3 Keys to Driving Defensively

It is truly staggering to view the statistics on automobile accidents every year. Even if one is lucky enough to escape that fate, one still has to contend with huge expenses from the accident, such as a raised car insurance premium. A great way to avoid accidents and keep the roads safer is to become adept at defensive driving. Here are some key defensive driving strategies.

Staying Alert

According to Markel, an important part of defensive driving is staying alert. Keeping your hands on the proper wheel positions, putting your phone away, leaving your radio knobs alone, and being totally aware of the roads upon which you are driving are all vital steps to take. You also want to never, ever drive if you have been drinking, are on medication, or are sleepy or drowsy. Even a quick trip down the street can result in disaster if you’re not alert. Being alert allows you to brake, steer and avoid danger properly, to prevent accidents. Because the number one thing of which you need to be aware of the road is other drivers.

Visual Search

You have three mirrors on your automobile for a reason. You want to search for all the blind spots, especially in traffic. Not only do you need to be aware of traffic if you’re switching lanes, but other drivers may not be aware of you. So being able to view your entire surrounding area is a must. Blind spots can develop in all sorts of situations. Just because you checked at the last exit doesn’t mean you don’t have blind spots again a mile down the road. According to L3Harris, mirror adjustment, awareness of and checking blind spots, head and eye movement, and an effective scanning pattern are all components of visual search. These are crucial steps in maintaining control and driving defensively.

Know Your Plan

What do you do if you hit a patch of ice, or someone brakes quickly in front of you, or someone veers into your lane? According to Brenner Children’s Hospital, part of driving defensively is training yourself to react well in these moments when it’s another driver or an outside situation that causes havoc. For instance, if you run over ice, tapping on your brakes and adjusting your steering constantly, rather than slamming on them and banking to a side, is how you avoid spinning out of control. You should train yourself to react properly when you have to take immediate evasive actions.

Though it may be tempting to be aggressive while on the road, it’s best to drive defensively. Defensive driving might not only save your life, but it’s also going to help you avoid accidents and help you keep your automobile insurance costs down. If you don’t know how to drive defensively, use these tips and practice your methods.


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