From the Training Desk
The driving issue: conditions vs. awareness
In the year 2020 more than 231 million licensed drivers took to the roads in the United States. That is up from 227.5 million in 2018. For that reason alone, we all must be more aware of how we are driving based on conditions. When grade, weather, traffic density, along with several other influential factors, affect our ability to see, stop, and steer, we MUST adjust in how we drive.
It should serve as a wake-up call to everyone that drives or works on the roadways, that more attention to driving is needed now than ever before. The above statistics include ALL types of licensed drivers: commercial, private, commuter and so on, add in experience (or lack of), distractions, fatigue, skill level or simply the ‘I have to get somewhere’ tunnel vision. It is a set up for incidents to occur.
Latest statistics show that the leading accidents happening on the roadways in the United States are “rear end” collisions, which account for about 29% of the national total accidents. Look no further than the latest news cast to see the most recent happening of this type of incident. Whether it be the basic fender-bender turned to road rage that makes YouTube, or if it is the massive multi-vehicle pile ups that have been occurring, an essential adjustment in driving could have a significant influence on incidents like these.
All too often, drivers are so focused or distracted that they tune out the need to slow down, give extra space and make other needed adjustments in traffic to make for a safer commute. So, to sum up the point, we ALL MUST use the tool and skill of continued awareness to our conditions so that we can make the needed adjustments for driving.
In closing, I am reminded of a great driving instructor I once had that recited often, “if you want to control the vehicle, control its speed. If you want to influence the drivers behind you, manage the space in front of you.” Share this wisdom, but more importantly, lead by example. Stay Safe out there and remember; training never stops.
Shane Coleman – ERSCA Trainer