Defensive driving saves life, says expert

July 16, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – With insecurity spiralling out of control, demand for protective measures is at an all time high as Kenyans seek ways of avoiding being crime statistics.

One such way is defensive driving, a concept geared towards preventing carjackings and how to respond to emergency situations on roads.

“Defensive driving basically means that a driver is more aware on the road. He or she is on the defence against problems they may encounter while in their vehicle,” says legendary rally driver Azar Anwar.

“It also includes how well you (the driver) know your car, your personal safety, how well you can drive the car and its condition.”

The former rally champion who runs his own rally training school told Capital News that defensive driving is not an exclusive club and that everyone is eligible of taking up this form of security measure.

“Professional drivers, commercial drivers and even private individuals who go about their day to day activities can take up this form of driving,” said Mr Anwar.

He believes that even taking all the necessary precautions against carjacking is not a full proof way from being a victim of this crime.

“To reduce the risk, one has to be aware of other vehicles on the road. For example if you suspect that you are being followed, you don’t turn off at the point that you usually do. Go around the block instead,” he said.

“If you are being followed, drive into a public place like a police station. Don’t try and rush home or race away from them,” he added.

Mr Anwar suggests that drivers should also get to know the zones that are notorious for carjackings.

“There is usually a pattern to what times carjackings and robberies occur. By being aware, it means that you can actually avoid those places and dangerous situations that could be developing around you,” said the motoring expert.

Mr Anwar who has rallied for over 30 years and runs a motor sport and events company called Aztek Motorsport says that there is a common thread to how people should react when they’re being carjacked.

“The main thing is not to antagonise the robbers and don’t try to be a hero because life is more important than your car and any other property you might have with you,” he said Anwar.

“Most victims are always taken by surprise so the most important thin is not to panic and comply with the carjackers. Staring directly at them is also antagonistic so victims are advised to look down and follow what the attackers say,” he added.


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