Wednesday 24 April 2024

What is defensive driving and should you do it?

As a driver, ‘defensive driving’ may be a term you have heard in the past. If you aren’t sure what defensive driving is and you’re unsure of whether it’s something you should be doing or not, you’ve come to the right place. This could be one of the most valuable things you learn as a road user, so pay attention!

What is defensive driving?

Defensive driving is a driving style that allows you to assess what other road users are doing around you, while you ensure you’re driving in the best possible way to keep yourself and others safe. This means driving at the speed limit, in the right gear, and in the right condition (no hangovers, no alcohol, etc).

Defensive driving is one of the safest ways to drive, as it helps you to avoid accidents and ensures you stay alert.

Should you be driving defensively?

Yes! All road users should practice defensive driving to avoid accidents and keep the road as safe as possible. Accident firms like see accidents all the time that could have easily been prevented by defensive driving. This isn’t to say that defensive driving guarantees you’ll stay out of accidents, but you do reduce your risk on the road and give yourself a better chance of staying safe.

How should you start defensive driving?

Anybody can start defensive driving right away. You can take courses and workshops on the subject, but they aren’t necessary – don’t wait to begin.

Defensive driving starts before you even get into the car. You need to make sure you research your route, so you know of any obstructions, and that you know the weather forecast. Both of these things can change your experience and the way you drive if you aren’t aware of them beforehand.

It also means checking over your car before you drive, even if you just perform some quick checks before a short journey. Longer journeys mean you should take your time with your checks. Make sure you have enough fuel to get you through the journey, that you have water and oil, that your lights are all working, and that your tyres are the way they should be.

When you’re on the road, you should minimize distractions by avoiding playing your music too loud and keeping your phone in the glovebox. Keep a close eye on the road, ensuring you pay attention to what cars are doing around you, and that you’re doing the correct speed – remember that driving too slowly can be dangerous, too. Ensure you practice proper posture while driving, as this will reduce risk of injury and make you feel alert for longer.

As you can see, becoming a defensive driver is something that needs to be done before, during, and after going on a journey. It only takes a split second for something to go wrong, for concentration to slip, and before you know it, you’re on the wrong side of the road. Don’t let this happen and start defensive driving now!

** This is a collaborative post

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