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What Is Defensive Driving?

by Elaine SmithApril 23, 2023

Every time you get behind the wheel, you're taking a risk. No matter how careful you are, accidents can and do happen. What if there was a way to minimize those risks? 

That's where defensive driving comes in. Following simple principles and techniques can dramatically reduce your chances of being involved in an accident.

What is Defensive Driving?

At its core, defensive driving is all about being proactive. Rather than simply reacting to what's happening on the road, defensive drivers anticipate potential hazards and take steps to avoid them. This means paying close attention to your surroundings, being aware of other drivers, and taking steps to maintain control of your vehicle at all times.

Why is Defensive Driving Important?

There are several reasons why defensive driving is so important. Here are just a few:

It can save lives.

Defensive driving techniques are designed to reduce the likelihood of accidents and minimize their impact if they do occur. Following these principles can help keep yourself and others safe on the road.

It can save you money.

Accidents can be expensive. Avoiding them can reduce your risk of costly repairs, insurance premiums, and legal fees.

It can help you avoid traffic tickets.

Many traffic violations are the result of simple mistakes or lapses in judgment. Practicing defensive driving can reduce your risk of getting pulled over and ticketed.

Tips for Defensive Driving

Ready to become a more defensive driver? Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Stay alert: Always be aware of your surroundings and focus on the road ahead. Avoid distractions like cell phones, music, or conversations with passengers that could distract your attention from driving.

  2. Keep a safe following distance: When driving behind another vehicle, maintain a safe distance to give yourself enough time to react if the driver in front of you suddenly brakes or swerves.

  3. Signal your intentions: Use your turn signals and other indicators to communicate your intentions to other drivers. This can help avoid confusion and prevent accidents.

  4. Scan the road ahead: Look for potential hazards like potholes, debris, or other obstacles that could cause problems. Also, look for other drivers who may be driving erratically or making sudden movements.

  5. Adjust your speed: Always drive safely and appropriately for the conditions. This means slowing down in bad weather, construction zones, or other areas with limited visibility.

  6. Stay calm: Remember to stay calm and focused behind the wheel. Getting angry or frustrated with other drivers can distract you from the task and increase your risk of an accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  How can I become a more defensive driver?

There are several things you can do to become a more defensive driver. Some tips include staying alert, maintaining a safe following distance, signaling your intentions, scanning the road ahead, adjusting your speed, and staying calm behind the wheel.

  1. What are some common mistakes that lead to accidents?

Common mistakes that can lead to accidents include distracted driving, aggressive driving, speeding, failing to signal, following too closely, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  1. How can defensive driving help me save money on my car insurance?

By practicing defensive driving techniques and avoiding accidents, you can demonstrate to your insurance company that you are a responsible driver. This can lead to lower premiums and other discounts.

Defensive driving is essential for anyone who wants to stay safe. Following a few simple principles and techniques can dramatically reduce your risk of accidents and keep yourself and others out of harm's way. Remember to stay alert, maintain a safe following distance, signal your intentions, scan the road ahead, adjust your speed, and stay calm behind the wheel.

With practice and patience, anyone can become a more defensive driver. So why not start today? By taking the time to learn about defensive driving and putting its principles into practice, you can make the roads a safer place for everyone. 

To learn more about car maintenance mistakes to avoid, read through our resources at Keep Driving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Managing Editor Before joining Keep Driving, Elaine was an editor for an international internet technology consulting firm. She shows tremendous interest in writing about future technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learnings.
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