But there’s little any one driver can do to affect the way other people drive. That is one of the major reasons why defensive driving is emphasized in driver’s education classes and driving schools.
Since you only have control over your own vehicle, you must do all in your power to be prepared to handle any situation that arises.
- Stay Focused
This tops the list for a very good reason. Driving is a mental exercise more than anything else. You need to stay aware of the road conditions, weather, other drivers, your progress toward your destination, and your position on the road relative to other vehicles, to name a few. When you focus on these key factors, it can make the difference to help you drive as safely as you can.
Not allowing yourself to become distracted by talking, texting, eating, daydreaming, or anything else is the most important key to being a good defensive driver. Drowsy driving’s a risk, too – so be aware of your physical condition as you’re driving.
- Take the Long View
It is human nature to look at what is right in front of you and neglect what is coming up ahead. But when driving, you’ve got to look ahead and think ahead. If you’re more aware of what might be going on ahead, the better you will be able to react when you get there.
Aim your gaze high when looking down the road, beyond just the car in front of you so you have enough time to process and react.
- Maintain Situational Awareness
Akin to the above is staying observant of what is going on around you on all sides. This is termed situational awareness. You should constantly be scanning your mirrors, looking side to side, and listening for warning sounds. If you have ever been passed by a car and wondered where it came from, that should alert you to be more conscious of what is going on around you. Read More