What You Must Know About Defensive Driving

Humble Eagle
Jun 8, 2020 2:34:00 PM

Whether you are a brand new driver or have been cruising the streets for years now, having good driving habits is essential to keeping yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe while on the road. One of the most valuable safe driving skills to acquire is defensive driving.

While there are a lot of good drivers on the road − maybe yourself included −, there are also a lot of not-so-good drivers. The skill of defensive driving will help you gain the techniques you need to defend yourself against potentially harmful driving situations such as a car accident.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about defensive driving, including some safe driving tips drivers of every age and experience level should know and practice.

What is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving consists of various skills, techniques, and strategies that drivers can utilize while on the road to keep themselves safe and out of harm’s way. More than just following basic traffic laws − which you should be doing anyway −, defensive driving is being aware and responding appropriately to other drivers and your surroundings.

It also means taking a defensive stance when interacting with other drivers on the road, allowing aggressive or poor drivers to pass you easily rather than trying to control the road and make other drivers adapt to you.

Why is Defensive Driving Important?

Defensive driving keeps you safe while on the road, but it also saves you potentially a lot of time and money by helping you avoid car accidents due to careless or distracted driving.

When you get in a car accident it can affect the cost of your car insurance policy − and not in the way you would want. You could see nearly a 40% increase in cost due to causing a car accident. By driving defensively and avoiding collisions and other hazardous situations, you protect yourself physically and financially.

Defensive driving also protects your passengers and other drivers on the road, as well as pedestrians when you are in highly populated areas. While your safety is top priority, defensive driving does good for everyone else as well.

Defensive Driving Tips for Safe Driving

Good drivers have defensive driving skills that can help reduce the risks behind the wheel. Here are valuable safe driving tips to practice every time you are on the road.

  • Pay attention to and follow all basic driving laws − this is your first and best defense against a traffic violation or car accident.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, including other cars on the road with you.
  • Keep distance between you and the car in front of you − at least three seconds of distance, meaning if the car in front of you passes a still object, you should not pass the same object any sooner than three seconds after the other car.
  • Be respectful of other drivers, and always take the defensive approach when interacting with other cars on the road.
  • Be prepared to react appropriately if a driver in front of you slams on their brakes or a driver beside you drifts into your lane.
  • This includes not overcorrecting but having identified a safe space to pull over quickly if needed.
  • Plan ahead for unexpected changes in road and weather conditions.
  • Avoid distracted driving at all costs − do not use your cell phone for any purpose or try eating a burrito while you are at the wheel.
  • Ensure your car mirrors are in the proper position and check them frequently to ensure you can see who and what is behind and beside you at all times.
  • Slow down and increase distance between you and unsafe drivers; e.g. if someone is swerving, speeding excessively, or driving aggressively.
  • Stay as calm as possible while driving, even in high stress situations − this will help you make better decisions quickly.
  • Practice defensive driving every time you are behind the wheel.

Defensive driving is a learned practice − the more you do it, the better you will become. By following these safe driving tips, you will be well on your way to joining the good drivers club.

Even Good Drivers Need Auto Insurance

Even if you master these safe driving tips there is still a chance you might get into a car accident, even at no fault of your own. That is why Humble Eagle is here to provide you with a comprehensive car insurance quote to help you feel confident every time you are on the road.

Contact us today to learn more about the perks of safe driving, including ways it can help you save a lot of money on auto insurance.

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