How to Drive Defensively

It is not enough to know how to drive safely. You also need the knowledge of how you and your passengers can stay safe. No matter how skilled you consider yourself to be as a driver, you must also anticipate what the other drivers will do. You can’t always control other drivers, but you can learn to react in a safe manner.

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Do not trust anyone too much

Many drivers place too much trust in other drivers. When someone flashes their headlights to signal that it is safe to continue, for example. The Highway Code says that we should not proceed when someone flashes their headlights. A flashing light is the same thing as sounding your car horn, and does not mean that it is safe to proceed. It is possible that the driver behind you has not reacted properly, making it unsafe to continue.

Plan ahead and observe

Defensive driving means being always observant and anticipating problems such as response vehicles parked on the highway. Find out more about Chapter 8 Chevrons by visiting Vehicle Chevrons. It also involves looking ahead. Are there bins on the road? This could mean a dustbin truck around the corner. You are passing a line of cars parked in a tight space. Someone could open a car door or step out. You can better prepare yourself for an emergency by being aware of possible hazards and constantly observing your environment.

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Maintain your vehicle

You should also be aware of the safety of your vehicle. You should not drive if you are aware of any faults or repairs which need to be completed. Make sure your insurance is valid, that you are paying tax and that your MOT is up to date.

Indicators are not always as they appear

You should never take an indicator as definitive until you have seen the vehicle move in that direction. You cannot confirm an action until you actually see it. Drivers often forget to turn off their indicator or change their mind at the last minute.

Keep your distance

Imagine a bubble of safety around your car. You want to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you, so you can react quickly if they make a mistake. It is impossible to know if those driving around you will follow the rules or be distracted.

Never feel uncomfortable

Never feel compelled to drive in a manner you are uncomfortable with. Remember that the goal is to reach your destination safely, not to win a race. Although you cannot be held responsible for other people’s driving, you can ensure your own safety.

Author: Niru Taylor

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