6 Defensive Driving Practices to Avoid a Motor Vehicle Crash

What is defensive driving? It is a set of driving skills that allows you to defend yourself against possible collisions caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, and poor weather. If you look ahead and keep your eyes moving, you will spot potential hazards more easily. Once you have identified a potential hazard and decided what to do, act immediately. Defensive drivers are able to avoid dangers on the road by using their safe driving practices.

1. Minimize Lane Changes

It’s rare for a car to be rear ended while traveling the speed limit in its own lane. It is common for crashes to happen while a car is changing lanes; perhaps by suddenly cutting off a car, swiping another vehicle in its blind spot or two cars merging into the same lane.

2. Spot Blind Lane Changers

Not only are there the drivers who are driving recklessly, but you have to worry about the absent minded drivers that never check their blind spot before changing into your lane. These drivers are actually harder to spot than the erratic drivers, because it’s harder to predict when these types drivers are about to change lanes.

3. Look Both Ways at Intersections

Intersections are inherently dangerous places and the scene of many t-bone accidents. Most drivers, upon seeing a green light, amble straight on through without a second thought; and that’s usually when the driver running the red light smashes into their side. If you are ever the first car at the intersection when the light is turning green, you should be extremely aware of your left, then right side traffic as you make your way through.

4. Know When and How to Swerve

This is probably the absolutely hardest point to get across, because it honestly takes hours of experience behind the steering wheel to learn. The concept of swerving is applied to emergency situations where you don’t have enough time to avoid an accident.

5. Get Away From Bad Drivers

You should always do your best to keep a healthy distance between yourself and other bad drivers on the road. Problematic drivers include: drunks, speeders, tail gaters, road ragers, lane changers, extremely slow drivers and any other erratic behavior. Most of the time, this involves switching lanes and slowing down so that a speeder or drunk can pass you safely. You never want erratic drivers behind you because there is always the potential of getting rear ended.

6. Don’t Follow Too Closely

Saving one of the best tips for last, don’t follow too closely behind the car in front of you. Always give at least 2-3 seconds of buffer room. If you drive an SUV however, you must make this at least a 3 second rule because your vehicle is heavier than a sedan and takes much longer to come to a complete stop than passenger cars.

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