For many of us, summer calls for epic road trips to amazing destinations. When you are on the road, being a safe and responsible driver who practices defensive driving is important.
Defensive driving is the practice of drivers who consciously anticipate dangerous situations despite adverse conditions and mistakes by other road users, enabling drivers to take pro-active actions to avoid accidents. Driving defensively reduces the risk of collisions, injuries and fatalities and improves road safety for everyone.
Being a big road safety advocate, we care about your safety and the safety of others on the road. That is why we have created this checklist so you can check the boxes to find out if you are already a defensive driver.
1. Exercise Good Visibility
Visibility is about seeing and being seen. Always be aware of the traffic in front of, behind and beside your vehicle. Look and scan the road ahead as well as to the side, checking your mirrors every five seconds or so. Staying alert will help you spot potential road hazards easily and give you time to react positively.
Distractions decrease visibility. Keep your phone away and pay full attention on your driving. Also, refrain from changing the music or meddling with the stereo or other devices while you are driving.
Ensure that your headlights, brake, and signal lights are working so others can see you and anticipate your actions.
2. Make Space and Never Tailgate
Always leave a cushion of space around your vehicle. Managing the space ahead, behind and on both sides of your vehicle provides ample time and space for you and other road users to react to any sudden changes.
Tailgating is neither cool nor trendy. Do not tailgate as it endangers everyone. Keep a three-second gap between your vehicle and the one in front.
And if you are in front and there is a vehicle fast approaching behind you, driving defensively would give you the option to either move forward or switch lanes to make way and create space between your vehicle and the rear-approaching vehicle.
It is crucial to let other road users know your intentions. Signaling early whenever you want to slow down, stop, turn, or switch lanes helps other road users anticipate what you are going to do. Make eye contact with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers at intersections and use your horn if you need to get someone’s attention.
Never assume that others know what you are thinking and vice versa. Expect other road users to make mistakes and be prepared to react. Always yield when driving and remain mindful and respectful of others.
People spend so much time on the road that sometimes we forget to remind ourselves that if everyone practices defensive driving, the road would be a much safer place. Defensive driving saves lives, prevents injuries and fatalities as well as costly collision damage which could affect your auto insurance premiums. To learn more about auto insurance and savings, follow our blog and social media, or chat with us or our brokers today.