Thinking about it, it kinda’ seems odd. When you first got your driver’s license and then started on the road, you were extra careful. Double-checking your mirrors, always signaling before a turn, etc. Over time and with more driving, all of us seem to lose the practice of those first vital lessons. We tend to get more reckless overall. From distracted driving, to road rage. Safety is second thought nowadays. That is why defensive driving is so important. So, with this article we are getting “back to the basics” and teaching you the defensive driving steps that will help you avoid a collision.
What exactly does defensive driving mean? Defined, defensive driving is a set of practices used to help safeguard lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others. It’s really nothing more than what you were taught back when you were first learning to drive. A reinforcement of good driving habits. It is also taking responsibility for your own safety and recognizing and avoiding bad drivers around you.
So, let’s get to it. These are basic good driving practices everyone should be using all the time.
Tip #1 : Avoid all distractions while driving. That means messing around with your music, eating behind the wheel, using your cell/texting, or conversations with your passengers.
Tip #2: Always assume the other driver on the road is reckless and capable of making errors. Therefore be mindful of their position on the road and adjust your driving accordingly.
Tip #3: Use your turning signals always and don’t wait until the very last second before a turn!
Tip #4: Mind your speed limits. The faster you go, the more distance you’ll need to brake in an emergency.
Tip #5: Don’t let road rage get the better of you. Naturally assume there are horrible drivers out there and blow off any aggression when you get cut off by another car or another driver tries to bait you into a fight.
Tip #6: Yielding is a safe bet always. Whenever you are not sure if you should yield to another driver and right of way is not clear, just let the other car go first.
Tip #7: Don’t tailgate! No matter where you are driving, if you have traffic in front of you, give yourself at least 1 ½ car lengths between you and the driver in front.
Tip #8: Every couple of seconds, be scanning your mirrors, the road ahead, and how traffic is flowing around you. Don’t forget about those blind spots! Always make sure it is safe to lane change before you do it.
Tip #9: Adjust your driving for bad weather. That means slower speeds and even more distance between cars than during normal conditions.
Tip #10: Keeping your vehicle in top condition, especially the tires. Keep check of your tire treads and DO NOT let your tires go bald before replacing them. Also, keep them well inflated.
Keeping all of these tips in mind isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be safe on the road, however, it will dramatically help your odds against becoming involved in a collision. DEE-FENSE!
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