Juror #28

Recently, I was selected as a juror in a civil trial.  It was an interesting experience.  First of all, I was shocked to have been chosen.  Having been selected to show up for jury duty several times in the past, I just knew that after I arrived, the clerk would walk out and thank everyone for coming, and then dismiss all of us because an agreement has been reached. That didn’t happen this time.  We filed in the courtroom row-by-row, mobile devices shut down and numbers assigned. Then the questions began.  I sat there thinking, they are not going to pick me for this case.  I just knew it!! I was wrong.

When the questioning came to a close, I began to gather my things, because this girl had to get back to work. I was stunned when I heard “juror number 28”. Did they just call my number? Surely she didn’t just say juror # 28. My eyes dropped slowly to confirm what I already knew – I was juror number 28. I was chosen for jury duty.

And it began. The case involved an accident between a van and motorcycle.  I learned quite a bit about roadway safety.  And, I very quickly learned that I needed to make some adjustments with my driving for the safety of those on the road with me.

During the course of the trial, I learned an acronym designed to prevent drivers from getting in accidents. I quickly realized that this acronym can very well be applied to daily our lives.  It’s called SIPDE, and apparently this defensive driving method is taught in Drivers Ed classes.  I don’t remember being trained in this principle.  Well, it’s been a few years.


  • SCAN – Sweep, search and scan the area. Be alert and keep your eyes moving at all times. You are not to just watch the vehicle in front of you, but look beyond what is right in from you and search for potential escape routes.
  • IDENTIFY – Identify what’s going on around you.  Know your surroundings.  Other people, potholes, road signs or stationary objects might come in your way.
  • PREDICT – Predict oncoming threats or dangers. Recognize hazards or conflicts coming your way. Consider your speed and the direction in which you are traveling.
  • DECIDE – Decide, in advance, to take action.  The course of action you take will be determined by how well you’ve searched and know your surroundings.
  • EXECUTE – Execute with confidence. Communicate with those around you. You may need to make course corrections or adjust your speed and direction.

This small acronym has helped me in my driving and it has made an impact in my daily living.  Please be aware when you are driving and let’s live our lives knowing we have SIPDE’d.

Enjoy your day!