7 Easy Tips for Defensive Driving
What does defensive driving really mean?
Here are 7 easy tips on how to improve your defensive driving skills every day:
- Minimize Distractions: Distractions are the biggest risk to your safety. Cell phones, adjusting the radio, talking to passengers, eating, reaching for something on the seat…The NHTSA lists distractions as the number one reason behind car accidents and fatalities on the road.
- Scan Ahead: Don’t just focus on the car in front of you, but also on the road horizon. Looking at the entire traffic pattern up ahead gives you ample time to react to a sudden emergency.
- Minimize Lane Changes: It is common for accidents to happen while a car is changing lanes, or while staying in another vehicle’s blind spot, or when two cars merge into the same lane. Choose a lane and stick with it for the majority of your trip.
- Avoid other Vehicle’s Blind Spot: Some drivers do not check their blind spot before changing lanes so it is best to stay out of their blind spot. You can usually identify a driver that is about to change lanes if the driver looks in their side view mirror, the car has just merged from an on-ramp, the driver is suddenly accelerating or decelerating, or if the car is slowly starting to drift toward one lane.
- Look Both Ways at Intersections: Intersections are inherently dangerous places. When the light turns green, look both ways before you make your way through to avoid a T-bone accident.
- Get Away From Bad Drivers: Keep a healthy distance between yourself and other bad drivers on the road (texting, speeding, intoxicated, tail gating, road rage, lane changers, extremely slow drivers…) If you need to pass them do it quickly and safely. Keep a lane between you and them if possible. Never drive directly next to them.
- Don’t Follow Too Closely: Keep about 3 to 4 seconds distance to have buffer room to brake and stop and also avoid being rear ended.