You know those action movies where the really strong guy is jumping from building to building, karate chopping bad guys? That could be you! Well, kind of. You may not be able to defend yourself like in the movies, but you can defend yourself on the road. Defensive driving is a technique in which you drive safely and in a way to avoid an accident. You can’t control the way other people drive, but defensive driving is a great way to protect yourself against accidents. Here our top 5 tips for defensive driving:
- Stay focused - Think back to Driver’s Ed: “Keep your eyes on the road!” But really, make sure you’re looking straight ahead, free from any distractions. Keep the music to a reasonable volume, keep your attention on the road, and never ever text and drive. This way, if another driver does something unexpected, you can react quickly.
- Maintain a safe following distance - You should stay at least 3 to 4 seconds braking time behind the car in front of you. This means that when the car in front of you passes a landmark, such as a mailbox or a tree, you should pass that same landmark about 3-4 seconds after. By the way, you’re not at a football game, you don’t need to tailgate!
- Pay Attention to your speed - The road isn’t a great place to practice your NASCAR dreams. The faster you drive, the more difficult it is to stop. Stay within the posted speed limit.
- Have an Escape Route - Don’t get boxed in! Make sure there’s always enough room on at least one side of your car that allows you to move your vehicle out of the way if need be.
- Adjust to your Driving Situation - You wouldn’t navigate city streets the same way you cruise down an open road in the country, would you? That’s actually a defensive driving technique. You should adjust your speed to the weather conditions, type of road and the amount of other drivers on the road. Use your good judgement!