A defensive driver is always patient, alert to what is going on around them, and willing to yield the right of way to other drivers even when the other driver makes a driving mistake. Here are some basic tips that can help you be a better defensive driver and reduce stress.
ANTICIPATE: Expect the unexpected. Anticipate what other drivers are going to do and adjust your driving accordingly.
• Give other drivers the right of way, even if they made a mistake. • In residential areas, expect children to be present, so slow down. • Look for action from parked vehicles. Look for a person in the driver’s seat, turning front tires, lights and exhaust. • Anticipate moving vehicle actions. When approaching a vehicle from behind, glance at the front tires to see if the driver is changing direction. Also look for drivers looking over their shoulder to change lanes. SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND YOU: Scan the roadway from directly in front and as far ahead as possible, side to side and behind your vehicle.
• Get the big picture and be alert to where unexpected events may come from. • When entering an intersection or side street, look left, right and left again for oncoming traffic. • In city driving, glance at pedestrian walk signals when approaching intersections. If it’s flashing, then the traffic signal is about to change.
BE ALERT: Your eyes should be in constant motion, seeing what is happening around you. Don’t get caught staring at the car in front of you.
• Check rear view mirrors every 5-8 seconds for approaching vehicles. • Don’t contest the right of way or try to race another car when merging into traffic. • Give other drivers the right of way. Do not eat, drink or talk on a cell phone when driving. • The most difficult time for drivers to see is an hour before sunset, so be extra careful during this time.
DON’T GET BOXED IN BY TRAFFIC: Leave at least 3 seconds of open space between you and the...
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