Defensive Driving Tips
Since gas prices have dropped and seem to have leveled out, there are more drivers on the road, and more accidents are happening. Accident avoidance technology is helpful, but to stay safe and prevent an accident, nothing beats human attention—provided the driver actually pays attention. Review these defensive driving tips to help you build better habits:
- Don't get distracted. This means no eating, no makeup application, no shaving (yes, it happens) no texting…nothing that takes your attention away from the road.
- Look ahead. Check to see what's happening far ahead of you so you can anticipate traffic situations and adjust your driving accordingly.
- Stay awake. If you're tired, upset, taking special medication or have been drinking, don't get behind the wheel.
- Drive at appropriate speeds. Driving too fast can be dangerous, but driving too slow is just as bad.
- Don't drive aggressively. Weaving in and out of traffic, not leaving enough space between your car and the one in front of you, and cutting people off are all examples of this.
- Use turn signals and headlights. After all, you paid for them, so why not use them? Besides, it alerts other drivers of your intentions so they can plan accordingly (like we described in Tip 2).
- Adjust your driving based on road conditions. Rain and snow should slow you down, and you should put extra distance between yourself and the car in front of you.
- Don't be a bully. Road rage isn't attractive on anyone. Even though it can be hard at times, try to control your anger when other drivers are in the wrong.
Being in an accident isn't something anybody wants, even if you aren't at fault. If you allow yourself just a little extra time to get to your destination, you can be a defensive driver.