How to be a Defensive Driver


Defensive driving is the art of driving in such a fashion that you are alert and able to react to mistakes that other drivers make on the road. Even if you have the right of way–if you have a green light, for example, and cross traffic has a solid red–you do not want to blindly trust that other drivers are going to perform flawlessly. Remember, in most two-car accidents, one of the drivers did not make any mistakes at all. If you drive defensively, however, you can stay safe no matter what happens, and you may even be able to go your entire life without even a minor accident.

Use Your Warning Systems

Modern cars come with all sorts of advanced warning systems, such as backup sensors and blind spot warning sensors. If you’re going to change lanes and there is a car in your blind spot, the sensors will flash and beep to alert you, even if you can’t see the car at all. Make sure that you always have these sensors turned on and that you pay attention to them; they can go a long way toward keeping you safe. Because of these sensors, new cars for sale in Jackson MS and your town make defensive driving easier than it has ever been before.

Check Both Ways When the Light Turns Green

If you’re sitting at a traffic light and it turns green, do not just push the accelerator and move into the intersection. If another driver is running the red light, you could get hit. Instead, take a moment to look both ways, just like you do when crossing the street at a crosswalk, to be sure that all traffic has actually come to a stop.

Never Tailgate

You always want to maintain a safe distance behind the car in front of you, even if the driver is going too slowly for your tastes. A good rule of thumb is to keep two car lengths, or roughly three seconds, between you and the next car’s rear bumper. Proper spacing ensures that you have time to stop, even if the other driver slams on the brakes.

Avoid Distractions

To drive defensively, you must be focused on the road at all times. You must avoid distractions such as texting or talking on cell phones, eating while you drive, or even frequently changing the channel on the radio. Always keep your eyes on the road and be alert so that you can see if a potentially dangerous situation–like a car cutting out into traffic–is developing ahead of you.

Expect Mistakes

Overall, the key is to expect other drivers to make mistakes and cause accidents. Watch them closely and learn to see the danger signs so that you can react before these mistakes are even made. Some danger signs include cars that are driving faster than the speed limit, weaving in and out of traffic, drivers who have not cleared snow off of their cars and drivers with objects blocking their vision. Stay alert and expect these mistakes, and you can stay safe at all times.