Defensive driving could save your life

By admin
25 September 2013

Expect the worst and embrace defensive driving techniques by remaining overly cautious on the road.

Flickr - Atli Harðarson

By adopting a safety-above-all-else mindset and always anticipating the possibility someone might pull a dangerous move near you will definitely put you in better stead on the road.

Caution and preparation can help immensely in dangerous situations. Driving defensively can be defined as driving with safety and accident avoidance as your primary thought.

By using defensive driving techniques motorists are better able to assess and respond to potential hazards in a predictable way. These techniques go beyond simply adhering to basic traffic rules and procedures, and encourage more conscious driving that allows motorists to anticipate situations and make safe, well-informed decisions about how to respond to them.

Here are examples of defensive driving:

  • Keeping a safe following distance.
  • Anticipating the car in front of you will slam on brakes without warning.
  • Checking in all directions to make sure another vehicle hasn’t jumped the lights before taking off after seeing the green light at the robot.

More tips for driving defensively:

  • Follow the rules of the road at all times.
  • Minimise distractions; don’t talk or text on your cellphone.
  • Keep your eyes focused on the road ahead rather than on the car in front of you.
  • Minimise lane changes – pick a lane and stick to it.
  • Keep an eye out for fast and blind lane changers – regularly monitor your rear- and side-view mirrors for cars darting in and out of lanes, and watch out for drivers who absent-mindedly wander across lanes.
  • Look all ways at intersections – when the light turns green be extremely aware of your left-, then right-side traffic as you make your way through.
  • Get away from bad drivers – put a healthy distance between yourself and other erratic, bad drivers such as those who appear to be drunk, speeding, tailgating, changing lanes erratically, and even those who are driving too slowly.
  • Signal early for turns, stops and lane changes.
  • Brake smoothly and gradually.
  • Keep pace with traffic.
  • Adjust speed and position to avoid potential hazards.
  • Watch brake lights in adjacent lanes.
  • Be on high alert at intersections, when approaching pedestrian crossings, at parking lot entrances, and in areas where children are, such as outside schools.

Faiza Mallick

Source: Dial Direct Insurance

Picture: Flickr - epSos.deAtli Harðarson

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