10 Tips for Defensive Driving

​​Getting behind the wheel of a car is an exciting feeling. The open road beckons and there’s a world of adventure out there. But, before you head off on your journey, it’s important to remember that driving is a responsibility. Every time you get behind the wheel, you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others.

That’s why defensive driving is so important. Defensive driving is all about being aware of potential hazards on the road and taking steps to avoid them. Here are ten tips for driving defensively:

1. Pay attention to the road.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. So, when you’re behind the wheel, make sure to give the road your full attention. Put away your phone, turn off the radio and avoid anything that might take your focus off of driving.

2. Take advantage of safety devices.

Many cars now come equipped with advanced safety features like lane departure warning systems and blind spot detection. If your car has these kinds of features, be sure to use them. They can help you avoid accidents.

3. Keep your distance. 

Following another car too closely is a recipe for disaster. If the car in front of you suddenly stops, you could rear-end them. So, always give yourself plenty of space between you and the car in front of you.

4. Use your headlights. 

Headlights aren’t just for night driving. In fact, they can be helpful during the daytime too. When it’s raining or snowing, for example, your headlights can help you see better and they’ll also make it easier for other drivers to see you.

5. Don’t tailgate. 

Tailgating is when you follow another car too closely. It’s not only dangerous, but it’s also illegal in most states. If you get caught tailgating, you could be fined or even arrested. So, it’s best to just avoid it altogether.

6. Be extra cautious in construction zones. 

Construction zones are notoriously dangerous places to drive. There are often obstacles in the road and workers present. So, it’s important to slow down and pay close attention when driving through construction zones.

7. Watch out for wildlife.

If you’re driving in an area where there’s wildlife, be extra cautious. Animals can dart out into the road without warning. And, if you hit one, it could do serious damage to your car. So, always be on the lookout for animals when you’re driving.

8. Drive defensively around trucks. 

Trucks are big and they can be hard to see around. That’s why it’s important to give them plenty of space when driving near them. And, if you’re passing a truck, make sure to do so quickly and safely.

9. Be aware of your blind spots. 

Every car has blind spots – areas where other drivers can’t see you. So, before you change lanes, always check your mirrors and look over your shoulder to make sure there isn’t another car in your blind spot.

10. Watch out for pedestrians. 

Pedestrians have the right of way, but that doesn’t mean they’re always easy to see. So, be extra cautious when driving in areas where pedestrians are present. And, always yield to them if they’re crossing the street.

Defensive driving is all about being aware of potential hazards and taking steps to avoid them. By following these tips, you can help keep yourself and others safe on the road. And, if you’re ever in an accident, be sure to contact your local auto body shop for repairs.

Chris Turn

Chris Turn is the pseudonym of a journalist and writer who has published short stories, essays, and criticism in the Los Angeles Times, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the New York Times. Her most recent book, a novel, is The Summoning (The HarperCollins Canada, 2014). She lives with her husband in Toronto.

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