I must admit, I’m pretty good at avoiding things. Mostly, I avoid bill collectors. And, I’ve been an expert at avoiding marriage. But the one avoidance that makes me really beam…I have avoided having an automobile collision for almost 17 years.

I’ve had my share of collisions over the years. The last two were both the result of someone running a red light. Although neither were my fault, looking both ways before proceeding through my green light would have avoided both of those accidents. I apparently didn’t learn that until the second accident. And now, I also know that anticipating the actions of others will also help to prevent an accident. If there is a car in the lane next to you, blocking your view, let them go first when the light turns green. If they do not proceed, it may be because they can see (and you cannot) that someone is running the light. Another good thing to be aware of is how to avoid faulty evasive action. For example, someone is drifting into your lane and you swerve into the lane next to you to avoid that car hitting you. Then you, by default, hit a car in the lane your steer into. Now, you are to blame. You tried to avoid an accident and, in turn, caused one. If you knew where your “out” was, and you were anticipating the actions of others, you may have been able to avoid hitting that other car. And how you do this, experts say, is by checking your side mirrors and rear view mirror every 3-7 seconds. Honestly, if you were checking your mirrors that often, the police would pull you over immediately to see if you were on something because you are driving like a nervous bobble-head. But just being aware of what and who is around your car at all times will certainly give you that “out.” And that’s just the beginning. Also avoid distractions, remain alert and stay calm. Quick steering maneuvers, quick vision checks, quick acceleration, and knowing how to recover from a skid (I use oxy-clean) will also help you to maintain a breathing pattern (i.e. life). And, remember, your main focus should always be scanning the road ahead of your intended path of travel, grasshopper. If you are paying attention to what’s happening ahead, you will have better reaction time. More time to react, slow down, pull over, whatever. And, therefore, more time on this planet, so you can finish college and become a bill collector.

Until next week…anticipate the moves of others.

Daun Thompson, Comedienne/Benevolent Thesbo

Anticipating The Actions Of Others – Comedy Defensive Driving