cushion, and think about something else to take your mind off the disturbing event. If you haven’t started driving yet, wait five minutes until you “cool down”.
When you start driving, make a conscious effort to be overly courteous to others; it will bring you back to a “positive” frame of mind. When the opportunity presents itself, yield to others even if you aren’t required to do so.
A good driver takes every reasonable precaution to prevent traffic mishaps, over and above what the law requires. It’s surprising how easy it can be to get back to a Positive Attitude and not be trapped by your own Poor Attitude.
BE POSITIVE — BE SAFE
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