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Defensive Driving Techniques: What you need to know

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It’s easy to explain what defensive driving means. But to put it in practice, well, that is a different matter! Read on to know more.

Defensive driving is a style that uses safe driving techniques and strategies to avoid accidents and other problems on the road. Benefits to driving defensively include getting better gas mileage and putting less stress on your car.

But being a good driver is not easy. Even if you’ve been driving for a long time, you might not be sure if you’re a good driver. It is even harder to be a defensive driver!

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What to know about Defensive Driving

To drive defensively, you need to know that other drivers can make mistakes or drive aggressively, which can cause accidents. Therefore, you must be ready to deal with other drivers’ mistakes to avoid these accidents. Even if you have the green light at an intersection, you can’t take your eyes off the other cars and expect them to stop when their red light comes on.

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Also, you can’t assume that pedestrians looking at their phones will see you coming and stopping if you are driving through an intersection where they are.

When pedestrians or other drivers look at their phones, they can’t scan, find, and avoid potential dangers. So, in the end, to protect yourself from bad drivers, you must be careful and commit to driving defensively.

Defensive Driving Elements

The most important parts of defensive driving in any state or city are:

  • Space:¬†Leave enough room between your car and the car in front of you. This will give you time to react and lower your chances of getting hurt if a car hits you from the front or the side.
  • Visibility:¬†Keep an eye on your mirrors when you change lanes to ensure no one is in your blind spot. You should also avoid driving in the blind spots of other cars, so they don’t hit you.
  • Communication:¬†Always use your turn signals to let other drivers know when you want to merge or switch lanes. Also, please pay attention to other drivers’ signals and let them safely turn, change lanes, or merge.

Techniques of Defensive Driving

A key part of defensive driving is being aware and taking action. A defensive driver should always watch the other drivers’ actions to avoid an accident.¬†You will have time to react and avoid crashes if you look 10 seconds ahead and try to guess what might happen.

The gut feeling is good, but how good?

When you are driving, you are never completely alone, and the actions of other drivers can affect you. Still, the biggest mistake most drivers make is thinking that other drivers will be as careful on the road as they are.

For example, just because the car in front of you is pointing to the right doesn’t mean it will turn right. Please do not assume that the car is turning unless you see it happening. Also, drivers don’t always know if their turn signals are on or off.

So, you can lower the chance of a crash by assuming that other people will make mistakes while you stay alert enough to react properly. Your safety is your responsibility; the less you assume, the safer you will be. Therefore, it is the most important part of driving defensively.

A key part of defensive driving is being aware and taking action. A defensive driver should always watch the other drivers' actions to avoid an accident. 

Pull over if you feel overwhelmed

If the person behind you gets angry on the road or does something dangerous, pull over and let them pass. Don’t put yourself in anything dangerous.¬†

You can’t do anything about other drivers’ actions, but you can drive safely. Don’t get into dangerous driving habits like passing on the right or following too close.¬†

Accidents are more likely to happen when drivers are so careless. When you drive safely, your chances of getting into an accident go down or away.

Say NO to drinking and driving

Even an over-the-counter flu medicine can make you less able to think and act quickly. So, it would be best if you were honest about your health before you decide to drive.

The average body can only digest one drink per hour, which is about 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. So don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had too much to drink.

Keep a safe distance from other cars

To avoid a crash, you need a lot of space to move in dangerous situations. Keeping a safe distance from other cars is the best way to do this.

This will also give you enough room to stop if the driver in front of you suddenly puts on their brakes. Leave at least three seconds between you and the car in front of you for the best driving conditions. Of course, when the weather is bad, that distance should be made longer.

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Importance of Defensive Driving

You could sign up for a certified defensive driving course to learn more about how to drive safely. The course may differ from state to state because it is based on the traffic laws in that state, but taking defensive driving classes will help you a lot as a driver. You will be more aware of the risks that come with driving.

The National Safety Council (NSC) has taught more than 75 million drivers in all 50 states and around the world how to drive safely.

Insurance rates can go down if you know how to drive safely. In addition, some points on a driver’s license can be taken off by defensive driving classes. And many states give drivers an incentive to take defensive driving classes by offering to lower insurance rates by up to 10% if they do.

Defensive driving strategies also save fleets money by reducing the number and severity of accidents. In addition, this saves fleets from having to pay for claims that could have been avoided, which lowers insurance rates.

Affordable car insurance via Way.com

Did you know that shopping around with the Way.com app can help you save even more on insurance than a possible discount for defensive driving?

Way.com is a licensed insurance broker that can get quotes from more than 130 of the best insurers in just a few minutes. In addition, Way.com can help you buy new insurance and cancel your old policy after you find a great rate. 

On average, users save $971 per year.

Defensive Driving

Final Thoughts

Safer to be safe than sorry! One way to ensure drivers’ safety is to teach them how to drive defensively. They will become habits if you start using the tips above every day. Then, when defensive driving is second nature to you, you will be a safe driver.

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