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How can you drive defensively?

While you may be the most cautious driver on the roads of Washington and pay careful attention to all of the laws, you are still at risk when around other drivers who do not take safety as seriously. Fortunately, avoiding drivers who are reckless, inattentive, drowsy, careless or distracted can be facilitated by driving defensively.

The Huffington Post suggested a helpful acronym you may consider following in an effort to be visually attentive and prepared on the road. The acronym is S.P.I.D.E.R. and it stands for:

  • Scan: First, constantly scan your surroundings for threats. After some experience, it can be easy to identify other drivers who pose a threat to your safety.
  • Predict: Second, predict which direction perceived threats will come from. Often, this allows you a chance to move away, but can also help you prepare to react if unable to avoid the threat.
  • Identify: Third, identify drivers that actually are threatening. These could be people that weave carelessly in and out of traffic, people who are manipulating electronics or people with a teetering load of cargo.
  • Execute: Fourth, you are going to determine how to execute a reaction that will keep you and your passengers safe.
  • Respond: Fifth, respond to the situation with the best knowledge you have. Even if you are unable to completely avoid an accident, your visual awareness and preparedness may enable you to escape serious injury or death.

In short, you cannot effectively drive defensively unless you are not distracted by anything. By implementing the S.P.I.D.E.R. approach, you can be prepared for anything.

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.