When you hear the term defensive driving, what do you imagine? Defensive driving is a simple set of skills focused around the understanding that every driver out there makes mistakes, which means you need to be conscious of the potential dangers. You can use defensive driving to stay safer every time you get behind the wheel of your car.
If you want proof of the effectiveness of defensive driving, consider the fact that many insurance companies offer discounts if you take a recognized defensive driving course. They acknowledge that these courses reduce the chance that you will have an accident (and that they have to make a payout).
You can learn many of the skills in defense driving yourself without taking a course:
- Plan for the worst: As you drive along, think about the worst thing another driver could do. Coming up to a turn, they may make a last-minute lane change in front of you without indicating. Or approaching a school, they may brake hard when they see a parking space. By anticipating these actions, you can make allowances.
- Keep your distance: The more time you have to react to an adverse situation, the more chance you will avoid a crash. If you hug the tail end of the car in front of you while you drive, you are not allowing any room for error.
- Don’t rush: If you are always running late, you are more likely to speed, become stressed about the traffic or take risks. Allow extra time to reach your destination, to allow for inconveniences along the way.
Despite your new skills, car crashes can still happen due to other drivers’ actions and leave you needing to claim compensation.