Seven Tips To Turn You Into A Better Defensive Driver

There are a number of things that go into being a good driver. It doesn’t matter if you are a driver with a great many years of experience or someone just learning the ropes, there are always new lessons that can be learned and new tools that you can use to improve your skills on the road. Aggressive driving is one of the biggest problems on the roads today. When there are collisions on the road, one-car accidents on sharp corners, or near-misses where people narrowly avoid becoming involved in a traffic accident, more often than not it involves one or more parties driving aggressively, if not carelessly. One of the best ways to stay safe on the roads these days is to improve your defensive driving abilities and techniques. Defensive driving is one of the only ways to combat others on the road that drive far too aggressively. Here are seven tips that can make you a better defensive driver.

Large Car Accident

  • Rethink What A Yellow Light Means To You

When a traffic light changes from green to yellow, many people’s first impulse is to quickly accelerate so that they can get through the intersection before the light turns red. While this may indeed be legal, at times it may be more safe to think of a yellow light as a good reason to gently ease up on the gas pedal and then depress the brake. Most traffic accidents happen at intersections and they often involve either cars trying get through after the light has changed to red or cars that have tried to get a rolling start on the light turning green. Making sure you have slowed to a stop by the time the light turns red ensures your safety. Yes, it may slow your trip down, but you’ll be getting there in one piece.

  • When In Doubt, Yield

There are a number of every day driving situations where two cars meet up and one of them has the right-of-way, but neither driver knows which one is truly entitled to proceed first. The best thing to do should you meet up with this situation is yield to the other driver if it is safe to do so. Few accidents ever occur because a driver chooses to yield to someone else on the road. Letting the other guy pull out in front of you, or waving them through ahead of you in the parking lot may mean you get a worse parking spot, but it may also mean that you avoid a fender bender accident.

  • Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

Most traffic accidents don’t happen in the lane right in front of you as you drive, they usually happen when traffic enters or leave the lane you are traveling in. Be alert to cars poised to enter your driving lane from side streets, other lanes, or driveways along the road. These automobiles may contain frustrated drivers who end up making an impulsive decision and pull out in front of you without allowing you enough space to react. Seeing these dangerous drivers ahead of time and being aware of what they might do may provide you with the necessary time to make a much needed adjustment in your driving so as to avoid an accident.

  • Don’t Trust Other Drivers

As you drive down the road, the people around you are not your friends or relatives, do not trust them. When you see a car with a blinker on, don’t assume they will turning any time soon. Many times people seem to drive for miles with a blinker on and never turn off the roadway. Similarly, should the brake lights on the car in front of you suddenly light up, don’t expect that the car is stopping. The driver may be confused and just be tapping the brakes before deciding to drive on. Be aware that this principle can work the other way as well. A driver could either have defective blinkers and brake lights and still be turning or stopping in front of you. Not trusting the information other drivers are giving to you is essential to avoiding their dangerous actions.

  • Drive Well Within Your Space

It stands to reason that the closer two vehicles are to each other, the greater the odds are that they could become involved in a collision. For this reason, it is important that you drive well within your space. When driving down the road, do not hug the inside or outside line as this can place you closer to an oncoming vehicle, or a vehicle that is parked alongside the road. A sudden move like swerving in your direction or the opening of a door is harder to avoid if you are closer to the vehicle doing it. Staying in the center of your lane is a great way to avoid coming in contact with other vehicles.

  • Make Sure You And Your Intentions Can Be Seen Clearly

One of the best ways to make sure that other cars do not accidentally pull out in front of you, or come in contact with you for any reason is to make sure that they can see your car and understand what your intentions are. This can mean driving with your headlights on, even when it is daytime, so that oncoming traffic are sure that you are ahead of them. This can also mean not only using blinkers when turning but possibly using hand signals too so that other vehicles are aware that you are there and that you intend to make a turn with your vehicle. Using your car’s horn is another great resource you have available to let other cars know of your presence. When other cars know your location and know what your driving intentions are, it will be easier for them to avoid you.

  • Remove The Pressure Of Needing To Drive Faster

Many traffic accidents happen because people are driving too fast for road conditions. Maintaining a high speed during night driving, or when there is snow or rain involved, is a recipe for disaster for every driver on the road. To be a better defensive driver, leave the house earlier so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where speeding is needed. Also, when the weather turns bad know that every move you make from braking to turning is negatively affected by moisture on the roadway and that to accomplish most driving tasks safely you will need to travel at a slower rate of speed.

Avoiding accidents and having a safer time while on the road is possible, no matter what your age or driving experience is. Even the most inexperienced drivers can learn tricks and strategies to make them safer while sharing the road with those that drive recklessly, carelessly, or far too aggressively than needed. When it comes down to it, whatever it takes to get through life healthier and financially ahead of the game are well worth learning, and defensive driving is just one of those things that can get that done.

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