Defensive driving is one of the most important skills you can have on the road. The idea of defensive driving is that you take all precautions possible to keep yourself and others safer. It also takes into account not relying on other drivers to always make the best moves. There are several important aspects to good defensive driving. Following the law and posted signs is very important. It’s also important to drive without distractions at all times. You’ll be safer if you follow the 3-4 second rule to leave plenty of stopping distance. And finally, expect the unexpected. Drivers around you might not be as alert as you are, so you need to always be ready to react. By mastering the skill of defensive driving you’ll make yourself much safer on the road.
The Basics of Defensive Driving: Getting Back to the Fundamentals
Follow the Law
The first aspect of defensive driving is to follow the law. This means following all posted signs for speeds, yields, merges, school crossings, and more. It’s also important that you are aware of correct road rules, like how to handle different types of intersections. While you’re driving, you should always be keeping an eye on the signs on the side of the road.
Another important part of defensive driving is driving without distractions. It is against the law to text while driving, but in many states, it’s also illegal to make phone calls. You should also avoid other distractions like trying to eat while driving, listening to distracting music, or riding with passengers who try to distract you. If you have trouble not reaching for your phone, put it in the glove box or somewhere out of reach until you get to your destination.
Follow the 3-4 Second Rule
A good rule of thumb for tackling defensive driving is to make sure that you always leave plenty of stopping distance between you and the driver in front of you. One way to make sure that you’re doing this is to follow the 3-4 second rule. This means that you pick an object on the side of the road and start counting when the car in front of you passes it. You shouldn’t pass it until 3-4 seconds after they do. This is on a normal road though. On higher speed roads like highways or in bad driving conditions you should leave much more space.
Expect the Unexpected
The last and probably most important aspect of defensive driving is to always expect the unexpected. You cannot count on other drivers always making the best decisions. Part of being a good driver yourself is to be alert for the mistakes of others on the road. You should always be focused and alert while driving and prepared to make quick decisions to react to other drivers.
Defensive driving is a technique that will make you a much safer driver on the road. Defensive driving is taught in driver’s ed but we often forget many of the rules as we get older and the newness of driving wears off. But it’s important to refresh yourself on these important safety tips frequently. Always follow the rules of the road at any given time. Make sure that you never allow distractions while you are driving, like texting or eating something messy. Follow the 3-4 second rule for a safe following distance to the car in front of you. And finally, always expect the unexpected and be prepared to react to the decisions of other drivers on the road around you. Hopefully, by following these tips, you’ll be better able to avoid collisions and be a safer driver on the road both for yourself and other drivers around you.