One of the most dangerous things that people do on an almost daily basis is getting behind the wheel of a car. Car accidents can happen to anyone at virtually anytime they’re on the road, so it’s important that you know what precautions you can and should be taking to best protect yourself and those riding in your vehicle. As part of this protection, you should be practicing defensive driving maneuvers whenever possible. To help you become more effective at this type of driving, here are three ways you can be a more defensive driver and keep everyone safe while on the road.
Always Keep Your Eyes Moving
If you’ve been driving for decades or are particularly comfortable with the area you’re driving in, it’s not uncommon to become a little lackadaisical in the attention you’re paying to the road. But because it only takes a split second for an accident to happen, it’s vital that you’re constantly being vigilant, regardless of how you might feel in the moment. To maintain your vigilance, Kurt E. Gray, a contributor to KidsHealth.org, advises that you always keep your eyes moving. Go through a cycle of looking right in front of your car, 20 to 30 seconds ahead of where you’re going, into each of your mirrors, and at the drivers around you so you can detect any danger as soon as it becomes apparent. This will help improve your reaction times and allow you to anticipate changes in traffic.
Stick To What The Road Signs Say
We’ve all heard the phrase “going with the flow of traffic”. But if the flow of traffic isn’t necessarily following the laws of the road or driving safely for the conditions, Driving-Tests.org shares that you’ll be much better off if you simply stick to what the road signs say. Even if the cars around you are speeding, do your best to stay within the speed limit. When signs are posted to stay in your lane or yield to emergency or construction vehicles, make sure you do so. By determining to always follow the road signs, you’ll pay better attention to what they’re telling you and can avoid potential dangers that others might not be aware of if they ignore the signs.
Put More Space Around Your Car
A very common reason for people getting into car accidents is following too closely to the car in front of them. As part of being a defensive driver, Matthew DeBord, a contributor to Business Insider, advises that you always keep a certain amount of space between your car and any other car around you. The exact distance depends on how fast you’re going, but the more distance you have between you and everyone else, the larger the margin of error is in case something unexpected happens in front of you.
To help yourself become a safer driver, consider using the tips mentioned above to improve your defensive driving techniques.