The roads these days may require you to be a good defensive driver. When you are driving, you should always have some defensive driving techniques that you know, because you may need them one day. Being a defensive driver can keep you out of an auto accident. Here are some defensive driving tips to help you become a safer driver.
Just being aware of your surroundings and space makes you a better defensive driver. How many times has a light turned green and you will just cruise through the intersection without looking for that one person who will run the red light. Accidents have happened and if people would have been practicing defensive driving, they could have been avoided. True the accident might not have been your fault, but it could have been prevented through good defensive driving techniques.
The majority of drivers are unaware of their surroundings, they just drive from point a to point b, not paying attention to anything around them. How many of us pulled up to a red light and don’t leave enough space for us to get out of trouble if trouble starts. Be a good defensive driver and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you.
You can’t predict what a car is going to do around you, but you could be prepared for what that car might do. I can’t tell you how many times a car has come over into my lane and I had to merge over into another lane or the emergency lane so they would not hit me. If I was not paying attention, they would have sideswiped me. Be aware of the cars around you and leave yourself an escape path if you can so you can get out of trouble.
Carjacking cases are on the rise and you could get trapped in a situation you can’t get out. Defensive driving is making sure you have a good escape path at red lights, and anywhere you go to where you are stopped for a period of time. Leave enough room between you and the next car that you can get your car out in case you are caught in a bad situation. Pay attention to cars around you and the people inside of them.
Distance, Distance, Distance
Did we say it enough? If you are in a large city you can see cars are bumper to bumper. The majority of rear end auto accidents are caused by failure to keep your distance from the car in front of you. A good defensive driver would keep once car length for every ten miles an hour. Increasing your distance will give you time to apply your brakes and slow down if anything happen to the car in front of you.
In cities with large volumes of traffic this is a huge issue. It seems everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. Keeping your distance from the car in front of you would make you a better defensive driver.
Minimize driving distractions.Detracted driving accidents are on the rise. I’m sure we have all been guilty of looking for our phone that has fallen in the crack of the seat, or reading a text while we should have our eyes on the road. You can’t sit behind the wheel and be fooling with the GPS, drinking coffee, and making a phone call while you is driving.
I was riding in a new Chevy Tahoe this weekend; the GPS would not let you enter an address unless it was in Park. The passenger could not even enter the address. The DVD will not play in the front; it will only play in the back. There are hacks for the systems in that vehicle that would allow you to do those things while you are driving. I assume Chevy wants to limit its liability in case of a distracted driving accident takes place with someone using its equipment.
With the technology we have today, distracted driving has become a major issue. They even have a special place for it in an accident report now under contributing factors, you guess it, it says distracted driving. Try and not be distracted and use good defensive driving techniques.
When you are driving on a long open interstate, it’s easy to get distracted. You are bored, maybe you are tired. Being a good defensive driver means looking ahead, a long way ahead. This helps you prevent things that could happen or will happen. If a car hits something in to the roadway and you are not paying attention you could run into the back of them, or hit the debris in the road they were trying to miss. Maybe there is a tractor trailer tire lying in the middle of the interstate. If you are not looking ahead, you are not being a good defensive driver, you may not see it until it’s too late.
Make Defensive Driving a Habit
Defensive driving can take some time to get used to. Old habits die hard. I always said the best defensive drivers are ones that have ridden motorcycles. Why is this? When you ride a motorcycle you have to be the best defensive driver on the planet, it only takes one accident for a motorcyclist to realize this. Motorcyclist are always scanning the road and the traffic in front of them, they are looking for anything in the roadway. Motorcyclist who are being defensive drivers, are looking at other vehicles, and looking for ones that are not paying attention to them or do not see them. Cars will merge into their lane because they never check there blind spot. Motorcyclists have to be on the lookout for everything that could cause them harm and be extremely good defensive drivers. They do not have 2 tons of steel surrounding them, to protect them in case of an accident. We can run over debris in the road and may have no damage to our cars, they cannot, and they will crash. When I use to ride, I would never ride in traffic, I would always ride through it because you can’t trust that the guy in the car next to you is a defensive driver.