Defensive Driving Tips:
Stay Safe on te Road & Save with Car Insurance Discounts
It’s easy to jump in the car and hit the road without thinking too much about it, but driving is a big responsibility and a lack of attention can get you into trouble. You should always practice defensive driving when you’re on the road. To drive defensively, you should anticipate the behavior of other drivers and pedestrians around you. In other words, you should always think two steps ahead. Because defensive driving is the key to avoiding accidents.
Here are some fundamental defensive driving techniques.
1. Check your ego at the door.
One of the biggest barriers to defensive driving is that many, if not most, drivers think they are good drivers and everyone else makes mistakes. No one is invincible, so drive with caution.
2. Continually scan the road.
Rather than just looking straight ahead, scan the sides of the road too. If you’re driving on city streets, take notice of parked cars and pedestrians. If you’re traveling on rural roads, watch for animals that may dart in front of you.
3. Leave a two-second gap.
Tailgating may be the easiest way to have an accident. To make sure you have enough room to safely stop, pick a landmark on the side of the road and adjust your speed to arrive at that landmark two seconds after the car ahead of you passes it.
4. Keep your eyes on the road.
Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving. If you have passengers in the car, look ahead rather than at them when conversing.
5. Look both ways at an intersection before proceeding, even when the light turns green.
It’s not uncommon for drivers to try to beat a yellow light - some will even push through just as it turns red. That’s why it’s smart to look both ways before you start driving.
6. When waiting to make a left-hand turn, keep your wheels pointed straight ahead.
This little-known defensive driving tip can help protect you in an accident. If your wheels are pointed forward and you get bumped from behind, you’ll just move forward. But, if your wheels are turned to the left, you could be pushed into oncoming traffic.
7. Adapt to weather conditions.
Almost all driving rules change when the weather turns bad. Reduce your speed, turn off music, eliminate conversation and focus on driving. It pays to be extra vigilant when driving in hazardous conditions.
8. Make sure all passengers wear a seat belt.
While seat belt laws vary state to state, it’s safest to wear them all the time.
9. Use your turn signals.
You never know what other drivers around you may do, so at least let them know where you plan to go. This simple defensive driving technique may help prevent reckless drivers from swerving into you as they try to make quick maneuvers.
10. Move over for drivers traveling faster than you.
If you notice an aggressive driver approaching you, move safely out of his or her way. Don’t try to teach him a lesson by refusing to move; you’ll only put yourself in danger.
More benefits of defensive driving.
Defensive driving not only helps you stay safe, but can also help you get a better rate on your car insurance. When you contact insurance companies for auto insurance quotes, they’ll usually ask about your driving history. If you have an error-free driving record, you could receive a car insurance discount. Even if you don’t, you could get a discount for enrolling in a defensive driving course.