Defensive drivers are always aware of their surroundings and know how to identify potential dangers in advance. They always maintain a safe following distance that fits weather conditions.
Smart drivers also understand their own and other drivers’ blind spots, including when to avoid tailgating and when it is important to move over on multi-lane roads to allow speeders past.
1. Be Prepared
If you observe any suspicious driving behavior – for instance lane changes and tailgating – it’s essential that you move away safely as these drivers often cause rear-end collisions that could prove deadly.
A good defensive driver constantly monitors their surroundings. They stay clear of blind spots to reduce risk from vehicles they cannot see.
Defensive drivers create space around their vehicles by following the “three-second rule.” This practice ensures that when an approaching car passes a particular point, three seconds should elapse before they get there themselves – giving ample time for reaction should their opponent brake hard suddenly or in bad weather conditions.
2. Keep Your Eyes on the Road
One of the key strategies of defensive driving is keeping your eyes on the road and away from distractions such as cell phones, eating or talking to passengers. Furthermore, keeping your attention focused on driving conditions and being aware of what may happen around you – particularly during adverse weather conditions.
A good defensive driver will always pay close attention to the car in front of them and follow at a safe distance (two seconds minimum, but more when traveling at highway speeds). They should also remain aware of their vehicle’s blind spots that are large enough to hide vehicles and will turn their head before changing lanes.
An effective defensive driver takes measures to prepare themselves and their vehicle for inclement weather like snow by making sure their vehicle has sufficient tires and brakes.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Pull Over
Defensive driving involves recognising unsafe driver behavior and knowing when it is necessary to pull over and wait out the storm. For instance, brake times increase significantly during periods of heavy rainfall or snow storm. Pulling over is often advised for newcomers navigating these conditions as their braking times tend to be prolonged; waiting it out might also help.
Always leave at least a two-second gap between your vehicle and the car ahead of you when driving on highways or in bad weather, such as highways with one-lane roads or in poor visibility conditions. This will give you enough room to stop should the person in front suddenly brake unexpectedly while also giving other vehicles behind you the chance to react immediately if necessary. Wear your seat belt – an estimated 15,000 people were killed last year due to car crashes which could have been avoided had more people been wearing theirs!
4. Don’t Be Distracted
Driving requires your full focus and is a complex task that necessitates total concentration. Even one second’s distraction could lead to an accident, so it is crucial that any potential distractions be eliminated prior to getting behind the wheel.
Staying calm on the road is also important when encountering uncaring or aggressive drivers, though it may be tempting to lash out. Focus on achieving safe journey rather than engaging in battle.
Other defensive driving practices include always wearing your seat belt and making sure all passengers are buckled properly. Furthermore, ensure your vehicle is in top working order – unexpected breakdowns could have serious repercussions for all parties involved; having an automobile that has been properly maintained gives drivers greater control in adverse weather conditions.
5. Don’t Speed
As part of being a defensive driver, it is vital not to speed. Doing so increases the odds that drivers lose control and cause accidents.
Defensive drivers know it’s essential to leave at least three seconds between themselves and the car in front of them for safety purposes, enabling them to respond swiftly if the driver in front suddenly applies the brakes abruptly or has another issue on the road. This allows them to respond swiftly if something unexpected arises on the roadway requiring swift action by them or those around them.
Defensive drivers always abide by traffic laws and never race through red lights, which is a mistake many make because they rush too much and forget to assess traffic conditions and their own driving skills.