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How You Can Become a Defensive Driver

by Maurice A. Miller

It’s not simple to be an excellent driver. You could be driving for many years behind the wheel in various vehicles, and you consistently wonder whether your skills are up to the required standards. However, it’s even more challenging to be an excellent defensive driver.

Defensive driving is based on the idea that highways are naturally dangerous places. Therefore, by taking the safer drivers course, you’ll learn how to be careful about threats so you can evade trouble. Here are five ways to become a good defensive driver and protect yourself and others on the road.

Defensive Driver

1. Control your speed

An undeniable place to begin, the most fundamental concept of defensive driving is to ensure that your car is always moving at a controlled speed. You should feel comfortable at all times, especially when you are traveling around corners. Avoid having that feeling like the vehicle is pulling away from you.

During rainy conditions, speed control is even more significant since your vehicle’s tires will have a lower grip than if the surfaces are dry. This wetness, therefore, means that the roads are more dangerous than usual. Indeed, it’s safe to drive during rainy seasons on the condition that you lower your speed and increase your awareness. Although the speed limit maybe 50km/h, you don’t necessarily have to travel at that speed when the conditions are inappropriate.

2. Remain vigilant and be aware

Knowing your surroundings is an essential part of defensive driving. You learn to check the side mirrors frequently during your driving test for a reason. Checking the mirrors keeps you aware of everything happening around you.

Plus, it’s essential to check what is going on behind you on the road rather than focusing on vehicles ahead of you. That way, you will predict potential stops before they occur, enabling you to remain safe and use less fuel.

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need only to be cautious of other vehicles. Cyclists on the highway may want to turn right and ride across your direct lane, and you need to be careful about that. Also, ensure that you watch your blind spots, more so when you are overtaking or changing travel lines on an expressway.

3. Maintain your distance

The most effective means of avoiding crashes with any other road user is to steer clear of them. Generate a secure space around your car as much as possible.

Maintaining a safe distance at all times is crucial when driving behind other vehicles, especially on the superhighway. The two-second rule is a recognized safety distance between you and the car in front. Therefore, if the vehicle in front halts suddenly, you will have enough time to slow down and evade s crash.

Have a quick look at upcoming road signs. Ensure that you can count at least three seconds between the time the vehicle in front passes the signal before you do the same. This measure changes into a five-second rule during rainy seasons to enable increased stopping intervals on wet surfaces.

4. Expect the unexpected

Don’t confuse this with gazing into a crystal ball and forecasting the future. It’s all about not quickly trusting other highway users and taking measures to predict other drivers going wrong.

For instance, if you are ready to get out at a crossroad and a vehicle is signaling to turn, don’t believe it will. Stand by until it turns to get out into the highway.

Likewise, if a vehicle is on standby to turn across your traffic line, you should lower your speed in advance. Thus, if the car withdraws, you’ll manage to halt before hitting it.

A vital alert is driver flashing lights to allow you in. Would you please not take it as a secure sign of withdrawing because the other person has flashed their lights? Make sure you do your checks first before pulling out. Keep in mind that you don’t only need to expect the behaviors of cars, but also that of cyclists and pedestrians.

5. Plan ahead

Familiarizing yourself with what is ahead of you before you even step into your car is very important. Make it a habit to check the climatic conditions. If it’s going to be rainy, ensure that you allocate yourself enough time to travel carefully. That way, you will avoid the rush feeling during your trip that causes someone to drive faster than they should during lousy weather.

Exercise caution regarding making tight turns, for instance, when you’re merging on and off of road ramps. It would help if you prepared yourself mentally to take turns slowly. If possible, follow a traffic line having a shoulder next to it. That way, you will have someplace to move it in case of an emergency.

6. Avoid getting distracted

Defensive drivers are not only reactive but also proactive. The most effective way of avoiding a car crash on the highway is by concentrating fully at all times. Avoid engaging yourself in activities that divert your eyes and attention off the street.

Using your mobile phone is one of the most disastrous activities. This distraction far extends to just listening to loud music, surfing the internet, or going on social media pages. All of these activities withdraw your attention from the main road. Real defensive drivers protect themselves from other drivers: think ahead and anticipate hazards to avoid accidents before they occur.

It’s always essential to presume that not all drivers pay close attention or steer the wheel as carefully as they should. However, your readiness, outlook, and sense of responsibility can have a considerable effect on whether you get to your destination safely or endanger yourself.

7. Avoid going on the offensive.

Do not allow other driver’s hostile tendencies to transfer to you. Often, traffic rage starts with one individual’s aggressiveness and causes a chain reaction on nearby motorists. You will be amazed at how frequently things heat up on the road: just because a person is removed and later tries to avenge other drivers. Employing all of the above road safety techniques and strategies will guarantee you remain safe on the road.

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