Do you know how to drive defensively?
While we’d all like to think that we are safe, responsible drivers, there is often some room for improvement. Defensive driving is the name given to a proactive style of driving that is geared more towards anticipation of potential hazards. Below is a brief run-down of areas of defensive driving that you might not have considered.
Knowing what your vehicle can and can’t do
Understanding the limitations of your vehicle is a crucial aspect of driving defensively. Conversely, knowing your vehicle’s capabilities, as well as how to use them correctly, could also be a lifesaver, one day. Would you know what to do if your brakes suddenly failed?
Road surface hazards
Road surface issues can pose a significant hazard to drivers and there can be many out there. Obviously, the weather plays a large part, but in those situations, you know what to expect. You can see when it’s icy, raining or has been snowing, but what about the things you can’t see. Oil slicks, poor re-surfacing work and debris on the road can creep up unexpectedly. Defensive driving teaches you how to think quickly and minimize the chance of losing control of the car, should one of these hazards occur.
Obvious distractions like cell phones, eating, drinking and smoking, are the ones we all know about, but have you considered any of the less obvious ones? You may think that listening to music loudly while driving has no effect on your ability, but it might not be the case. What about the phone calls you have on your hands-free kit. It may be the law-abiding way to talk on your phone and drive at the same time, but some of us aren’t as good at multitasking as we think we are.
Maintaining your vehicle
It is an integral part of safe driving that you keep your vehicle properly maintained. Many accidents every year are as a result of poorly kept vehicles. If cost is an issue then perhaps learn to do some of the basic upkeep yourself. There is an awful lot that you can check yourself, before having to book in at a garage.
The keyword for defensive driving is anticipation. Training yourself to be able to predict where a hazard might occur and actively avoiding it could be that which keeps you out of harm’s way.
So take the time to consider doing a defensive driving course this year. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home, with many online courses available.
Stay safe, people!
Resources for further reading:
Advice on how to maintain your car: