|Picture 1: Drive Smart|
DEFENSIVE driving means the driver behind the wheels is free from any form of distractions.
It is crucial that the driver gives full concentration on driving. It also entails proper communication with other people on the road.
Defensive driving can be a significant asset to you and other drivers because it helps you avoid accidents, and save yourself and others on risky road conditions, or when others drive erratically.
1. Blind Spots
Pay attention to drivers' blind spots, particularly during heavy traffic. Again, you cannot control how other people behave on the road.
In some cases, drivers may not notice their blind spots before they change lanes.
Blind spots can be found at the rear, and side of the cars.
To keep your safety on the road, it is important to maintain a safe distance between you and the next car to prevent accidents.
2. Don't Slam on Brakes
Don't slam your brakes whether in traffic, or when approaching a red light.
Defensive drivers know that slamming the brakes is dangerous and usually unneeded.
To avoid impulsive braking, maintain a two-car distance from the rear of the car in front of you.
If another car follows too closely behind, calmly step on your brakes to give him a fair warning.
This should alert him and give him adequate time to move back.
3. Traffic Lights
When traffic lights turn green, some drivers imprudently pick up speed immediately. They think that green lights always means go.
To ensure your safety on the road, stay on for about two to three seconds before driving.
You will not know if another driver is rushing through the red light, and may cause a serious accident.
When you are positioned behind another car at the traffic lights, make sure you can watch his tyres.
Failing to see it may limit the reaction time for you and other drivers to respond.
4. Signal Lights
Many drivers commit the error of turning on their signal lights at last minute.
Some believe the usage of blinkers is a courtesy rather than a requirement.
Let others predict your next move so they can also respond suitably to your actions.
Keep in mind that signal lights will capture attention, and you need to get the attention of other drivers when changing lanes.
Indecisiveness to turn on your signal lights may lead to collision, panic, and road rage.
5. Road Conditions
Knowing how to deal with the present road conditions is crucial in defensive driving.
Always anticipate unexpected road conditions and traffic circumstances.
Reading or reviewing road signs regularly will avert the risk of accidents.
For example, many drivers do not respond well in sudden rain shower.
Always slow down your pace significantly and pay attention to drivers who have not reduced speed.
How to Drive Smart
Being a safe and responsible driver takes a combination of knowledge, skills, and attitude. These safety procedures will help you drive smarter on the road.
* Be physical and mentally alert. You must be in good physical and mental condition to drive. Do not drive when you are sick, tired, angry, injured, drinking alcohol or anything that may reduce your ability to drive.
* Know your vehicle. Knowing your vehicle can provide you with a better understanding how it operates. There are different characteristics including anti-lock brakes, 4-wheel drive, automatic and manual vehicles.
* Fasten the seat belt. To become a smart driver you must always buckle your seat belt.
* Turn on headlights. The No.1 rule when driving is to make sure you have perfect vision of vehicles and also that others can see you. Use your high beams only when there are no street lights and when it is pitch black.
* Use signals. Whenever you switch lanes, leaving the road, moving out from a parked position, or turning, you must signal. Signalling is important, as it provides other drivers a chance to predict your next move and also give them 3-5 second heads up so they can react.
* Stay within the speed limit. Obey the maximum speed limit signs along the road, it allows the drivers to stop safely. When there is bad weather, heavy traffic or construction, try to drive slower with caution.