How to Become a Defensive Driver

We’ve all heard the importance of being a defensive driver. Defensive drivers anticipate others’ behavior on the road and “expect the unexpected.” As a result, the main benefit of this style of driving is reduced collisions. 

We wanted to provide you with several defensive driving habits you can implement (if you aren’t already!).

  1. Drive in a predictable way. Driving predictably helps others accurately guess what you’re doing to do next on the road. Two ways you can do this are making sure to always use your turn signals and avoiding erratic speed changes. 
  2. Watch your speed. Speeding gives you less control of your vehicle and less time to make quick maneuvers, should they become necessary. 
  3. Give a good 3-seconds buffer. Make sure a good 3-seconds separates you from the vehicle ahead. Allow even more time in difficult conditions, such as low visibility or ice. 
  4. Keep your emotions in check. Road rage is real – and you never know who’s behind the wheel of the other car. If you spot an angry driver, do not make eye contact or engage. Instead, slow your speed and give them room to pass. You may well be in the right – but your goal should be to avoid a collision. 
  5. Look as far down the road as you can. While it’s important to maintain awareness of the cars immediately around you, be alert to hazards that may be coming down the road. For instance, if you notice cars swerving into the shoulder up ahead, you might slow your speed. Perhaps there’s an accident or debris in the roadway. 
  6. Anticipate hazards before you see them. Remember that in addition to other cars, pedestrians and cyclists can appear at any minute – and their behavior may not always be predictable. 
  7. Don’t drive distracted. Remember, an aware driver is a defensive driver. There are many important things to focus on when driving – your phone isn’t one of them. 

We hope that this post has given you a few practical ideas of how you can improve your driving right now. 

Remember, our Tacoma car accident attorneys are here if you would like to discuss a recent collision. 

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Angela Russell
Articles: 28

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