How Does One Become a Good Defensive Driver?
Auto crashes and deaths increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Traffic experts attributed the increase to a rise in aggressive driving, which has not diminished. Defensive driving can help protect you from aggressive drivers.
What is defensive driving?
Defensive driving is the practice of using strategies to respond to potential hazards and minimize crash risks. It employs techniques and tactics to keep you and other drivers safe.
Steps you can take to improve your defensive driving skills:
Plan ahead – pre-program your music choices and GPS directions; allow sufficient time for your trip or commute
Obey traffic rules – be aware of speed limit changes and don't exceed them
Stay alert – don't drive if you're tired or upset; nights and weekends are when drunk drivers are likely to be on the road
Avoid distractions – don't eat, drink, or text while driving, and avoid talking on the phone; if you need to speak, safely pull off the road
Maintain a safe distance – use the three-second rule to stay safely behind the vehicle ahead of you
Adjust to weather conditions – reduce your speed and create more space when driving in bad weather
Expect the unexpected – look for cars veering into your lane without signaling, jutting into traffic from a driveway, or running a red light
Avoid road rage – allow drivers in a hurry to pass you, and don't make eye contact or gestures if a driver honks their horn
Stay in your lane – change lanes only when necessary and signal when you do
Avoid blind spots – try to stay in view of vehicles in adjoining lanes
Incorporating these actions into your daily driving will enable you to become more vigilant on the road and help reduce the possibility of a crash.
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“10 Key Defensive Driving Techniques You Need to Know” https://defensivedriving.org/dmv-handbook/defensive-driving-techniques, (Last Updated: June 27, 2021).
“Teen Driving,” https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving.
“Older Drivers,” https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/older-drivers.