Common Sense Involved in Defensive Driving
For years you have heard the phrase “drive defensively,” but beyond assuming that the other driver is the one who will make the mistake, what should a conscientious person do when behind the wheel? Even with the proliferation of safety systems such as rear view cameras and lane departure alerts, nothing can replace fully paying attention to the the task of driving.
Most likely, you already practice at least several of these tips every time you get into the driver’s seat as many are common sense practices. Nevertheless, here is a refresher on what it means to drive defensively.
Never Trust a Turn Signal
It doesn’t matter whether you are driving behind that car that has had the turn signal blinking for the last five minutes or waiting for the green arrow to appear at an intersection, proceed with caution. How many times have you seen the blinker-oblivious driver suddenly change lanes or an oncoming driver ignore a red light when you have a green arrow? For that matter, always try to make a right turn instead of a left turn as statistics show that more accidents occur when someone is turning left.
Watch Your Speed
Even when you’re late, is it really worthy it? Of course not. The faster you go, the more distance your vehicle needs to stop. Research shows that for every mile per hour you drive, the likelihood of being in an accident increases four to five percent. Excessive speed is particularly dangerous on wet roads because slick surfaces add the possibility of skidding and losing control, which can have more serious consequences at high speeds.
Everyone knows about the dangers of driving and texting, but even using your mobile phone through bluetooth will take a portion of your mind off the road. If you absolutely need to take a call, pull off the road. In addition, don’t perform personal grooming and store all loose items before going out on the road. If you must eat, try to do so at stoplights and avoid bringing messy items.
Take Extra Precautions in Bad Weather
Make full use of the tips presented here when driving in bad weather and reduce your speed no matter what. If the weather worsens, wait it out in a safe place. Never drive in bad weather if you don’t know the area.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Nothing more needs to be said.