Friday, 10 May 2013

Simple Tips For Defensive Driving

Every year, over a million people die as the result of car accidents. That is a stunning statistic. In addition, many people are involved in small scale car accidents every day. While some of these may not be fatal, they can lead to injury, stress, anxiety, financial trouble and many other negative side effects. While it’s true that many accidents are indeed “accidents”, it is also true that some of them could have been prevented if drivers used a little more caution. Here are several tips that will help you become a better defensive driver.

Avoid aggression

There will always be aggressive drivers on the road. It may be someone tailgating you or weaving in and out of traffic. It’s always smart to avoid them. Change lanes safely to get out of the way. Yield to fast and reckless drivers. While your initial reaction may be to want to teach them a lesson, remember that you are travelling at high speeds and the smallest mistake could be disastrous. Avoid road rage at all costs. It simply isn’t worth the price in money, health, and even life.

Keep your car clean

Make sure you can clearly see through your windows and mirrors. Dirty mirrors may keep you from making a safe lane change. If the sunlight hits your windows at a certain angle, it may become nearly impossible to see what is in front of you. Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly so you don’t get smears obstructing your vision.

Don’t drive under emotional stress

Don’t get behind the wheel if you are extremely angry, depressed, or upset. While you may feel like driving is a good way to blow off steam, you are also endangering those around you. If someone cuts you off, your sensitive emotions may blow up and you could do something irrational. Find a different way to cope or have a friend drive.

Don’t do anything else while driving

Your attention needs to be on what is directly in front of you. If you are hungry, pick something up to eat but wait until you arrive at your destination before you start eating. Don’t try to consume that cheeseburger while weaving in and out of traffic. You will have less control over the car, and your mind will be elsewhere. Not to mention your hands will be greasy.

Also stay away from using technology while driving. If you want to change the song on your MP3 player have a passenger do it for you. Don’t take your eyes off the road even if it’s for two seconds. Videos on cell phones and text messaging can be tempting, but they have been the cause of countless accidents and numerous fatalities.

Buckle up

Finally, always wear your seatbelt. If you have developed the habit of driving without one, make the change now before it’s too late. Encourage those you drive with to wear theirs as well. It could save a life.

John Carver is a freelance writer for He is also an advocate of wearing a seatbelt.