Despite what everyone thinks, driving is not about enjoying 100% freedom while on the road. You still have to abide by several laws and responsibilities, rules and maneuvers, and countless decisions. Is the exhaust system doing okay? Should I fill my tank up? Dare I risk it and park in that no parking spot? When you are on the road, you must make these and other decisions immediately, in differing situations. To help you out, remember this acronym: S.I.P.D.E. What does it stand for? Let’s find out!
The first thing you must do on the road is to search or scan the street. What you want is to be able to spy the possible problems that you may encounter when you proceed to drive. To be able to really see these said problems, do not take a mere five seconds to seek what you need to find. Take at least 15 seconds to really find the potential threats to your driving. Do not look just straight ahead; check the front, left, right and the back of your vehicle to dodge these hazards. Do not limit yourself to the next mere five meter area around your vehicle; do look at least a third or half mile perimeter around you. Utilize your side mirror; do not let it be just a mere decoration on your vehicle. Seek for possible escape routes. Check the traffic around you as well as the road conditions.
You must be able to recognize the potential hazards on the road. What do you see in front of you? What do you see to your left or to your right? How about the area behind you? You must be able to determine what these problems are immediately. You must also be able to adapt your environment to what you are seeking. If you are in a residential area, check for kids playing on the street, pets being walked or even as silly as furniture being dried outside. If you are in a mall, check for people crossing the road, cars parked at the side or trash cans on the sidewalk. For busy roads, look for potholes, roadway signs or potential speeding motorcycles.
Be a clairvoyant: predict what may come a few seconds into the future. On a busy road, think of what may potentially happen and how it can affect you and your vehicle. Unfortunately, this is one skill that is not used as often as it should be, resulting to numerous accidents. If, for example, a dog on a leash runs across the road, think of what may follow. There is a huge possibility that a frustrated dog owner is following this pooch. Slow down in anticipation of what may happen and think of all possible scenarios.
In driving, certain decisions must be made in a split second. You must be able to think fast as whatever you set your mind to will affect the next few seconds of your life. Consider the pros and cons of your choice, the situation itself, and everything else you know. Think about all the possibilities and quickly choose. Remember that there is always an option.
Nothing will happen if you stay on the fourth step. Act on it. Move.
The S.I.P.D.E. rule is easy to remember. Just take it to heart and everything else will follow as easy as one, two and three.