What IS “Good Driving”?

According to surveys by insurance companies, asking drivers to rate their abilities on scales from hell-on-wheels to fantastic, about 90 percent of drivers apparently believe themselves be somewhere from “above average” up to being “God’s gift to driving!” . . . . Yes, the wording has been exaggerated, but not the rankings, and what was revealed is that around 90 percent of drivers consider themselves to be above average in ability.

Photograph of a car that has just been in a collision. The airbags have inflated but are now in the process of deflating, and the car's two occupants are still in their seats, stunned.
This photo was taken no more than 2 seconds after the collision that triggered the airbags, which are now in the process of deflating. The driver and his passenger are still in the car, stunned. Possibly through distraction, the car driver had just collided with the back of a stationary truck — not an “accident,” an act of negligence; a collision. Copyright image.

At the same time, here in the USA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [or NHTSA, which is pronounced “NiTSA” in conversation] has stated that while 94 percent of all road crashes in the USA involve driver error as a factor, just 56 percent of all road crashes are due solely to driver error.  Sadly, this is often misquoted by individuals and organizations who simply don’t get their facts right and infer wrongly that 94 percent of crashes are solely and specifically caused only by driver error.  This shows a serious lack of understanding of crash causation and does more harm than good.

Anyway, this scenario of so many people claiming to be above average while such a high proportion of crashes involve driver error is what statisticians apparently refer to as being “statistically improbable,” but frankly I think that’s a very polite way of saying ‘garbage!’

So, the question remains:  What exactly IS “good driving”?

For the purposes of driving on public roads and in public areas, the only valid definition of good driving has to be driving for maximum safety at all times.

Good driving, in this context, has nothing to do with advanced control skills or racetrack techniques;  indeed these can often create problems or danger if used on regular roads.

Future posts on this website will go into more detail on this subject but in the meanwhile, if you have drivers or other employees who you would like to be safer, or you currently have annual collision and fuel costs that are too high, please go to our Courses page for more information on how we can save you a lot of money.

One of our Fortune 500 clients alone, during a three-year contract with us, witnessed a drop of more than 50 percent in crashes and 80 percent in injuries, and this reduction remained gratifyingly steady throughout our time with them.  The shocking aspect of this situation, however, was that the client in question told us they had been getting “driver training” from other U.S. suppliers for each of the seventeen previous years, with little success.  Make of that what you will.