Every year, car accidents cause injuries and deaths. The sad reality is that many of them could be avoided. Being a defensive driver is the best way to avoid a car accident. Even if you are an experienced driver, taking on some defensive driving techniques will still be beneficial.
Defensive driving is about paying attention to your driving and how others are driving around you. When you use these techniques you can get good at understanding when you are faced with a situation that could lead to an accident and taking steps to avoid it. In this article, we will go over some defensive driving techniques that will help you stay safer on the road.
1 – Keep your distance
One of the key techniques in defensive driving is keeping a safe distance from other vehicles. This means leaving enough space between your car and the one in front of you. Since you never know when a car ahead of you will stop suddenly, it’s important to give yourself time to stop.
The distance should be bigger when you’re driving faster or in bad weather. This is the easiest way to avoid an accident and save you from the insurance runaround that often follows a crash.
It’s not enough to just keep your distance. You also need to be thinking ahead and be ready to take quick action if the car ahead of you stops or starts driving erratically. This way, you can avoid hitting the car in front of you.
2 – Scan the road
Being ready to react means understanding what you should be ready for. This involves scanning the road ahead of you and taking note of several things. You should be looking for traffic lights that could change, the speed of the cars around, and any signs that somebody is driving irresponsibly.
When you scan the road, you don’t just look at the car in front of you. You look far ahead and to the sides. You also check your mirrors to see what’s happening behind you. This gives you a full picture of what’s around you. It helps you make good decisions, like changing lanes safely or slowing down at a busy intersection.
3 – Anticipating an accident
Anticipating the actions of other drivers is a key part of defensive driving. This involves trying to guess what other drivers might do next. To do this well, you need to watch other cars closely. Look for clues about what they might do.
This could be a turn signal, the car’s position, or even the driver’s head movements. Assume that the driver will do something that they shouldn’t. If they are positioning themselves to take a turn right in front of you, slow down and be ready to stop quickly.
Things can change very quickly and thinking a few moves ahead as if it were a chess game will allow you to be ready to take quick action.