What Is Defensive Driving And How To Use It

Defensive driving is not a way to win at bumper cars.
Defensive driving is a very important method to reduce risk and avoid potential accidents while on the road. The key to defensive driving is to be proactive in every way possible, from controlling the car to anticipating reactions. There are many tips, tricks and guidelines that will aide in being a defensive driver.
Almost everyone uses some defensive driving techniques as daily habit.
Like buckling up and checking mirrors, there are other techniques that are equally important that may be overlooked or unknown to drivers. Often times, it is just simply being mindful of the surroundings that will reduce risk of accidents. Keep an eye on nearby cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. Many times, accidents result from drivers who simply did not see ‘it’ coming.
Maintaining a safe and reasonable speed may seem like common sense, but this does not mean to just simply obey the speed limit. Drive at such a speed as to allow plenty of space between your car and the car ahead and behind. This is to allow the needed seconds to stop the car and avoid accidents. Never tailgate. If you are in a hurry it will do no good to ride dangerously close to the car ahead of you. Sudden braking or a sudden turn can result in grievous consequences for the tailgater.

The attitude in which you drive is also a defensive driving technique. Becoming angry or upset at other drivers will only help in making what could be a fatal mistake. High emotions impair judgment, and a fair amount of judgment is required for safe driving. Keep positive and alert.

Being alert is perhaps one of the most important parts of defensive driving. Do not just focus on the first few cars ahead, but on the entire road and intersections. Never drive in other driversÕ blind spots, always avoid distractions, and keep your driving steady and predictable. It will also help to assume that other drivers are at their worst. Keeping this in mind will keep you alert to their movements.

Defensive driving is all about being proactive. The techniques are relatively simple to employ. Keep in mind that you are driving to get somewhere and that somewhere is not usually a hospital bed. Defensive driving reduces the chances of accidents and mishaps and should be used by everyone that ventures onto the road.

Julia Cleanthous