Defensive drivers operate motor vehicles in a manner that saves lives, money and time. The aim of defensive driving is to maintain one’s safety, his vehicle’s safety and the well-being of other drivers. Let’s take a look at some defensive driving tips that will help you make it to your destination without drama.
Anticipate Road Happenings
Look far ahead from time to time when you are behind the wheel. You might notice a traffic slowdown, an accident or obstacles ahead. Spotting these hazards ahead of time will help you adjust your driving in the appropriate manner. The truth is that the vast majority of accidents are preventable. The key is to heighten your situational awareness and plan ahead by keeping your eyes roaming the road as much as possible.
Driving Distractions are Your Worst Enemy
We are all tempted to change the radio station, talk on the phone, text and load up a music playlist while driving. However, these distractions can prove deadly. Do not lose sight of the fact that the main purpose of driving is to get from point A to point B. Sure, it is nice to listen to music and play around with the vehicle’s infotainment center but over-focusing on these auto amenities will only sabotage your ability to drive safely. Spend a few car rides listening to the hum of the engine and paying attention to the sounds of the road. You just might notice that turning off the distractions makes you a much better driver.
Keep Your Distance
Plenty of drivers are tempted to follow the vehicle in front of them fairly closely. There is a concern that someone else will slide on in and make traffic that much more stressful. Don’t worry about someone merging in front of you. You are only putting your vehicle at risk by tailgating the vehicle ahead. Leave at least two car lengths between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This way, you will be able to stop without slamming into the back of another vehicle.
Never Assume Drivers Will act a Certain Way
It is a grave mistake to expect another driver to drive in a certain manner. You really have no idea about other drivers’ intentions. Anticipating that they will go in a certain direction, remain parked, yield at intersections or stay in their lane is only setting you up for an accident. It is impossible to predict the behaviors of others. Plenty of drivers willingly break the rules of the road. Or, maybe something odd will happen like a coffee spill, a violent sneeze or even a leg cramp. The bottom line is that attempting to anticipate the behavior of fellow drivers will only set you up to be caught off guard.
Avoid the Temptation to Change Lanes
The best drivers minimize their lane changes. The odds of a vehicle being rear ended when staying in a lane and adhering to the speed limit are quite low. Alternatively, a vehicle that is constantly moving in and out of lanes is at a heightened risk for an accident. Pick a lane, stick with it for most your ride and you will greatly reduce the risk of driving. Also, take note of those who do not follow this advice. If you spot someone changing lanes at a high frequency or fast rate of speed, make a mental note of them. Keep your distance from such unsafe drivers. If one of these dangerous drivers creeps up on your tail or ventures anywhere near your vehicle, do not hesitate to pull over to the side of the road.
Develop an Escape Plan
The safest drivers plan for the worst. Scan the road ahead and around you while driving. Think about what you would do if an accident occurs in front of you. Maybe a child or dog runs out in front of traffic a few hundred feet ahead. Though you can’t predict how other drivers will react, you should formulate an escape plan. Think about what you would do, which direction you would steer and so on.