What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a form of training or practice for motor vehicle drivers to drive in such a way that they consciously reduce the dangers associated with driving.
They do this by anticipating dangerous scenarios, which could range from bad weather to erring motorists. For Example:
Suppose you are the second car in line at traffic lights. Your front bumper is three feet from the car in front of you. You look in your rearview mirror and notice a car is approaching you at a high speed. The driver is waving at some girls and doesn't see the red light until it is too late.
He slams on his brakes and all you hear is the screeching of his tyres followed by a loud and sickening CRUNCH. Everything suddenly fades to black. The next thing you notice is a ambulance man trying to take your pulse as the Jaws of Life are ripping apart your car so you can be extracted. Of course you noticed that the driver that hit you is not hurt and you overhear him telling the police that YOU reversed into him. As you slip back into unconsciousness you remember the wise words of your father; when your driving always GIVE YOURSELF AN OUT.
If only you had left a car and a half length between you and the car in front of you. You could have pulled forward or even out of the way before the impact.
Defensive driving is designed to heighten your awareness of everything happening around you while driving. If you start developing these habits early and realize that every time you get in a car there is risk involved, you increase your chances that you won't be involved in a collision.
A driver who practices defensive driving has learned to control his emotions and is not easily affected by other drivers who may exhibit bad driving behavior and practices. A defensive driver is ever watchful and careful. He is one who can quickly identify and predict potential road problems and then immediately decide and act appropriately to avoid dangers and accidents
10 basic concepts of defensive driving:
- Don't start the engine without securing each passenger in the car, including children and pets. Safety belts save thousands of lives each year.
- Leave space to escape dangerous situations.
- Slow down, especially during inclement weather conditions or at night.
- Always adhere to speed limits.
- Concentrate on your driving at all times and keep a watchful eye on pedestrians and pets along the roadside.
- Expect the unexpected and plan for escape routes.
- Never drive if you are impaired by lack of sleep or being under the influence.
- Check your mirrors frequently.
- Assume that drivers will run through stop signs or red lights and be prepared to react.
- Follow the rules of the road. Don't contest the right of way or try to race another car. Be respectful of other motorists.
You too can become a defensive driver
- Start practicing now by checking your mirrors constantly.
- Always be aware of what is on your right, your left and behind you.
- Check the road ahead. What is on the horizon, what is happening in front of the car ahead of you?
- Learn to make eye to eye contact with drivers and pedestrians. That way you know they see you.
- Look at the front wheels of the cars parked on the side of the road. If you see a car with the wheels turned to the right, is it going to suddenly pull out?
- Be prepared for the unexpected
What is Defensive Driving - Tips and Advice - Article No48 RoadDriver 2010
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