Defensive Driving Tips to Keep You Safe on the Road
Across the nation, people rely on the freeways and roads where they live. They use them to commute to work, transport their kids to and from school, go grocery shopping, and more. In heavily populated areas, with everyone going their own way, it can lead to a lot of vehicles and hazards to watch out for. It is your responsibility to ensure you drive defensively and safely in order to prevent accidents and injuries. While you may have passed your driving test many years ago now, here is a refresher on essential defensive driving tips to keep you safe on the road.
Defensive Driving Tips
- Leave a safe following distance
Ensure you are leaving plenty of space between yourself and the vehicles in front of you. Authorities recommend adopting a 3- to 4-second rule to anticipate sudden braking or speed changes. Although this is incredibly important, people seem to forget it – especially in instances of bad weather. When the roads are slippery and wet or when visibility is poor, it is crucial to leave a greater distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. When your stopping distance increases, such as in poor weather, you will need to leave more room so you don’t rear end another vehicle.
- Let it go
Road rage is an issue many people struggle with. Since you don’t know who might be behind the wheel of that vehicle that just cut you off, it’s safest to back away and overlook the issue. Road rage has led to more than just leaning on a horn. Avoid getting angry behind the wheel by pulling over safely to the side of the road if you feel yourself getting annoyed. Take some deep breaths and let go of the frustrations.
- Monitor your blind spots
Even if you have the best side mirrors with the latest tech on the market, there is always a blind spot around your vehicle. Don’t solely rely on the red dot telling you someone is in your blind spot. Quickly look over your shoulder and check before moving. This method is also incredibly helpful in spotting motorcycle riders that are lane-splitting and weaving in and out of traffic.
- Focus on the task at hand
When behind the wheel, it’s easy to get distracted by the radio, air conditioning, your phone, or the kids in the backseat. These distractions can be deadly. Always pay attention to the road and your vehicle. Put your phone away, set up the radio and air-con before you set off, and use toys to keep kids entertained.
- When in doubt, yield
If you aren’t certain who has the right of way, it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you know you have the right away but other motorists are actively disagreeing, give in. It’s better to lose a few seconds of time than getting caught in a collision.
- Stop on a red
It’s a problem many drivers have today – stopping at a red light. These lights are there for our own safety and to direct the flow of traffic. Respect this, and when the light turns yellow, brake to stop. The best practice is to slow down before each intersection and evaluate the situation. Avoid racing to the yellow light as you never know who might be turning.
While defensive driving is a must-do on the roads to stay safe, having the right auto insurance follow closely behind. When the worst happens, car insurance is there when you need it the most. To secure reliable coverage, contact the experts at Little & Sons Insurance Services. Serving Banning and the surrounding cities in California, we are ready to assist you with all your insurance needs.