Defensive driving can be a way to reduce your risk of car accident. In addition, many insurance companies offer a discount to drivers who go a certain number of year’s accident free or complete a defensive driving safety course. Defensive driving skills can also be helpful to new drivers who are learning how to avoid a car accident.
Top Defensive Driving Tips
Think about other drivers while you drive; remember that you own your car, not the road.
Don’t make assumptions about another driver’s next move. Even if a driver has their turn signal activated, you will want to wait until you see the car turning before moving out into the road. Sometimes people forget to turn their turn signals off or turn them on too early.
Stay out of the way of aggressive drivers. If you are being tail-gated by an aggressive driver, tap your brakes a few times and slow down. If this approach doesn’t work to stop the tail-gating, pull over and let them pass if possible. If you see a car speeding or aggressively changing lanes behind you, stay in your lane while maintaining your speed. Getting into a road rage altercation with another driver can be deadly.
Never pull out in front of anyone or swerve into someone else’s lane.
Give your car a regular tune-up and be sure that you have enough gas to get to your destination. Breaking down in the middle of a commute is frustrating and potentially dangerous.
Keep an eye on the road for obstructive debris or large animals such as deer. If you see an animal approaching, slow down and flash your lights repeatedly. Dusk and dawn are particularly bad times for running into animals, so keep a lookout.
When an intersection light turns green, make sure the coast is actually clear before you enter.
Stay focused on driving; avoid distracting activities such as eating, applying makeup or texting.
Drive with two hands on the wheel at the 10 o’clock-2 o’clock position.
Continuously rotate your gaze between your rear view mirror, the road, the cars ahead, and your speedometer.
Don’t drive if you’re tired, intoxicated, or upset.
Drive with the flow of traffic. Driving slower than the flow of traffic can be as dangerous as speeding. It is possible to receive a ticket for driving too slow.
When driving on the freeway under normal weather conditions, use the two second rule. Choose a fixed object on the road such as a sign, when the vehicle in front of you passes that object you should be able to count two seconds before you pass. Increase the rule to three seconds in inclement weather. This rule can decrease your chances of getting into a rear-end collision.
Make your vehicle and your moves visible to other drivers. This means using your turn signals, turning on headlights, making sure your brake lights are operating, and avoiding getting into other driver’s blind spots.
Slow down in difficult weather or poor road conditions such as snow, heavy rain, or ice. Avoid driving in these conditions if possible.
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