Defensive Driving Tips

Imagine driving down the road, minding your own business and a vehicle comes out of nowhere and cuts you off. How do you react as a responsible and safe driver? This is exactly where defensive driving knowledge comes in. Defensive driving techniques will not only help keep you safe on the road, but it will keep other drivers on the road safe too!

With that said, let’s take a look at some defensive driving tips that every driver should know and understand.

1. Understand your physical and mental limitations while behind the wheel. It’s very easy to get tired or fatigued while driving, especially if you have had a long day or are driving a long distance. If your mind and body feel tired while driving, it’s ok and smart to just find a safe place to pull over and rest for a bit. It’s a much better option to pull over and rest opposed to running the risk of getting into an accident where you or another driver could get injured. 


2. Be mindful of the space you put between you and the vehicle in front of you. This is very important. When you follow the vehicle in front of you too closely, you limit your ability to stop in the required time, should you have to stop suddenly. If you must brake suddenly, you could very easily crash into the back of the vehicle in front of you. This can cause serious injury and in most cases, the accident would be considered your fault as you must be in control of your vehicle at all times. 


3. Understand how to change your driving habits based on various weather conditions. If it’s raining out, you run the risk of hydroplaning and in snowy and icy conditions you run the serious risk of spinning out of control or sliding off of the roadway. By learning how to handle your vehicle in various weather conditions, you are keeping you and others on the road safe. 


4. Always pay attention to your surroundings. Scanning the road in front of you, back of you and on the sides of you is incredibly important. Utilize your rearview mirrors often to keep an eye on merging vehicles. Scan the road ahead of you to make sure that there are no potential road hazards. 


5. Don’t drive distracted! The world we are currently living in is full of distractions and these everyday distractions can easily follow us into the driver’s seat. Distractions such as talking and texting on a cell phone while driving, loud music or eating and driving. These can all pose potential driving dangers. When you are not 100% focused on driving and your surroundings, accidents can happen. Accidents that can result in traffic violations, serious injury or even death. 


6. Always assume that the worst could happen. While this method of thinking isn’t typically the way you want to go through life, it is important to think this way while operating a motor vehicle. When you are aware that not all drivers are going to follow the rules, you put yourself in a position to make adjustments to your driving as necessary. 


7. Always wear your seatbelt. We can’t stress how important wearing a seatbelt is while driving or riding in a vehicle. In the event of a vehicle collision the energy that is dispersed throughout the vehicle is powerful. This energy will cause everything in the vehicle to move violently, including the occupants. By wearing your seatbelt you are giving yourself a chance for survival. A chance to not be violently thrown out of the car and reduce serious injury or even death. That is the reality of collisions. 


8. Don’t drive aggressively. When you drive too confidently or too aggressively, you will more than likely find yourself receiving a traffic violation, causing road rage or getting into an accident. Aggressive driving, driving too fast or irrational just isn’t worth the risks. If you need to get somewhere by a certain time, don’t drive over the posted speed limit to get there, getting into an accident just isn’t worth the risk of being on time or early.


These defensive driving tips are only the tip of the iceberg in regards to the amount of defensive driving techniques, tips and tricks that we could discuss. But they are a great quick and simple reminder of some very important driving tips to help keep you and others safe on the road.