Driving a car becomes second nature to most of us, but we can never get too comfortable on the road. Here are five ways to be as defensive and safe as possible.
Defensive drivers expect the unexpected. Keep reading to find out what it takes to be among the safest drivers on the road.
Five Ways To Be A Defensive Driver
1 | Eye Spy
Visibility is a huge part of defensive driving. Being aware of your surroundings and looking well ahead on the road will help you anticipate and respond to any potential danger. This means checking your mirrors often (yes, as you learned in driving school), monitoring for animal crossings, pedestrians, or bicyclists, and paying attention to the other cars on the road.
2 | The Three (To Five) Second Rule
The more important five-second rule! This rule relates to a safe amount of time and space left between your car and the vehicle in front of you. If the car in front of you passes through the light or intersection, it should take you at least three seconds to then arrive in the same spot at that intersection. Remember, rear-end collisions are among the most common accidents on the road.
3 | You’re On Defense, Not Offense
To be a defensive driver means to be the opposite of someone with road rage. Unfortunately, aggressive driving can have a ripple effect. Someone retaliates after being cut off and the next thing you know there are cars swerving dangerously in and out of traffic. Slow down, learn how to avoid the “rage” and remember your duty is to react to the chaos, not create it.
4 | Communication Is Key
Cars communicate too, and not the way they do in animated movies; it’s our responsibility to communicate for them. Having your lights on at night-time, signaling to other cars when you're changing lanes, and using your horn if you need to get the attention of those around you, is what will keep you safe on the road.
5| You Know What They Say When You Assume…Defensive drivers never assume all cars are safe, alert, and following the rules of the road. They don’t assume cars will always break when they’re supposed to, or that cyclists will always safely share the road. If you’re prepared for other drivers to make a mistake, you’re ready to defend yourself.
So, are you a defensive driver? If not, ask yourself next time you're in your car, what more can you do to be as safe as possible on the road?
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