What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving can drastically reduce your chances of being in a car accident. These tips are not just for new drivers – everyone on the road can save lives by driving defensively. Defensive driving habits can even lower your monthly insurance premiums.
Here are six tips to help you be a better defensive driver.
1. Avoid Distractions
It takes approximately 4 seconds to send or receive a text. However, if you take your eyes off the road for four seconds, it’s comparable to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Besides texting and driving, avoid doing your makeup, eating, talking on the phone, changing, or watching Netflix while driving. Distracted driving causes 96% of accidents. Instead, focus on the road, and most accidents can be avoided.
2. Do not Speed
Speed limits are set from extensive research on what is safe and most efficient for average road conditions in the area. And while a lot of cars on the road do speed five to ten miles per hour over the speed limit, don’t be one of them. Additionally, during bad weather conditions, defensive drivers slow down a few miles per hour to be cautious.
3. Wear a Seat Belt
Defensive drivers always wear a seat belt because they recognize that it can save their life. In fact, wearing a seat belt can reduce your risk of death by 45%! You and everyone in your car should buckle up to protect yourselves and minimize the risk of death and severe injury.
4. Keep The Twp-Second Rule
The two-second rule is that one should stay one vehicle length away from the car in front of them for every 5 MPH. It’s a better idea to use seconds to gauge this distance instead of feet or car lengths since vehicle sizes vary broadly. Additionally, it’s not easy for many drivers to accurately estimate distances. In case of an accident, if you hit someone from behind, you can be considered at fault. So, when following another car always err on the side of caution.
When counting seconds, pick a landmark like a pole or light. As the vehicle in front of you passes it, start counting. Stop counting when you pass the same landmark. As mentioned, the rule of thumb is to leave two seconds or more of space between the car in front of you.
5. Remain Calm
Aggressive driving leads to more accidents than driving while keeping your cool. While it’s very intuitive, it’s easy to forget when you’re actually on the road facing a difficult situation. When you get angry, it can lead to making poor decisions.
Don’t try to bait the other driver or get drawn into driving games. However, you can take down a license plate number and refer them to highway patrol for negligent behavior.
6. Maintain your Vehicle
Finally, defensive drivers keep their vehicle in safe running condition. Maintain your vehicle’s breaks, signals, and lights to keep you and other drivers safe. A lot of car shops will offer free road safety checks to evaluate your tires, brakes, and headlights.
Using these six tips to drive defensively can reduce the chances of getting in a car accident and can even save lives. However, if you still get in an accident you should find a car crash attorney.