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By Elaine Langlois
"The best defense is a good offense." This axiom of professional sports also applies to driving. Perhaps you are aware that there are styles of driving, just as there are styles of clothing and hair. Some are more desirable than others. Offensive driving is fast becoming the driving style of choice.
You have probably heard of defensive driving. This is a fairy-tale set of concepts peddled in driver-ed classes. Defensive drivers supposedly reduce the risk of accident by adjusting to the driving styles of other people, traffic, and road conditions. It should be apparent that this approach to life behind the wheel is incredibly passé. Why should we have to adjust to what other people do? It's they who should adjust to us!
Let's look at an example of defensive vs. offensive driving. Say you are coming down a ramp out of a hospital garage into a busy street. As you start down, another car starts up. There is no room to pass. The defensive driver would courteously back up to allow the other driver in. The offensive driver would force the other vehicle backwards into the traffic and proceed on her way. (Let us say as an aside that, if you happen to be going the same way as an ambulance with its lights flashing, you can follow it closely and really make some time.)
This example points up the modus operandi of the offensive driver. Your most precious commodity is time. Getting where you're going as quickly as possible is the only thing that matters. Some people might ask, is it worth risking your safety and that of others to arrive a few minutes earlier at Kmart? Of course it is! In life, the race is to the swift. And all those minutes you save by getting places more quickly add up. Who knows how many hours you may be adding to your life (though taking them off of someone else's) by becoming an offensive driver? Let's examine some offensive-driving rules of the road:
©2002 Elaine Langlois
Elaine Langlois can frequently be found driving defensively, much to the annoyance of some other drivers.