Driving is a defensive play – it is about getting drivers and passengers where they need to be safely. Upon arrival, that’s when the execution of offensive plays in life takes place. Defense has always been the name of the game in transportation – when moving, people are at their most vulnerable. This article will set the stage for three defensive driving tips: slow down, maintain a safe following distance, and eliminate distractions.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is defined as using a number of safe driving techniques to protect oneself from an accident and/or other motorists. Defensive drivers defend themselves and their vehicle against collisions, hazardous road conditions, inconsiderate drivers and other potential hazards. As a defensive driver, the motorist remains cautious and aware of surroundings at all times. Motorists anticipate and take quick action to protect both body and vehicle. Safety is the sole responsibility of defensive driving, not relying on fate and other drivers.
How to Drive Defensively
Drivers can operate vehicles in a defensive manner in a number of ways. Slowing down and driving within speed limits is one way. Speeding is a leading cause of car accidents. Turn corners at speeds that do not warrant a major shift in body weight. Maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front is another defensive driving technique that must be implemented. Be safe and always stay far enough behind the vehicle in front to see the vehicle’s entire bumper.
Eliminating distractions is another. In fact, distractions are the leading cause of car accidents. Distractions include using mobile devices, eating, changing radio stations, playing CDs, sight seeing and/or talking to others in the vehicle while driving. The key to defensive driving is to concentrate and focus on the task at hand. Pay attention to street and traffic lights. Change the CD while keeping eyes on the road. Change the radio station while sitting at a red light. Notice what the car on each side is doing to stay aware of traffic surroundings. Definitely do not text on any smartphone or cell phone while driving. Do this while sitting at a red light or while parked in a safe place. Even if doing it while waiting at a red light, be sure to stop as soon as the light turns green. Do not watch movies while driving.
Defensive driving involves noticing blind spots. Instead of simply relying on side or rear mirrors, turning the head to gain a clear view is needed. Leaving room for turns is another maneuver of a safe driver. Pay attention to what other drivers are doing.
Vehicle Maintenance and Defensive Driving
Proper maintenance plays a crucial role in defensive driving. Inspecting windshields periodically for cracks and chips can protect against the window shattering while driving. Also, it can reduce the likelihood of the window shattering when it is hit by a rock or other piece of debris. Keeping brakes in optimum operational condition protects a driver, other motorists and the vehicle. Replacing windshield wipers periodically will provide a clean viewing area. Maintaining proper air pressure reduces risks of blowouts, steering difficulties and vehicle misalignment.
Defensive driving is something to be proud of. With so many poor drivers on the road, protecting oneself can prolong life, limb and finances.