Defensive Driving Rules That Can Help You Stay Safe
Even though it’s a standard part of our routine, driving is an activity that has a lot of risk involved. Potential accidents are everywhere on the road, and you’re not in control of the drivers around you that can possibly cause a problem in the wrong circumstances. However, just because driving is dangerous doesn’t mean that you need to be terrified every time you get on the road, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should stay off the road altogether. Defensive driving is a great way to focus on what you can control in order to prioritize your safety and the safety of your passengers on the road. Traffic laws typically assume that everyone will be doing what’s expected of them, but one of the basic tenements of defensive driving is to assume that everyone around you on the road is going to do the wrong thing, and to be prepared for it. By having this mindset and adjusting your actions accordingly, you can be a lot safer every time you head out for a drive. Here are some defensive driving habits that you can start practicing.
The most responsible thing you can do while driving is to keep your focus. This means obvious things like not looking at your phone or keeping your mind from wandering too far off the road in front of you, but this also means that you need to avoid driving in states that impair your ability to focus, such as being tired or under the influence.
Assume the Worst
One of the main ideas of defensive driving is to avoid relying on other people to do the right or smart thing. It’s important to always be vigilant and watch the people around you on the road. If you assume they’re going to do something wrong, in the event that they do, you’ll be prepared.
Keep Your Cool
Avoid going on the offensive when driving. Anger and road rage can be very difficult to control, but if you drive aggressively, not only will your actions be difficult for other drivers to anticipate, but it can cause a ripple effect and cause other drivers to get angry as well. How many times has someone aggressively cut you off on the road and you’ve gotten mad and started driving erratically in return? If you’re able to keep a cool head and stay on the defensive in this situation, it will be safer for everyone.
When practicing defensive driving, your eyes need to be scanning the road and looking for things that might become dangerous. When you identify these things, plan for how you’re going to avoid them. This could be something as simple as spotting a piece of trash on the road and changing lanes to avoid it, or seeing someone driving aggressively and keeping well back from them in case they do something like changing lanes without checking their blind spot.
With these tips for defensive driving in mind, you should be able to change your driving habits in a way that will help to keep you safer on the road.