How to Improve your Defensive Driving Skills? The Ultimate Guide
When it comes to driving, getting behind the wheel can be scary for a lot of people. Driving is a common thing, but it might be the most dangerous thing you do all day. In the United States, car accidents are the fifth leading cause of death, and many accidents happen when you are within five miles of your home. The odds might be different depending on where you live, what kind of car you drive, the weather, and more.
Since you cannot control the actions of other drivers, the best thing you can do to retain complete control over your personal safety is how you operate your vehicle. There are many simple but effective precautions you can utilize to improve your defensive driving skills every day.
Minimize Distractions and Focus On Driving
There are many distractions while driving, from your cell phone to the radio to your passengers. Pay attention to the road and your vehicle at all times and minimize your personal distractions. Drivers in their teens and twenties are the most prone to distractions, and these accidents can be fatal. Driving lessons for teens will increase their safety on the road.
Pay Attention To Other Drivers, And Slow Down
Don’t trust anyone but yourself when you’re driving. Even if someone is using their blinker, you don’t know if they’re actually going to make the turn and whether or not they’re distracted. Especially if they’re speeding or you’re speeding, you don’t know the outcome. The faster you travel the longer it takes to stop, which means the bigger impact when you crash. If you trust your own instincts and don’t trust other drivers, you will drive more defensively.
Use Safety Devices And Buckle Up
If you’re shopping for a new car, find one with a high safety rating and an increased amount of airbags. Invest in proper child restraints and seat belt adjusters, and make sure to always use them. Make sure your kiddos are using the size and age-appropriate booster seats. Most importantly, always make sure you buckle up. Many car fatalities can be prevented by simply wearing your seat belt and wearing it properly. Even if you’re just going down the street to the grocery store, buckle up. A few seconds will save your life.
Yield, Stop And Use Your Blinkers
Err on the side of caution, especially when you’re driving in an unfamiliar area. Even if you believe you have the right of way, if the other motorist disagrees, don’t start a fight. It’s better to let someone else be foolish than get caught up in a collision.
Stop on red, and use your blinkers. Don’t speed through yellow lights and don’t trust others who might not be paying attention to the traffic lights. It’s best to slow down before each intersection, especially if it’s a stop sign intersection or one in a neighborhood where people regularly drift through. Use your blinkers, especially when you’re making lane changes or signaling that you are getting off the road. Failing to signal is a huge part of many accidents and can invalidate insurance claims.
Keep A Buffer Up, And Let Go
Road rage isn’t something to shrug off. You don’t know who is behind the wheel of that other car, and you can never know another person’s state of mind. Road rage has led to murders in every state in America, and “getting even” because someone cut you off is never worth it. You could be dealing with a drunk driver or someone else who is under the influence.
It’s important to always keep a buffer between yourself and other drivers, especially if you are worried about their physical or mental state. Tailgating leads to rear-end collisions, which you will almost always be at fault over. Allow two seconds of lead time in good weather and twice that in bad.
Pay Attention To Blind Spots And Adjust For Rain
The rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the driver, they can’t see you either. This goes double if you’re driving a big truck or an extra-wide or long vehicle. When it comes to Inclement weather conditions, give yourself extra space and don’t trust cruise control. If your brakes are a little splashy or you’re driving an unfamiliar vehicle, take it slow. Your EBC brakes will serve you well for the entire life of your vehicle despite the dangerous Canada roads.
Don’t Drive Drunk or High
This shouldn’t have to be said, but never drive while under the influence of any substances. It drastically decreases your reaction time and impairs both your decision-making skills and ability to drive. Your body on average can only metabolize one drink per hour, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about going out to the bar.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Everything from checking your headlights to inflating your tires to maintaining regular oil changes and fluid checks can save you from surprise breakdowns and incidents on the road. If your car becomes disabled on a busy freeway, it’s dangerous even if you can pull over to the side of the road. Remember to always use your turn signals and try to keep a comfortable distance away from traffic until you can get help.
Maintaining your vehicle is an important part of defensive driving because it increases the ability of your vehicle to operate in optimal condition. If something is wrong with your car and you don’t know about it, it can be the difference in a terrible accident.
Keep A Good Pace And Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Any sudden increase or decrease in speed, unexpected lane changes, or unexpected stops make it difficult for all drivers to anticipate the actions of others, as this can cause “phantom traffic” or other issues on the road. You want to make yourself as predictable and safe as possible, and the best way to do this is to keep your eyes far down the road and anticipate things long before they happen.
These tips, if followed, will certainly increase your ability to be a safe and defensive driver. Regular maintenance and upkeep will improve your chances on the road, and when it comes to defensive driving every little thing matters. If there are any auto parts on your vehicle that you are particularly worried about, get them taken care of sooner rather than later.
About the Author:
Kathryn Fowler is the Marketing Manager at PartsAvatar. She’s been passionate about cars since childhood. She loves examining different components of cars to understand their operation. Kathryn started writing blogs on automobile parts to share her love for cars and educate automobile enthusiasts worldw