Defensive driving is more than just a course that you get online or in person. It’s a commitment that starts with you.
It doesn’t matter how chaotic the roads are outside, you need to be committed to your own safety.
From aggressive drivers to people who just don’t follow the rules, you are in charge of your own vehicle so defensive driving is crucial.
What is defensive driving?
By definition, defensive driving is a method of driving in which a person uses safe driving strategies to identify potential dangers on the road in a predictable manner.
It’s a level of driving that goes beyond the basic skills that you acquire from a driving instructor.
Once you learn how to apply safe driving strategies, you’ll be able to reduce the chances of getting involved in a car accident.
If you are curious about becoming a defensive driver, find below some defensive driving hacks that will help you stay ahead of the game.
Planning before driving is pivotal
Always be ready for the unexpected before hitting the road.
A good defensive driver always check the weather and other road conditions prior to hitting the road. This habit lets you plan ahead of time and map your route even better.
If you are planning on driving through the highway, pay attention to the way you handle tight turns (ex: merging on and off the highway).
Be mentally prepared to make tight turns slowly and use enough space to react in the event of an emergency.
Check your surroundings while on the road
You’ve probably heard other drivers saying; “that car came out of nowhere!”
While it’s impossible to see what’s around you all the time, you are advised to check your mirrors and take heed of the intersections, which is a habit that could help you spot any car getting too close.
Many drivers skip the red light and carry on driving, so take a peek down intersecting streets before you approach them. Defensive driving is all about predicting or anticipating other driver’s intentions.
Be prepared to stop early
Make sure you leave a prudent distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you, and press the brake early.
You are advised to hold on this habit while driving on difficult roads (ex: wet roads) where excessive speeding or getting too close to other vehicles jeopardizes your safety.
Press the brake gradually and be prepared to come to a full stop by keeping a prudent distant between cars.
This could help you avoid crashing against other vehicles that stop unexpectedly and give time to the car behind you to brake to plan a stop.
Avoid road rage at all cost
You are in control of your own reaction. Never let other aggressive drivers affect your driving, even when they are at fault.
Many times you see drivers cutting off other drivers, and then going back and forth at each other, creating a hostile environment that increases the chances of a car crash.
Don’t let road rage take over your driving and remain cool at all times.
Never get distracted while on the road
Defensive driving is not only about anticipating other driver’s maneuvers but also staying focused on the road at all times.
Activities such as texting while driving, eating while driving, or even changing the radio station continuously takes your eyes out of the road and that’s a serious mistake.
The more attention you pay to your driving, the better for your safety.
Overall, defensive driving is about making informed decisions while on the road. The ability to predict and anticipate a maneuver from other drivers puts you in an ideal situation.
Are you a good driver? Do you have any other defensive driving tips you want to share with us?
Please, feel free to let us know in the comments below.