Regardless of how confident you are in your driving skills, once you hit the road, there is risk for an accident. Most vehicle accidents are caused by driver error which includes poor judgment calls, driver recklessness, driver inattention and more. Driving defensively involves being alert, aware and safe while operating a motor vehicle. Below are a few defensive driving tips to help stay safe on the road.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
While it may sound obvious, it is important to pay attention to what is on the road (and near the road) by scanning the horizon and looking ahead. Check your blind spots before changing lanes and alert drivers to changes you plan to make such as using your turn signal before making a turn. When you are aware of “the big picture” around you, you will be safer and a more defensive driver.
Even the best drivers are unable to predict what other drivers around them will do. There are all kinds of factors that are out of your control that can lead to an accident. Be cautious on the roads and anticipate other drivers unexpected moves such as running red lights or stop signs. Staying alert will allow you to be prepared to react appropriately.
Before you head out on the road, take the time to minimize all distractions that can cause you to take your eyes off the road. Turn off your cellphone, make sure your mirrors are adjusted correctly, pre-set your radio & GPS unit before heading out on the road. You simply cannot drive safely and defensively if you’re distracted. If something demands your attention while driving, pull off the road safely before attending to it.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Following the car in front of you too closely or tailgating limits your ability to react to changes on the road ahead. Maintain a safe following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Follow the “two second rule” by staying at least two seconds behind any vehicle that’s in front of you. Remaining at least two seconds from the vehicle in front of you will provide a distance of one car length per 8 km/h (5 mph), regardless of what speed you are traveling.
Looking for an Auto Body Shop in the Vancouver Area?
By following the defensive driving tips above, you can keep yourself safer while behind the wheel. If you do become involved in an accident, the team at Kirmac Collision and Autoglass can help. We offer auto glass repair and collision repair services to the BC lower mainland and greater Vancouver areas. We proudly operate 17 locations throughout the Metro Vancouver area to make it convenient for vehicle repairs close to home or work. Schedule an appointment online or drop in to any location!