Defensive Driving Tips

One of the best ways to stay safe on the road is to practice defensive driving. Basically, this means never assuming that the other drivers on the road are safe. Always be aware and make sure that you are in control of your own destiny. You may be the safest driver out there, but other bad drivers can cause problems for you if you are not acutely aware of them and the many different ways that accidents can happen.

  • Give yourself time to respond. You never know when the car in front of you is going to slow down or slam on the brakes, so always keep a safe distance behind other vehicles.
  • Be alert for bad drivers. Watch out for tailgaters, inconsistent signaling, abrupt turns, swerving and speeding. Keep your distance and get as far away from them as possible.
  • Don’t be an aggressive driver. Don’t yell at or make gestures at other drivers, let other drivers in instead of speeding up to cut them off, don’t tailgate, and don’t accelerate through a yellow light. All of these can lead to altercations with other drivers and other unsafe conditions.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and potentially dangerous situations. Look for cars backing out of parking spots or driveways, slow down in bad weather, and be watchful for bad drivers.
  • Stay focused on driving and avoid distractions. Don’t eat and drink while driving, stay off the phone, don’t play with the radio, and don’t take your eyes off the road.
  • Never make assumptions about other drivers’ intentions.
  • Use your directional signals when you are going to turn, stop or change lanes. And don’t wait too long—signal early.
  • Try not to slam on your brakes; instead, brake smoothly and gradually.
  • Keep pace with the traffic around you. It is important to travel at a safe speed (and the legal speed) but don’t go too slow either!
  • Be aware of the following distance of vehicles behind you.
  • Be on the lookout for animals at dusk and at dawn when they are most active. Do not jeopardize control of your vehicle to avoid hitting an animal.
  • Always adjust your speed for conditions, even if those around you do not. You are responsible for your own safety.

Many insurance companies offer car insurance discounts to customers who take a defensive driving course. Not only will you learn more about how to stay safe on the road, but you will be rewarded for your efforts!

What other defensive driving tips can you offer?

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