• Collisions do not occur at a certain time or place.
• It usually occurs when one least expects it.
• Very few collisions are caused by vehicle failure.
• 90% of all collisions are caused by driver neglect.
• A vehicle can be a lethal weapon if not handled with care and attention.
• Drivers face hazards on a daily basis.
• A hazard can be defined as anything that could cause the change of speed or the change of the direction of a motor vehicle.
• Unfortunately it is a fact that drivers between the age of 18 and 25 are involved in more accidents than drivers in any other group.
• Always remember to be tolerant and patient when you drive a motor vehicle and always remember that it can happen to you.
• To make driving a little easier, there are a number of rules one have to keep in mind.
THE DEFENSIVE DRIVING SYSTEM
• Search (for hazards)
• Identify (the type of hazard)
• Predict (how one will be influenced by it)
• Decide (what action to take)
We should continually be searching for anything, which could cause us to change speed or direction. The search process should not be restricted to forward vision only, but to the sides and rear as well.
One must bring all senses into action during the search for hazards especially the eyes.
• It is essential for a driver to be aware of everything going on around him so that he can react in the correct manner.
• Certain hazards can be predicted under certain circumstances.
• At an intersection in an urban area there could be pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles and other traffic arriving from several directions in different lanes, which in turn may have different road markings, and road signs that regulate your own and other's movements. Remember you have to share the road safely.
• Generally, where traffic meet or crosses presents the greatest danger.
• There are various such intersections e.g. traffic circles, on - and off ramps on freeways, hidden entrances to houses, traffic light controlled intersections, stop streets, junctions where one must yield etc.
• There are other situations, such as lane - changing and overtaking where maneuvers may be prohibited. When weather conditions are poor, one must consider how these could cause restricted visibility and slippery surface, and the dangers flowing there from, especially with worn tyres.
• One must be aware that where the road narrows, e.g. where two lanes merge or where vehicles are parked, someone may attempt to share the lane. One must predict the dangers that may arise from these situations.
• When a hazard has been identified during the search process the question should be asked:
“Is it a stationary or a moving hazard and how will it affect my speed or direction.
• Once the hazard has been identified, it is necessary to predict how it could affect you.
• If the hazard can move, what are all the possible ways in which it can affect you?
• Is the hazard moving away or towards or away from you, at what speed and where can a collision occur?
• What is the potential of the hazard for causing a collision?
• How can you avoid the collision and influence other road users?
• Depending on your prediction, you must decide how to react to the situation.
• Are you going to make your presence known by simply hooting or flicking the lights, should you increase or decrease your speed?
• Are you going to change direction only, or combine some of the above actions?
• Your decision will be influenced by the amount of clear space you need to create between your vehicle and the hazard
• Always create as much clear space for yourself as possible.
• The importance of the SIPD (Search, Identify, Predict, Decide) process as part of the System of Vehicle Control cannot be over emphasized.
• Pedestrians bump into each other and apologise for not seeing each other. At the scene of a collision, one frequently hears one of the drivers say:
'I did not see you'.
• Many collisions could be avoided if drivers would only search for hazards, identify ;them, predict the worst case scenario and then make the correct decision.
• Many drivers approach a green light presuming that the red light for cross traffic will stop them. Frequently, drivers do not obey the red robot!
• Continually strive to create as much clear space as possible by adjusting speed or direction so that you have more time and space in which to react to any hazard, especially at night.