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11 Best Tips On Defensive Driving

Regardless of your driving experience, one thing you must always remember is that the right way to drive is with defensive driving tactics. Being a defensive driver will always be beneficial in all road situations. Being aware of your respected surroundings is a potential that lets you drive safely.

But, do you know what is meant by a defensive driver? A driver who remains extra diligent and alert about his/her surroundings. The one who is always anticipating and preparing himself to handle worst-case scenarios in the best possible way.

Easy Driving Tips For A Defensive Driver

Are you looking for tips to practice defensive driving for your and others' safety?

To become an expert defensive driver, follow the below-mentioned driving tricks. It will not only make you learn defensive driving but also reduces the risk of getting involved in an accident.

Scan Your Surroundings-Eye Lead Time

One of the top practices to become a defensive driver is to scan your surroundings quickly, efficiently, and precisely. With practice, you need to make your Eye lead time suitable. As per the safety rules, an eye lead time for highway driving should not be more than 20-30 seconds whereas while driving in the city, it must be minimized to 12-15 seconds only. The reason behind shorter time is the heavy city traffic, fast speeding vehicles and more chances of collisions.  

An efficient Eye lead time enables you to anticipate the potential hazards up on the road ahead. Having sufficient time, you can plan your safe move to decrease the risk of driving hazards.

Keep A Safe Distance From The Surrounding Vehicles

The probability of getting in an accident with the vehicle moving forward is double. So, what should you do? The answer is pretty logical, keep a safe following distance. The distance must not be less than 3-4 seconds' worth of space. These seconds will be enough to let you put a break and have a gentle rolling stop. Braking hard can give you severe physical trauma.

Whether you are driving on the freeways, highways, back roads, or city roads, do not forget to make sure that you are keeping the safe cushion distance from the vehicles moving ahead, behind you, or sideways. In rainy, stormy, foggy, and snowy weather, it is advised to increase the distance.

Trust Your Driving Skills

Let’s talk about two essential aspects here.

First, be confident of your driving capabilities and trust that you will make a sensible decision. Confusion can cause chaos on the road. Second, always look out for yourself and then others. You can’t keep others safe unless you keep yourself safe. Keep your safety first and by this, we do not mean the driver to be frantically selfish. You must be considerate of other road users. But, always plan a safe driving pattern anticipating that the other driver will not be bothered to go safe.

Be Aware

Driving demands vigilance. Being aware of all your surroundings is a must rule to have a safe drive. Awareness is somewhat similar to eye lead time, but we can say it is more than just a road scan out of anticipation. Awareness means you know what is happening around, on all four sides. Which car is behind you or ahead of you. Awareness is another name of focus and attention.

Be aware of all traffic signals. Be attentive to road sign boards. Pay attention to all the minute details including pedestrians, bicyclists, and even animals. Keep your focus straight on the road without getting distracted. Look out for the unexpected vehicle by using mirrors and be ready to manage any driving case.

Improved Visibility

Having visibility issues means no driving. There is not one but many ways to improve visibility, depending on the weather. Keep your windows, mirrors, and windshield clean. Replace your damaged or cracked headlights immediately. There is no room to take risks. Use a defogger and fog headlamps in the foggy weather. In snowy weather, do not forget to defrost the ice completely.

Never Go On The Offensive

By offensive, we mean do not get aggressive if other drivers have been driving insanely. Be patient. Stay calm and don’t let the road rage lose your control over your vehicle. Simply cut yourself off the situation and go your way. As per the surveys, road rage has been recorded one of the top reasons for road fatalities. The safest practice is to back off and overlook the offense.

Keep A Clear Communication

Clear communication is the chief principle of safe driving. No matter if you are using external lights or hand signals, always be clear about your intention and let other drivers know what your next move will be. Good and understandable communication will avoid problems. For instance, make eye contact, make sure your hand signal is visible to all, use indicators all the time, and never forget to use emergency lights if you have any.

Blind Spots Can Be Dangerous

When a person says that he wasn’t able to anticipate the collision because the car appears out of the blind spot, then both are at fault. Mirrors are installed for a reason and it would be better to use them from time to time. The rearview, passenger, and driver's side mirrors play an important role in letting you know about your surroundings although this blind spot is something that every car has. To make the best out of the situation, use your peripheral vision and plan a safe move.

Keep Your Escape Route

Always keep an alternative roadway for safety. It will help you flee from the avoidable mess. Reserving a way to steer your vehicle out should always be a priority as it will work as your escape plan.

What if you get blocked in an emergency? You can opt for your immediate path of travel.

It all depends on the driver’s skills that how he manages to position the car perfectly keeping a way out along with not blocking others' way.

Slow Down At Four-Way-Stop

No doubt, intersections are a highly dangerous zone because it is a point where a number of vehicles are facing each other in different directions. Although traffic signals guide the vehicles regarding turn or making stops, red-light runners can be causing chaos. It is better to use the defensive trick and slow down your vehicle at the intersection to make an easy stop.


 

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