Driving is a part of life; and unfortunately, so are accidents. But there are simple things you can do to reduce your risk.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive Driving is a series of techniques that help you identify and respond to hazards on the road. A Defensive Driving Program or Online Defensive Driving School teaches practices that go beyond a basic traffic school course or drivers Ed, giving you specific tools to improve your anticipation, safety and judgment skills.
Follow Basic Traffic Laws
It sounds simple, but the majority of accidents occur when drivers fail to follow basic traffic laws. Dangerous habits like speeding, rolling through stop signs, and following too closely can cause serious accidents. Of these mistakes, the most common is following too closely. A basic rule of thumb is the “3 Second Rule.” Online defensive driving courses recommend that you pick a stationary object on the road (like a road sign or landmark)- when the car ahead of you passes it, start counting. If it takes less than 3 seconds for your car to pass the same object, you’re following too closely and are putting yourself (and others) in danger. Instead, obey the laws that are meant to protect you.
One of the most important things to remember is that you aren’t the only person on the road. No matter how safely you drive, there are factors beyond your control that could present unexpected dangers. Watch out for overly aggressive or impulsive drivers-chances are you’ll come across someone like this at some point, and it’s important to remember to stay calm and keep your distance.
Cell phones, fiddling with the radio, eating, grooming, and even interacting with passengers are all distractions that can cause accidents. Many people lead busy lives that require them to divide their attention across many things-but this kind of multitasking is risky, and often leads to a distracted driver and a dangerous road.
Break Away from the Pack
Online defensive driving programs say a good practice while driving, especially on highways, is to always position yourself so that you have an “out.” That is, make sure that you always have an escape route should something dangerous occur. Never box yourself in between other cars, and allow for pockets of space on all sides of your vehicle.
Whether you’re a teen, adult or mature driver, you can benefit from these Defensive Driving Tips-consider taking an online driver improvement course to learn more.