Safety Center

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.

NJM Insurance Group’s Commitment to Safety

NJM’s enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to our earliest days — with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in manufacturing facilities to helping keep customers safe on the roads and at home. NJM is a leader in personal and commercial auto, homeowners, and workers’ compensation insurance.


  1. “10 Key Defensive Driving Techniques You Need to Know”, (Last Updated: June 27, 2021).

  2. “Speeding,”

  3. “Teen Driving,”

  4. “Older Drivers,”

Our Safety Center pages are filled with tips related to the safety and maintenance of your home and autos. The information contained in these articles should not be construed as professional advice, and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy.