There is a term we use at DriveWise Safety called “co-operative driving” in place of the commonly used “defensive driving” of yesteryear. Co-operative driving is a reflection of the behaviours and attitudes needed to be a safe driver on today’s roads. Our training is grounded in this unique philosophy, and consists of the “6 Star Approach” to co-operative driving. In training programs with DriveWise, this method was enforced through experiential learning as participants acquired the knowledge and hands-on skill to successfully apply each star approach to their own driving.
Beyond the classroom what does co-operative driving entail? Well, it involves understanding that you are an active participant in your own and others’ safety on the road. It’s about sharing the road with other road users, being caring and empathetic and leading by example in promoting safe driving. It takes knowledge, skill, experience and a good attitude to be a cooperative driver – which is no easy task!
To stay safe on the roads and avoid collisions, one must pay attention to internal and external factors. Firstly, consider your own state of being. Have you had sufficient rest, are you fit to drive? Have you planned your route? Secondly, check your vehicle to ensure everything is mechanically sound and there are no hidden hazards. Thirdly, stay vigilant. Look ahead and be prepared to react, scan your environment and use your mirrors, be proactive when spotting dangers. Lastly, managing your risks and maintaining space will drastically reduce your chances of getting into danger. Speed and following too closely are some of the most at-fault driver behaviours involved in collisions.
Bringing a sense of team effort when on the roads can also help increase cooperative behaviour. Be courteous, and communicate to your fellow drivers. Think of them as teammates on the road, with the mutual goal of getting to where you all need to go safely. Indicating your intentions, waving, letting other drivers in are all simple behaviours you can partake in that help increase safety and good behaviours on the road. Over time, good behaviours become good habits, and you will become an exemplary on the roads!
Making the choice to have the right attitude makes all the difference. Always remember your vitally important task: being co-operative, staying safe and driving wisely.