The driving environment is dynamic and ever-changing. To navigate it successfully, motorists must do their best drive defensively. Here are five tips that will hopefully keep your commute stress and accident-free.
5 Ways to Keep You (and Others) Safe
- Always Plan Ahead – This tip could also be named “Know before You Go.” It is important to know what lies ahead for you even before you get behind the wheel. Get in the habit of checking the weather before you get going. If you know in advance that icy or wet conditions may make your commute tricky, be sure to give yourself extra time. You should always be mentally ready to maneuver carefully in such conditions. Take turns slowly and carefully. These turns include entering and exiting the highway. If you can, drive in the lane closest to the shoulder so that, in the event of a possible accident, you have a way of escape to avoid it.
- Keep Your Eyes Open – You may have heard other drivers use the phrase “That car came out of nowhere!” While it is impossible to look in every direction at once, regularly scanning in front, behind and to the sides of your car can minimize the chances of this happening to you. This is especially important at intersections as one-third of all collisions happen there. Just because the “other guy” has a red light doesn’t mean he is going to stop. Avoid accidents by trying to anticipate what other drivers might do.
- Be Ready to Brake Sooner – Make sure to leave plenty of distance between yourself and the car ahead and be ready to brake sooner to keep that cushion of safety intact. In normal driving conditions, the rule of thumb is to keep a two-second distance between yourself and the car ahead. To do this, watch as the car ahead passes a fixed object. If your car passes that same object two seconds later, you should have plenty of time to react to anything the driver ahead might do. Be sure to increase this distance in congested or slippery conditions.
- Keep It Cool – It is vitally important that you keep your head when behind the wheel. Don’t get drawn in when other drivers around become aggressive. Like falling dominoes, a driver who cuts off another, whether intentional or not, can start a chain reaction that may lead to even more drivers becoming angry or frustrated. In these situations, keep your head and you will keep yourself out of trouble.
- Keep Your Head in the Game – Defensive drivers should never be in the position of being surprised and reacting to changes in the driving environment. Instead, be proactive in every encounter you have with another car. This is impossible to do if you are distracted by texting, playing with the radio, eating, etc.
When it is all said and done, it is the defensive driver who stays the safest on the road and defensive driving starts with you. Without properly evaluating your driving environment, it is impossible for you to avoid surprises and makes it more probable that you will be involved in an accident.
For more tips on driving defensively consider taking a course from ApprovedCourse.com. Defensive driving courses are not just for tickets. Not only will taking such a course keep you safer, it may even save you some money on your insurance premiums. Check out a course today to see how defensive driving could help you.