You might hear driving advice all the time telling you to be a defense driver, but you might wonder what that actually means. Obviously, you know all the basic stuff like being cautious and yielding to aggressive drivers, but there’s more to it than that. Winter is the best time to learn how to drive defensively, thanks to slick roads and other hazards.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Don’t focus on one thing; instead, look ahead and check your mirrors. It’s easier to avoid an accident if you see it coming.
- Have an Escape Plan: Are you stuck in traffic in case of an emergency? Always be on the lookout for a curb you can pull onto, or leave extra space that could prevent you from sliding into someone else’s bumper.
- Reduce Distractions: Everyone knows not to text and drive, but even making phone calls, checking your GPS, flipping through radio stations, and eating pose a risk on the road.
- Keep Your Distance: You never know when another drive will slam their brakes or lane-dive onto an exit ramp, so leave enough space that you have time to stop or avoid them.
- Don’t Be Overconfident: The biggest problem is that a lot of drivers think they’re good enough drivers that they can do anything. The issue isn’t your driving know-how; it’s other drivers on the road, who can be unpredictable.
Knowing how to be a defensive driver is an important part of staying safe, so make sure you keep these tips in mind as you drive.