By learning a few defensive driving techniques, you will ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. It will simply be a question of driving in such a way as to avoid any possible accident. Stay alert, leave enough space between your car and others, and adapt well to different dangerous situations. This will help you and other road users arrive at their destination safe and sound. By avoiding the slightest accident, you could even save on your car insurance!
Method 1 of 3: Focus on Driving
Step 1. Avoid all distractions
Defensive driving is all about focusing on one thing: driving. Make sure you don't get distracted by conversations, the radio, your phone, or anything else. To be as alert as possible, put your phone and other distractions away and turn down the radio. If talking distracts you, stay away from your passengers' conversations until you reach your destination.
Step 2. Stay alert
As you drive, notice direction signs, speed limits, and traffic lights. You should also remember to take a look in your mirrors regularly, to be fully aware of what is going on around your vehicle. By making a habit of noticing your surroundings, you will be more alert and be ready to deal with any situation that comes your way.
It is very difficult to stay alert when you are sleepy or under the influence of a substance. Don't put yourself and others in danger. Wait until you are in better shape or have someone else drive
Step 3. Look far ahead
Instead of focusing only on what's right in front of your car, consider regularly looking further down the road. So you will know how to react. Notice for example:
- vehicles slowing down in the distance;
- unpredictable drivers in different lanes;
- dangers on the road, such as fallen branches or sharp turns.
Method 2 of 3: Respond to other drivers
Step 1. Don't follow other cars too closely
Keep a distance of 3 to 4 seconds (equivalent to two cars) between your vehicle and the one in front. This space will allow you time to react if the driver in front brakes suddenly or makes another dangerous maneuver.
For example, count “1 independence, 2 independence, 3 independence” from the moment the car in front of you passes an object. If you pass the same object before you have finished counting, slow down a bit
Step 2. Stick to the priorities
When you have to, give way to other drivers. If you are not sure of the priorities to be respected, take your rules of the road, to refresh your memory. Being patient and sticking to priorities, even in a rush, helps prevent accidents.
If you find yourself faced with a driver who doesn't respect priorities, just let them go. It is better to wait rather than have an accident because of an impatient driver
Step 3. Anticipate the reactions of other drivers
If you cannot read the minds of other drivers, you will be able to deduce their behavior on the road, however. Then adapt your driving according to your forecasts. For example, if you are stuck behind a driver who has already braked hard several times, leave a good distance between his vehicle and yours, so as not to bump into him.
Step 4. Stay calm at all times
Facing unpredictable drivers who break the rules or are just plain dangerous can be extremely frustrating. Resist the urge to teach them a lesson. By getting on your nerves, the risk of an accident will greatly increase. Breathe deeply, be patient, and focus on reaching your destination safely.
- For example, imagine you're stuck behind a car that spends its time overtaking you and then slowing down in front of you. The driver might just want to be in front at all costs, which can be very frustrating.
- Instead of trying over and over again to pass in front, try driving in a different lane, taking a different route, or just slowing down until he is out of your sight.
Method 3 of 3: Respond to driving conditions
Step 1. Control your speed
Pay attention to speed limits and adjust your driving accordingly. Adapting its pace to that of other cars, in town or on the highway, helps to avoid accidents. However, if other drivers are driving way too fast, don't try to adjust to their speed. Try to get into a lane in which you can travel at a reasonable speed, out of the way of dangerous drivers.
Step 2. Inform other drivers of your movements
As you pay attention to what others are doing, you will also need to help them anticipate your actions. Do your best to be visible to others and to signal that you are turning, braking, etc.
- Regularly check the condition of your turn signals, brake lights and headlights. Use them correctly, so other drivers can know what you are doing.
- Avoid blind spots. Do not linger in areas where the driver in front of you cannot see you in their mirrors or windows.
Step 3. Adjust your driving to weather conditions
Rain, fog, snow, ice, wind, mud, and other environmental conditions can impact driving. When the weather is bad or conditions are dangerous, you will need to:
- to slow down;
- leave more space between your vehicle and others;
- turn on your headlights if visibility is poor;
- be especially careful on bends and slopes;
- park if it is too dangerous to drive.