What Does It Mean To Practice Defensive Driving?

Driving in the United States is one of the most anticipated rites of passage for teens, and people from all walks of life who depend on cars to transport them to work, around town and to visit family and friends. When driving, most experts agree that it’s important to practice defensive driving, but what is defensive driving, and why is it important? Is there any value in defensive driving, and if so, how can you practice defensive driving?

Defensive Driving Means Taking Control

When you practice defensive driving, you are taking control over your actions, and regardless of what other drivers do on the road, you are placing yourself in a safer position. Defensive driving is all about monitoring the road and vehicles around you to make safe decisions. You can practice defensive driving any time you’re behind the wheel, but it’s vitally important to engage in defensive driving when you’re on a crowded highway. The more vehicles there are around you, the more important it becomes to practice defensive driving.

What Are Some Defensive Driving Techniques?

There are no set rules for defensive driving, but there are some techniques you can practice and habits you can get into that will help you arrive safely at your destination. Allowing for plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, for example, is a defensive driving technique that can help you to avoid accidents in the event that the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly. The proper use of turn signals is another defensive driving technique as your turn signals alert other drivers to your intentions on the road, allowing them and you to take proactive steps to avoid collisions.

You can also practice defensive driving when you aren’t even behind the wheel. Maintaining your vehicle plays a big part in road safety since you will need to ensure that your vehicle’s turn signals, braking system and other safety components are in good working order to stay safe while driving. When your vehicle is in good working order, you will be able to maintain better control over your actions on the road, and other drivers will not be impacted by faulty systems or malfunctioning equipment that can lead to accidents and injuries.

Taking A Defensive Driving Course

If you want to learn some advanced tips for driving defensively, you can take a defensive driving course. These courses are offered online as well as in practical learning environments where students are taught the skills needed to drive safely. Even experienced drivers can benefit from defensive driving courses as these courses often teach techniques that experienced drivers overlook due to complacency.

Defensive driving courses are also good for new and inexperienced drivers who may not have a firm grasp of how their actions on the road affect those around them. In addition to the safety that a defensive driving education can provide, some auto insurance providers will offer discounts to drivers who take these courses. Not all insurance carriers offer this discount, however, so you will want to inquire with your policy manager to ask about specific discounts provided through your insurance provider. Additionally, different states have different requirements for what constitutes an approved defensive driving course, so keep this in mind when researching your options.

Think Of Others First

No matter how you learn or practice defensive driving, a good rule of thumb is to think of others first. When you put others above yourself while driving, you will likely make safer decisions that can protect you and those around you. Even if other drivers are behaving erratically or are operating their vehicles in an unsafe manner, you still have the power to make safe decisions. By following this simple rule, you stand a better chance to arrive at your destination safely.

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