What is Defensive Driving?
Today at Defensive Driving we will be discussing what exactly Defensive Driving means and what it actually involves, we will also be discussing tips on how you can become a defensive driver. Defensive Driving is a form of training the brain and practice for motor vehicle drivers to drive in a way that they consciously reduce the dangers associated with driving. This is done by anticipating dangerous scenarios, which could range from bad weather (Icy roads, snow, heavy rain, etc.) to other drivers making mistakes (example below).
you are second in the queue at the traffic lights, your front bumper is 3ft away from the car in front, although you glance in your rear view mirror and notice a car coming towards you at a high speed. You also notice the driver is waving at somebody or is even on their phone and doesn’t notice the red light, until it’s too late.
They slam on their brakes and all you hear is the screeching of his tyres, followed by a loud and sickening crunch. Everything fades to black and the next thing you notice is that there’s a paramedic trying to take your pulse. Of course the driver who caused the crash is unharmed and he’s trying to convince the police that YOU reversed into him and it wasn’t his fault.
This could have been avoided if you had left a car and a half length between you and the car in front of you, as you could have pulled forward a little or even try to get out of the way completely before the crash even happens.
Defensive Driving is designed to increase your awareness of everything that is happening around you whilst driving. if you start developing these habits early in your driving life and realise that every time you get into a car there are always risks involved, you increase your chances that you won’t be involved in a collision.
A defensive driver has practised this and has learned to control their emotions and they’re not easily affected by other drivers who may show bad driving behaviour and habits. A defensive driver is always watchful and careful. They are the one’s who can quickly identify and predict potential road problems and then immediately decide and act appropriately to avoid the dangers on the road and thus avoiding any accidents.
10 tips on defensive driving:
- Don’t start the engine without securing each passenger in the car, including children and pets. Safety belts save thousands of lives each year.
- Check your mirrors frequently.
- Follow the rules of the road. Don’t contest the right of way or try to race another car. Be respectful of other motorists.
- Leave space to escape dangerous situations.
- Always adhere to speed limits.
- Never drive if you are impaired by lack of sleep or being under the influence.
- Concentrate on your driving at all times and keep a watchful eye on pedestrians and pets along the roadside.
- Expect the unexpected and plan for escape routes.
- Assume that drivers will run through stop signs or red lights and be prepared to react.
- Slow down, especially during inclement weather conditions or at night.
Defensive Driving in short:
- Start practicing now by checking your mirrors constantly.
- Always be aware of what is on your right, your left and behind you, especially when coming onto a “new road”.
- Check the road ahead. What is on the horizon, what is happening in front of the car ahead of you?
- Learn to make eye to eye contact with drivers and pedestrians. That way you know they see you.
- Look at the front wheels of the cars parked on the side of the road. If you see a car with the wheels turned to the right, is it going to suddenly pull out? This same rule applies for roundabouts and will allow you to read them much more easier, without cursing them for not using indicators.
- ALWAYS be prepared for the unexpected
If you would like more information on how our defensive driving tips can help you or even your business then please feel free to contact us. Alternatively if you are looking for fleet driver training for your staff, so that there is a reduce in the amount of collisions or even chances of a collision, then please don’t hesitate to get into contact with us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly.