No-brainer defensive driving

Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 00:00 |
We doubt speed limits are designed with malice.

Mayfellow Waithaka

Let’s be honest – it’s difficult to do for a country whose favourite pastime is corruption – but we can try. Only a select few Kenyans on the road do much of what they know now from driving school.

Most of us are effectively self-taught. That creates an interesting perspective. While careless drivers cause most accidents, even more are avoided by careful drivers.

In a sudden change of tone, congratulations to every driver doing their best to put safety first.

A driver intent on getting home safe should practice a few things.

1. Drive

It sounds obvious, and it should be. Driving involves the brain, so everything else you do is a distraction.

Stay focused on the road conditions, signs, laws, mirrors, oncoming traffic etc.

You should have a good idea of how fast you’re going and your position in the bigger picture.

2. Be alert

You need to be sober for this one, so no drugs. If you’re feeling sleepy, pull over in a safe area and take a break.

Proactively, you can make sure you get enough rest on the period before a long drive.

3. Situational awareness

It’s not your job, fine. This is not the office, where you don’t have to tell Kevin to pull his weight.

Here, you account for everyone else’s mistakes and create room for their occurrence.

If someone is overtaking you and a car starts approaching on the other lane, back off as safely as you can.

Anticipate what is unfolding and take action within reason and the law.

While accommodating others, do not depend on them. That’s life advice.

4. Stay within the speed limit

I doubt speed limits are designed with malice. They seem so, but if everyone drove like a maniac, you start to see their importance. Stay true.

This is not a conclusive list, as you can most likely tell. It is, however, a good place to start.

Driving is supposed to make you free, be able to get around when you want. I’ve not been there, but I hear jails can be limiting.

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