Defensive driving of motor vehicles gains importance almost by the day as one deadly criminal event after another transpires.
Most everyone is familiar with the old warning to "watch your back!" It means one shouldn't trust others in certain situations.
Where motor vehicle operation and occupation are concerned, the admonition needs to be to watch your back, your front, your sides and anything else that might become fair game for bad drivers and would-be thieves.
Consider just how many people in this area have died or been injured recently because of out-of-control operators of other vehicles. Individuals here and in Kansas City have been driving legally and temperately only to be smashed into and killed by others violating traffic lights and stop signs.
Think, too, about the numerous rear-end collisions that occur because of inattentive drivers a number of whom are distracted by cell phones or hair arrangement.
Any motorist these days should enter an intersection cautiously and alertly no matter how much right-of-way is supposed to exist because of the discernible green light. In a twinkling, some violator can invade the space of the legal driver and cause disaster. Such outlaws tend to flee the scene despite what damage and carnage they might have created.
There also is every reason for motor vehicle operators to look over their shoulders frequently to be sure nobody is approaching for a purse snatch or carjacking. While Lawrence has had its share of such criminal behavior, Kansas City and Topeka have been even more bedeviled by such occurrences.
There is no complete defense against deadly drivers and thieves, but increased alertness can help prevent their inroads on our lives. The term "defensive driving" takes on added importance almost every day as new cases of drunk and disorderly vehicle operators take their toll.
Watching one's back is not enough anymore. Danger can emanate from every point of the compass.