How to Be a Defensive Driver
Are you looking to improve your driving skills yet struggling to know how to be a more defensive driver?
When driving in high-stress situations, it is important to be as safe as you possibly can be. This is why experts recommend being a defensive driver. The problem is that many people don’t know how to drive defensively.
Thankfully, there are several techniques you can start using in order to learn how to be a defensive driver. Read on, and we’ll tell you what you need to know.
Eliminate Distractions So You Can Be a Defensive Driver
Did you know that distracted drivers cause almost all the accidents that happen on the highway? With all of the temptations that compete for your attention on a daily basis, it can make sense why it is so easy to be distracted. Because there are so many dangers to watch out for on the road, it also makes sense why distracted drivers cause so many accidents.
One of the likely distractions you’ll have while you are on the road is your smartphone. Even though in most states, it is illegal to use smartphones while driving, this doesn’t stop people from tapping away at their notifications while cruising down the road.
The statistics are alarming. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), as many as 80 percent of people subscribed to wireless services in the U.S. use their cell phones while they’re driving. Turning your cell phone on airplane mode is one of the most important ways to eliminate distractions while you’re driving.
Another thing you can do to help eliminate distractions is let other passengers know that you don’t want to be distracted while driving in tense situations. If you’re traveling with family, consider requesting your significant other to watch the children while you’re driving. Also, consider asking somebody who is not driving to handle things like navigation and choosing music.
Don’t Put Your Trust in Other Drivers
Just because the driver in front of you seems to know what they are doing on the road, it’s best not to assume that they do.
For example, it’s common for inexperienced drivers to forget to use their turn signals. This can be problematic because it can be difficult to anticipate when they are going to make a turn. Consequently, it isn’t a good idea to tailgate other drivers because you will have less time to respond. It’s especially dangerous if they turn in front of you without signaling. Tailgating greatly increases the possibility of having an accident.
There can also be situations where it’s difficult to put your trust in a driver who has their turn signal on. This often happens in situations when you are leaving a parking lot or turning onto a sidestreet and entering a busy road. If you look to the left and see an oncoming car with its turn signal on, it’s easy to assume that the driver will make a turn before they reach you. However, it’s possible that this oncoming driver simply forgot to turn their signal off and will continue to drive straight. They might not be planning to make a turn. If you turn in front of them, it’s possible that you could have an accident.
Be Careful with Traffic Signals
One of the challenges that you might experience when you are trying to be a safe driver is other aggressive drivers who aren’t following the rules of the road. Sometimes when you’re traveling down the freeway, almost everybody on the road is going faster than the speed limit.
However, just because others are breaking the speed limit law doesn’t mean that you should. Those with experience with driver safety also know that it’s not a good idea to block traffic in your lane when cars behind you want to go faster.
If you’re going the speed limit and notice a line of cars behind you that want to pass you, the best thing to do is move your car into a lane on the right. The reason for this is that the right lane is usually the slower lane. By moving out of the way of cars that want to drive faster, you’re making it less likely that you’ll get into a car accident.
Value Safety Instead of Speed
Being a safe driver does not come down to a single action. Instead, it comes down to creating a certain mindset. One of the most common defensive driving tips is to take an online defensive driving course.
Even if you’ve had your driver’s license for many years, it can be helpful to take a defensive driving course because it will contain more in-depth information.
You might have realized from experience that there are always unexpected delays when you’re on the road. Maybe it’s because there is an accident on the road. Perhaps there is a traffic jam or a detour that you didn’t know about.
To prepare for unexpected delays you can develop a habit of giving yourself more time than you need to drive to your destination. It’s best to build in a time buffer of a few extra minutes for each trip you take. When you do this, you’re less likely to find yourself in a position of wanting to “make up lost time” by driving faster than you should.
You Have the Control to Become a More Defensive Driver
To become a more defensive driver it’s best to follow the basic guidelines previously discussed. Most importantly, don’t make assumptions about other drivers, and remember to plan for delays so you don’t feel the need to drive faster.
If you want to find out more about what it takes to be a defensive driver, don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team at Alpha Accident Lawyers to learn more.