10 Defensive Driving Techniques Every Driver Needs to Know

by Emma Sturgis

in Safety

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Being a good driver means more than just skillfully maneuvering a vehicle. It requires defensive driving strategies to optimize safety on the road. The following are ten defensive driving techniques that can help keep you, your passengers, and other drivers safe on the road.

Be Alert

Avoid getting behind the wheel if you are very tired or sleepy. Struggling to keep your eyes open is a sign you should not be driving. Get some shuteye or wait until you feel more awake before driving.

Don’t Multi-task

Texting, talking to passengers, applying makeup, or trying to read email are dangerous secondary tasks to attempt while driving. Stay focused on the road and don’t be sidetracked by other activities.

Maintain a Safe Following Distance

The general rule of thumb is to maintain about three seconds of time between you and the vehicle ahead passing the same object. For example, if you pass the mailbox ahead within less than three seconds after the card before you does, you are driving too close. In bad weather, the recommended time difference is six seconds.

Respect the Speed Limit

Ignore the temptation to speed up, especially in bad weather or on icy roads. It is easy to lose control on a road when you are driving over the posted limit.

Wear Your Seatbelt

Seatbelts protect car drivers and passengers from most serious injuries or death in an accident. Buckle up whenever you drive to increase your protection and likelihood of surviving a crash.

Be Aware of Other Drivers

While you cannot control other drivers, you can watch what they do and stay away from those who seem to be driving erratically. Distracted and impaired drivers are everywhere, necessitating great caution at all times. A Keyser Law DUI Lawyer says one of the best ways to avoid an alcohol-related accident is to keep an eye out while on the road, watching for erratic driving and pulling over when you suspect another driver is driving while intoxicated.

Don’t Drive Impaired

Drugs or alcohol can slow reaction time and cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. This is extremely dangerous for both the driver and others on the road. If you have had even a couple drinks, wait until you’re completely sober before getting behind the wheel or get a friend to drive you home.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions may include observing pedestrians or surroundings too intently, eating while driving, playing loud music, or anything that takes your attention off the road.

Take The Weather Into Account

In rainy or snowy weather it is a good idea to slow down and drive as recommended for road conditions. In extremely bad weather you may want to pull over and wait for the storm to pass or let a more experienced driver take the wheel.

Don’t Get Overconfident

Overconfidence can lead to carelessness. Driving with one hand, showing off, racing, or other inappropriate behavior behind the wheel can lead to dangerous situations.

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