Defensive driving is a skill that allows you to defend yourself against potential accidents. Do you know someone who drives for a living and has never been in an accident? They aren’t just lucky, they are skilled!! Want to be that good? Be defensive!!!
Know where you are going and how to get there. Make sure you have the adequate amount of fuel, that your gps is set for your destination if you use one, and your radio is set and cell phone put away.
Look as far down the road as you can see. At least 15 seconds down the road. The further down you look the quicker you can react to the upcoming traffic changes and will get much more information about what is going on in front of you. Frequently check your mirrors, at least 5 to 8 seconds, all mirrors so you have all the information of what’s going on around your vehicle. Make sure your eyes are constantly scanning so you avoid staring at anything too long and getting tunnel vision.
STAY BACK and leave yourself an escape!
Make sure you keep the adequate space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. According to law, there should be at least 1 second for every 10 feet of your vehicle which equates to about 4 seconds in a personal vehicle and 6-7 seconds in a CMV. Add an additional second if you are going over 50 mph and an additional second for adverse weather. This will ensure you are able to safely stop if someone in front of you happens to slam on their brakes.
Always have an escape plan. In the event someone does something abrupt you need a place you can safely move your vehicle without involving yourself in a bad or dangerous situation.
It is a good habit to put your headlights on when you are driving. It is the law to have your lights on when it is inclement weather and at dusk/dawn and dark. But driving with your light always makes you even more likely to be seen by others.
USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL! God works in mysterious ways; you don’t have to. Whenever you are making a turn, changing lanes or otherwise indicating a directional change, use your signals and timing is essential. If you are going 10 mph or below your four-way flashers must be used. Also, if you must pull to the side of the road for any reason, be sure your flashers are on. Warning others of your presence is critical to your safety and the safety of others.
Seek eye contact. If they aren’t looking at you, they aren’t seeing you. Tap your horn and let them know you are there.
Don’t drive distracted!!
Distracted driving is not just texting while driving. It includes talking on the phone, even hands free, can be distracting because your mind is engaged elsewhere. Eating, grooming, talking to passengers, people watching instead of paying attention to the road is dangerous, and can be deadly. Don’t be distracted.
These tips can help you be a safe and courteous driver. Your safety and the safety of others are extremely important. Be a pro! Be Defensive!!