It is the most dangerous activity that many of us do on a regular basis.
Controlling a piece of complex machinery weighing over a ton is an awesome responsibility !
As a newly-licensed teenager, I had a car accident. I was innocently driving through a green light at an intersection, when a driver ran a red light and smashed into my car.
I was unhurt, but it was an early lesson teaching me that drivers do not always do what they are supposed to do ! The rule ‘never assume’ certainly applies to the skill of driving.
Over the years, I’ve created the P. A.P. A. guidelines for defensive driving.
P – I pray before driving. Jesus tells us that without Him we can do nothing. (John15:5). I always ask for the Lord to guide me as I drive. I bless myself with the sign of the cross before I start my car.
A – Anticipate areas where extra alertness and caution is required. Insurance studies show that intersections are risky areas. ( As I found out.) As well, increased risk occurs while making left-hand turns. I try to plan my route to avoid making this type of turn. Companies such as UPS and FedEx caution their drivers to avoid making left-hand turns whenever possible.
P- Prepare carefully to avoid distractions. I caution my passengers not to try to converse with me while I’m driving. I love conversations, but not when I’m behind the wheel ! I am notoriously bad at multitasking, and I suspect that many people are. I concentrate best in silence.
A- Always be receptive to new technology. I confess that I was apprehensive about the new vehicle we bought because it has many new features and gadgets that I’ve never used before, but as I gradually adjusted to them I see that these new features can increase driving safety.
Vehicles are constantly being upgraded, and it is likely that within our children’s lifetimes , self-driving cars may become the norm.
As we age, our brains lose neurons, and this can slow our reaction times. However, there is much we can do to maintain good reaction times. I play a variety of online brain-training games. Lumosity is the program I first used, but there are several other programs available. Being physically fit helps to maintain our reaction times as well.
So often we are told to drink lots of water and stay well-hydrated. This advice is worth repeating. As we age, our sense of thirst declines. Lack of proper hydration results in increased skin wrinkling, moodiness, and slower reaction times.
No one wants to be wrinkled and moody.
I wear driving gloves to remind me to pay close attention to my surroundings when I drive. When cars were first invented, all drivers wore gloves. That is why cars still have ‘glove compartments’.
Let us continue to pray for everyone entrusted with the responsibility of driving.
Photo by Sally