Guest Post: Defensive driving… college campus style!
“Driving Safety” is one of the many useful courses offered by School Training Solutions. “Driving Safety” includes 14 hours of training that provides useful information about the negative effects of alcohol and other drugs, the importance of following the rules of the road, vehicle maintenance and, my focus today, defensive driving.
It’s easy to visualize “defensive driving” as applying primarily to high-speed highway driving or those bumper-to-bumper rush-hour commutes where people are losing their patience and jockeying for position. Being alert and fully aware of one’s surroundings is certainly important in these situations, but let me tell you about another setting that many drivers would not think of as testing one’s defensive driving skills. I’m talking about your average college campus. Working at Pensacola State College these past 11 years has opened my eyes to just how careful on-campus drivers must be to anticipate potential accidents—both car vs. car and car vs. pedestrian.
Many drivers (mostly students) have a tendency to completely ignore the 15-mile-per hour campus speed limit and go 30-plus through parking lots and along congested access roads.
Too many students have a persistent tendency to walk right in front of vehicles with an “I know you’ll stop” attitude that seems to preclude their even acknowledging the existence of approaching vehicles.
Drivers—again, mostly students—are frequently in such a hurry that they will force the right-of-way in the aforementioned parking lots and at any and all road intersections. The prevailing attitude here seems to be “I’m going to pull right in front of you and I know you’ll stop because you prefer letting me have my way, even though I have the yield or stop sign, rather than getting into a wreck.”
Given the above, which I observe on a daily basis at Pensacola State and which I have no doubt is duplicated on many other campuses, I have become even more aware of the importance of defensive driving than I was before. The most advisable orientation is a consistent assumption that the other person is not going to either follow the rules or behave in a safe and courteous manner.
Of course, there are many drivers and pedestrians on college campuses who do put safety first, but it only takes one of the other variety to ruin your day if you’re not paying strict attention.
Recently, a student was hit in the parking lot right in the front of the building where my office is located. It was an unfortunate “perfect storm” where a student driving way too fast in a parking lot plowed into a student with the “I’m walking right in front of your car without even looking at you because I know you’ll stop” syndrome. The result was a pedestrian lying on the pavement after being bounced off the hood of a car and hitting a windshield hard enough to almost shatter it. The student was not seriously hurt, but he sure could have been.
So, wherever you are, and it may well be somewhere you wouldn’t think would challenge your defensive driving skills, it helps to know the basics. Check out the STS “Driving Safety” course. It’s just the ticket for keeping you safe and secure on the road and elsewhere!
School Training Solutions
Check out the STS featured course. It’s just the ticket for keeping you safe and secure on the road and elsewhere.
Title: Sharing the Road
Description: This 2-hour professional development course discusses sharing the road and pedestrian traffic. Lesson one discusses procedures that should be followed in order to safely drive in various types of traffic. Lesson two discusses motorists’ duty to pedestrians and both motorists’ and pedestrians’ duty to school buses and emergency vehicles.