Our driving ability varies though our life. When we are a new driver, we are less experienced and sometimes react strongly to unexpected situations. The same thing can happen as we get older and have slower reflexes. Whether you’ve been driving a short time or many years, it is important to always drive defensively. Often other drivers or pedestrians do stupid things, and it is up to everyone to accommodate this possibility. Following are several tips for driving defensively.
Tips For Being A Safer Driver
First, try to have a cushion on space around your car at all times. Allow enough space in front of you – usually two to three car lengths is good. One way to judge this space is by watching as the car in front of you passing some stable object like a light pole, then count until your car reaches the same object (One, one thousand, two, one thousand,…). Along the same lines, if someone is following you two closely, let them pass you so that they can go on their way more quickly and not be tailgating your car. Also, if someone is starting to back out of a parking space, wait for them to back up – don’t try to quickly go past them while they pull out – you may startle them.
A tip for defensive driving that is very important – As you drive, use your turn signals whenever you will be turning or changing lanes. And when others are wanting to merge into your lane, let them – even if they aren’t using their signals. It is more important to be safe than to be right!
An important defensive driving safety tip is to always leave yourself an “out.” That means to have a plan in mind for if something happens. For example, if a big truck is starting to pass you on the left, arrange yourself so that there is space on the right you can move into if the truck starts to move back into your lane before he is clearly past your car.
Be sure pedestrians are completely out of street before you drive through a crosswalk. Not only is that the law, but it is the only way to guarantee you won’t hit a person as you turn. This defensive driving tip can save a life.
Defensive Driving Tip
As you drive, scan the road ahead for potential dangers. Is there a child playing with a ball in their front yard? What if the ball goes into the road? If there is a dog loose, will it run into the street? You might want to cover your brake in case one of these types of things happens so you can slow quickly.
Don’t be afraid to use your horn appropriately – to alert others to dangerous situations. (But please don’t use your horn inappropriately!) Are there brake lights on the cars ahead, and everyone is suddenly slowing? There must be a hazard and you will slow, too. Be prepared. Take road conditions into consideration – and drive defensively. Use the tips for defensively driving and be safe.