The Top 10 Defensive Driving Techniques.
Skills Every Driver Should Know
Defensive Driving Techniques
As a responsible driver, you should be constantly checking your own driving habits and looking out for hazards on the roads. Some traffic issues are within your realm of control; however, you can't control the weather, freak mishaps, or the behavior of other people driving. That's why you should always be driving defensively looking out for potential dangers, always being aware of your surroundings, and knowing how to react to any given situations.
We've compiled a list of the top 10 defensive driving techniques that you should (and probably do) use daily, so you'll always be a safe and conscientious driver!
- Be Aware of the Weather
Different meteorological situations can change the conditions of the road drastically. Harsh gusts of wind, icy roads, and thick fog are just some of the impediments to a normal driving routine. Always check the weather report before you leave the house, and be sure to never drive faster than conditions allow. Know how to use your lower gears in snow, or how to pump your brakes and turn your wheel properly on ice. Use your low beams in fog, and make sure your windshield wipers work properly for rainy or snowy conditions.
- Maintain Upkeep on Your Vehicle
While not an actual maneuver you do on the roads, keeping your car in tip-top shape directly affects its performance when you're driving. Make sure everything is in working order headlights, high beams, defrosters, horn, etc. Replace your wiper blades every 6-12 months depending upon their condition, and keep your tires rotated and inflated at the proper pressure. Always keep your fluids topped off, and make sure your brakes´ pads and rotors aren't rusting out.
- Follow at a Safe Distance
If you follow too closely behind another driver, you run the risk of not having enough time to brake if he/she stops short in front of you. Always maintain a distance of at least 10-15 seconds on the highway. Which leads us to
- Watch the Brake Lights Two Cars Ahead
Just because you're paying attention doesn't mean the driver in front of you is, too. If he midjudges his distance and doesn't stop quickly enough, you could be involved in a pile-up that wasn't even your fault! Watch the brake lights of the car at least 2 vehicles ahead of you, if not further, so you're always aware of the general speed and traffic situation occurring.
- Stay Awake!
Fatigue is a common cause of traffic mishaps. Never drive if you're exhausted, or drive at night if you're susceptible to the lethargy that darkness can induce in some people.
- Follow the Golden Rule
Treat other drivers as you'd like to be treated! Don't honk incessantly, or follow too closely, or do anything that would spark road rage. That just turns an already dangerous situation into an even scarier one.
- Yield to Your Fellow Motorists and Pedestrians
Never expect that you have the right of way. As stated before, just because you're paying attention doesn't mean that the other guy is, too! Even if you justifiably have the right of way, if you notice someone else not following the rules of the road, yield to them, and try to stuff your frustration away.
- Keep Your Volume at a Normal Decibel
We all like to jam out to the radio on our way home from work, but if your volume's up too loud, you might not hear the horn of another car warning you of an upcoming hazard. You may also be so distracted that you make a mistake and even the most minor blunder can turn fatal.
- Avoid Other Drivers' Blind Spots
Every car has a spot on either side that their mirrors just won't catch, typically 2/3 of the way back from the front of the vehicle. Stay out of that spot, and you won't need to worry about someone changing lanes right into your location!
- Take a Defensive Driving Course
All Texas drivers have the option of taking a Texas-approved defensive driving course, to get even more details and tips. A driver's safety course in Texas will ensure that you're up to date with the latest laws, road regulations, and defensive driving techniques. And in this digital age, you can even take an online defensive driving course! Texas-approved defensive driving courses are all over the internet, for affordable prices. These programs let you take the course on your own schedule, so it won't be inconvenient to prepare yourself for the roads and keep your awareness high. But with all of the traffic fatalities each year, the cost of a driver's safety course for Texas isn't nearly as high as the cost of not learning these defensive driving techniques.