The Advantages of Defensive Driving and Why You Should Care
**A contributed post as written for The Safe Driver
When it comes to driving safely, nothing quite beats knowledge in defensive driving. Sadly, the idea of defensive driving can often confuse people. After all, not everyone understands what it covers, what it means and how you drive defensively. Instead of telling you to study a course or take extra lessons, we’re going to cover exactly what defensive driving is in a single article so that you can save both time and money on lessons, and potentially your life when out on the road.
Learning to identify risks on the road
The first advantage of defensive driving is being able to identify risks on the road as they appear. Whether it’s another driver with road rage or a large truck passing by, defensive driving teaches you how to be more mindful of your surroundings.
In order to understand how to identify risks on the road, you need to first learn what those risks are. Some common examples include drivers who are having a bad day, drivers that are falling asleep at the wheel and drivers in larger vehicles. However, virtually everything on the road can become a risk—then things that aren’t on the road itself. For instance, someone walking their dog on the pavement could become a potential risk factor. What if the dog runs into the road and drags their owner with them? Will you be able to respond by quickly braking, or will you end up injuring the dog and the owner?
Being able to identify potential risks on the road is all about being aware of your surroundings. Awareness has a huge impact on your safety on the road, so don’t neglect its importance when you’re driving. The more aware you are of other drivers and objects in your path, the better you’ll be as a driver.
Understanding responsibilities as a driver
As a driver, you have responsibilities that you can’t ignore. For instance, before you take your car out on the road it’s important that you do a few safety checks, especially if it’s been awhile since you last took your car to a garage. It sounds basic, but you’d be surprised at how often people neglect to take their cars to a shop to check things like tires, brakes and safety systems.
If you want a better understanding of the safety systems in your car, then take a look at this article from https://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/in-car-safety/ to learn more about car safety and how it can protect you. Without working features like child seats, airbags and brake systems, you’re putting both you and your passengers at risk of being injured.
Just remember that as a driver, your responsibilities extend further than just your own safety. You still have a responsibility to look out for other drivers and you also need to focus on keeping your eyes out for pedestrians.
Staying calm while driving
Road rage is something that could happen to almost anyone. Unfortunately, nothing good comes out of road rage and you’ll just become a hazard out on the street. Controlling road rage may be more to do with your mental health than driving, but it’s still important to understand what triggers your road rage and how you can deal with it should it happen at an inconvenient time.
To help stave off the effects of road rage, here are a couple of tips:
- Learn to control your anger – Anger management is crucial in avoiding road rage.
- Avoid eye contact when possible – This will ensure that you don’t invite more road rage in other drivers.
- Keep your hands inside of your car – This will help you avoid making gestures at other drivers.
- Don’t use your horn too much – Beeping from a car can be easily misinterpreted so be mindful of how you use your horn.
- Don’t take everything personally – Driving is just driving. If someone passes you by, don’t take it personally. If someone honks at you, again, don’t take it personally.
These are just a couple of tips that will help you keep your cool when driving.
Maintaining speed on the road
Another important advantage of defensive driving is being able to maintain your speed. People often feel like they need to drive slowly so that if you end up in a collision, less damage is caused. Unfortunately, the safest way to drive is to actually maintain your speed with other drivers on the road.
When driving, it’s your responsibility to try and maintain your speed as best you can. This ensures that you’re driving with the flow of traffic instead of against it. Many accidents happen because drivers aren’t in sync with their speed. For example, someone driving fast could collide with another driver who is going too slowly. In short, remember to maintain your speed so there’s less risk of you becoming a hazard on the road.
Avoiding potential distractions
A negligent driver is one that is constantly being distracted on the road. Negligence can lead to legal action from companies such as www.injurydisabilitylawyer.ca/toronto-car-accident-lawyer/. If you feel like you were in an accident due to a negligent driver then you may want to speak to a lawyer to seek help.
However, you could also be on the receiving end of legal action if you don’t remove distractions. Anything from a ringing phone to a book could be considered a distraction and it’s incredibly important that you take responsibility by removing your distractions. The simplest way to help you out is to purchase a phone holder so you’re less inclined to check your mobile while driving because you won’t need to pick it up. Loud music is also another distraction, so try to keep the volume stable.
Eating or drinking is also considered a distraction, so always remember to pull over before engaging in any kind of activity. Just remember that when driving, your eyes should be on the road and nowhere else. If they aren’t, then something is distracting you and it should be removed if possible.