Defensive Driving

Defensive Driving is essentially driving in a way that keeps the driver aware and enables him/her to detect hazards. Not all of defensive driving strategies can be taught in a class room and must be learned on the road. Here are 5 real-life ways you can use when you head out on the road to help you become a safer driver.

1. Look 3-4 Seconds Ahead

Humans did not evolve to travel faster than 15 mph. This can make driving difficult as drivers will tend to look at what is directly in front of them and not much else. This problem can be difficult to spot and often goes unnoticed. While should try to look as far ahead as possible, you should look at least 3-4 second ahead to give yourself time to slam on the brakes if necessary.

2. Drive Slow

Don't be afraid to drive a little bit slower than the surrounding traffic. This is especially true when you are dealing with inclement weather. Higher speeds make a vehicle more difficult to control and long time to stop, so it is imperative that you go at or below the speed limit.

3. Have An Escape Plan

This skill can take a little time to learn but is well worth the effort. You might be a good driver, but you won't be one of the safest drivers on the road until you develop an escape plan every time you hit the road. An escape plan is essentially what you are going to do to avoid an accident should something unexpected happen. You should never swerve off the road, but you can always change lanes quickly or ensure there is ample room between you and the next driver to provide for a safe stop.

4. Maintain Proper Distance

Do not tailgate! You should always maintain a safe amount of distance between you and the driver directly in front of you. Also, drivers on the road often tend to clump together when going down a road, forming a "wolf pack." Avoid these whenever possible.

5. Reduce Distractions

Technology is a wonderful thing, but it can distract you from driving, along with many other things. Tablets, smart phones, and other electrical devices should not be used when you are driving. And you don't have to be texting or playing on your phone to be distracted, as any parent will tell you. There are some distractions you can control, and some you can't. So control the ones you can and be weary of the ones you cannot to be a safer driver.

Driving safe doesn't have to be difficult. Follow these five tips and take your time and you will guarantee the safety of you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.

Defensive Driving