Defensive Driving Tips

by : Mike Pontic

Defensive driving is your ability to foresee a combination of circumstances, including the errors of other drivers, specifically during bad driving conditions.

You may be a first-rate driver and a whiz at road rules, but there's nothing like an ultimate knowledge of defensive driving to lessen hazards of the road.

There are some very important defensive driving skills:

Let other people know of your maneuvers in advance

Unforeseen stops, turns and lane changes often lead to car accidents because they trap other people by surprise. Consequently one of the main rules of defensive driving is to distinctly communicate to other people precisely what you are about to do. For this reason, it is critical that signal indicators and other driving lights are working. If they are not, check them right away. Otherwise, forget defensive driving.

Try to foresee the worst

It may look distrustful and it's not the best regulation to follow but, in defensive driving, it pays to forestall the errors of other drivers on the road. For instance, many people routinely signalize a turn but don't turn at all. Meanwhile, others don't signalize at all and then unexpectedly turn. Many people give little or no attention to stop signals or attempt to run red traffic lights.

Being predictable prevents car accidents

Having all your indicators in good working order is great, but they will not help if you can't be predictable. Defensive driving is closely associated with being predictable - you do what you are expected to do. If you are signaling a left turn, then turn left. Do not signalize that you are going left then without warning turn right. And, by no means, don't keep signaling a left or right turn then just going straight ahead. In defensive driving, one certainly not makes a move that confuses other drivers. Wonders are great, but certainly not when you are driving.

You should know where you want to go

The first regulation of defensive driving is know where you want to go. There's nothing quite as hazardous as making an unlooked-for stop or turn, which is something that people do when they are not sure about where they are headed. Ditto for driving not very fast then without warning zooming rapidly. If you are not sure where you want to go, probably you're confusing other people on the street as well. If you do not know the way, stop your car and regain your bearings. Check a map or maybe even ask people for directions. The worst thing you can do is ride about aimlessly. That is like looking for problems.

Make signaling your usual practice

One of the best defensive driving practical methods is to signalize each time you make maneuvers or change traffic lanes. In such way, you never trap other people by surprise. Make signaling a usual practice. Even if the road appears to be abandoned and there appear to be no other cars around, signaling your intention is without exception a good defensive driving practice.

Warn others as you stop or slow down

When making a stop or slowing down, it's an excellent defensive driving technique to inform others in advance of your intent. This is specifically essential if the driver behind you is driving fast and approaching quickly.