One of the best ways to stay safe while you’re on the road is through defensive driving. Being a defensive driver means driving to prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others or the presence of adverse driving conditions. To avoid accidents through the use of defensive driving, do the following:
- Remain on the lookout for hazards—Think about what may happen as far ahead of you as possible. Never assume that road hazards will resolve themselves before you reach them.
- Eliminate distractions—Listening to music, talking to passengers and using a cellphone are all activities that can be distracting and lead to an accident.
- Maintain your distance—When driving, maintain a safe following distance behind other cars. Provide adequate time for you to brake to a stop if necessary. Many experts suggest using the three-second rule, which recommends staying three seconds behind another car or about a full car length.
- Act quickly—Once you see a hazard and decide upon a defense, you must act immediately. The sooner you act, the more time you’ll have to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Defensive driving requires the knowledge and strict observance of all traffic rules and regulations applicable to the area you’re driving in. It also means that you should be alert for illegal actions and driving errors made by others, and make timely adjustments to your own driving to avoid an accident.