Adopting defensive driving techniques is one of the most effective methods of reducing accident risk. Having a constant awareness of other drivers, anticipating what they might do next, and taking evasive action can help keep motorists safe.
Defensive Driving Techniques
1. Wear Seat Belts
Defensive drivers wear their seat belts when they get into a motor vehicle. They also ensure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seat belts. Buckling up reduces injury risk in a crash by 50%.
2. Slow Down, Save Lives
Slowing down for icy, rainy, snowy weather is a great way to stay alive. Motorists should always adjust their driving behaviors to match road conditions.
3. Prepare the Vehicle
Motorists should make sure that their vehicle is in proper working order. Drivers should adhere to regular maintenance schedules. They should not operate motor vehicles with severe damage or defects including worn brakes, faulty electronics, or loose steering.
4. Pay Attention
Road conditions and motorist behavior can change rapidly. Motorists should always remain alert when they are behind the wheel. Further, motorists should anticipate changes to traffic patterns and weather conditions and adjust their driving accordingly. Drivers should avoid distractions while they are driving including cell phones, radio play, dial changing, eating, and drinking.
5. Choose Alternate Routes
Motorists should avoid routes that are bogged down with traffic, under construction, or where accidents have occurred. Altering the route to avoid constricted roadways or bad weather is an effective strategy for avoiding an accident.
6. Avoid Aggressive Driving Behaviors
Drivers should never tailgate, speed, or otherwise act in an aggressive manner towards other motorists. That extra few seconds a driver might gain by driving aggressively simply aren’t worth the risk of serious injury, death, expensive property damage, or at the very least, an expensive traffic citation.
7. Account for Errors
Defensive drivers take the mistakes and bad driving behaviors of other motorists into account and drive accordingly. Driving defensively means watching out for these errors and adjusting speed, direction, etc. to avoid these errors.
Drivers should come to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs. They should never run the light and always look both ways before proceeding into an intersection.