Defensive driving can be simply described as an advanced training course in driving. This course aims to teach drivers to anticipate dangerous situations despite the errors of others, or in adverse conditions. Good defensive driving skills will reduce the chances of an accident while driving. Here are some general safety instructions:
Assume The Worst
Drivers are trained to think about the worst case scenario. For example, drivers are taught to expect that a vehicle indicating that it will turn will not actually turn. Vice versa, drivers should also expect that a vehicle not indicating a turn will unexpectedly turn. Students are also cautioned to assume that any red stop lights or stop signs will be ignored.
Other than that, drivers are told to assume that other drivers are not capable of preventing an accident. They are also trained to watch out for drivers using cell phones while driving. Drivers also assume that their vehicle has not been seen by other cars on the road.
Maintain Road Presence
Drivers are trained to scan the road ahead and be ready for any possible events. They are also trained to have an eye on any other vehicle’s indicators and brake lights.
Drivers are taught to maintain road discipline and to avoid ‘car bunches’. They will either head the ‘car bunch’ or be at the end of it. While driving behind larger vehicles, drivers are trained to keep their line of sight clear. They are also trained to adjust their rear view mirrors as well as to avoid tinted window panes, keeping their windows transparent and clear. Drivers are also trained to scan the road for any bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, potholes, animals, or objects on the road.
While You Are Driving
- Don’t drive either too fast or too slow.
- Never do a U-turn on a freeway
- During bad weather conditions, always put on your vehicle’s fog lights, as some weather conditions can cause a lack of visibility. The fog lights should also be switched off as soon as the visibility improves.
- While driving, your hands should be in the 9 O’clock and 3 O’clock position. This position is known to be the safest hand position while driving.
- Always maintain an exit route by keeping the space on both sides of their vehicles free.
- Drive on the outer lane of the freeway. This makes it possible to back out or stop quickly in case of any problem in the vehicle.
These and other tips are offered in a defensive driving course. Due to massive public demand, many non-profit and government organizations now offer this course.