Driving defensively is one of the most important skills that a driver — whether new or experienced — can learn. There are many people who can claim to be skilled drivers, but they suffer from overconfidence, aggressive driving styles, and are all the worse for it.
After all, when it boils down to it, wouldn't you rather be in a car with a safe driver than an exciting one? Here are some tips to help you become a defensive driver.
Look Out for Hazards
A good defensive driver is capable of looking ahead whilst driving, and anticipating any potential hazards in the road ahead of them. This includes dangerous drivers, potholes, or even children that might come into the road.
Keep Your Distance
To follow this appropriately, it is important to act sensibly when faced with hazards on the road. A huge part of defensive driving is nothing more than keeping your distance. If you see someone who is driving dangerously, the best thing to do is keep your distance to avoid a potentially dangerous accident.
Cut Out Distractions
The main causes of most serious accidents are a direct result of driving under the influence or driving distracted. A good driver does neither (and we don't always admit to ourselves when we are distracted). Put your phone away, and make sure that you have had plenty of sleep before you take to the road.
Check Your Blind Spots
Being aware of blind spots is one of the most important responsibilities that a driver has. Checking yours before you turn is a smart idea, but often it can be dangerous, so it is up to the driver behind to keep out of that area.
Aggressive drivers are dangerous drivers. When someone is driving aggressively, they do not make decisions that are safe for those around them. So if you encounter an aggressive driver on the road, be sure to keep calm and keep your distance.
Take a Course
A good way to hone your driving skills can be to take a defensive driving course, which can be done online relatively easily.
Don't Break the Law
This might go without saying, but even the simple things such as sticking to the speed limit can really make a difference. After all, they are there for a reason.
Keep Up to Date on Repairs
A safe driver drives a safe car. Keep up to date on any necessary repairs, and you will avoid potential problems that can come from a poorly maintained cars.
It kind of goes along with the phrase "defensive driving," but driving passively is the best way to keep out of trouble. Obviously that is not to say that you put yourself in danger or make poor decisions, but it does mean that you should give way when you it is safer to do so.
Avoid Heavy Traffic
If you have a lot of trouble driving safely, avoiding heavy, rush hour traffic may be the best way to keep safe while you improve your driving skills.