You’ve heard the admonition to “Drive Defensively.” It means to always be ready for the possibility of encountering any dangerous occurrence while driving your vehicle. Be prepared. Think ahead. Anticipate hazards.
[ Read the SemperVerus article, Self-Defense Tactical Driving Tips ]
The scene doesn’t even have to be treacherous. For example, when you’re about to turn a street corner, it merely involves thinking through several sets in succession in what should be an automatic reflex:
- Most of your braking should be done in a straight line, before the corner.
- Trail off the brake smoothly as you turn in and enter the corner.
- Look through the corner for the exit.
- Apply throttle as you straighten the wheel back out at the exit.
- Choose your speed and driving lines based on the next corner, not just the one you’re in.*
Take the lessons you’ve learned in defensive driving and apply them as situational awareness techniques to your walking environment. Blogger Chris Bird says, “The goal is to be able to use your awareness to detect, assess, avoid, evade, counter, and prevail in the encounter.” These precautions may seem overwhelming at first in your everyday life, but remember, they’ve become second-nature to you when driving and they can be the same when walking.
[ Read SemperVerus articles on the subject of Situational Awareness ]
Prepare and Know Your Route
Just as you type your destination into an online map to determine your most efficient trip from point A to point B, think through the avenues, streets, sidewalks, and paths, as well as time of day and other factors before you set out walking to avoid sketchy parts of town and to have the confidence of knowing where you’re going and how to get there.