Defensive Driving – Rights and Wrongs
A horrible statistic is that 50,000 people die just in the U.S. from traffic accidents. If you have good defensive driving techniques you are prepared for any situation. Everyone who drives should take a safe driving course or defensive driving classes. A good defensive driver will always assume the worst situation and then prepares themselves to deal with it. Keep you and your passengers safe. Here are some rights and wrongs in defensive driving:
Right- Pay Attention
Most car accidents happen within five miles of the driver’s home. Apparently, this is because the driver is comfortable with their surroundings. The driver knows their neighbourhood and feels that they don’t have to be careful. Then of course there are other dangers like sleep deprivation, fatigue, daydreaming, cell phones, radios, highway hypnosis, talking, kids, pets and other distractions.
Right- Never Trust Other Drivers
You have to pay attention when you are driving. Just because you are paying attention doesn’t mean the others drivers on sharing the road with you doing the same thing. Make sure you occasionally check over other vehicles on the road and check to make sure they are a good distance away from your vehicle.
Right- Always Yield the Right of Way
It is easier to be the vehicle that yields the right of way. It doesn’t matter whose right it really is, but the law matters and that is defensive driving. If you yield every time then you don’t have to count on other dricers to understand the right away laws.
Right-Make sure all passengers are buckled up
Right- Assume someone will run the red light while he/she is waiting at an intersection
Wrong- Never turn your wheels while waiting to turn left at an intersection
If you are hit from behind while your wheels are turned you will be pushed into oncoming traffic.
Wrong- Never try to race other cars during a merge
Wrong- Talking on your cell phone.
Wrong- Never leave valuables in the car
You should always watch the road ahead and be prepared for any future events in defensive driving. Also, drivers need to be aware of indicators and brake lights of every vehicle they face. Drivers should always scan the road for bikes, motorcycles, pedestrians, potholes and animals. Always wear your seat belt. It is the best thing you can do to protect yourself in case something happens. There are still some people who don’t buckle up even though the rates of use have gone up and there is more defensive driving education. One big factor involved in driving is not to lose your cool! Try to remain calm, take a deep breath and in all situations be polite. Make sure you have a routine maintenance on your vehicle and that you keep a spare tire and jack in the trunk. Of course we all know not to drink and drive, even though some people still do it. Never get in a car with anyone who has been drinking or doing drugs! Make sure you don’t play your car stereo so loud that you can’t hear train signals or emergency sirens. Finally, never use your car like a toy and engage in street racing or any other dangerous games.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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