Defensive driving means that you are ready for any and all surprises on the road. In other words, being a defensive driver means driving to prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others or the presence of adverse driving conditions.
To avoid accidents by practicing defensive driving, follow a three-step process of seeing hazards, understanding potential defenses and acting in time.
1. See the Hazard:
Think about what may happen as far ahead of you as possible, and never assume that hazards will resolve themselves before you reach them.
2. Understand the Defense:
Review a potentially hazardous situation in your mind after you see it so that you can act quickly and in plenty of time. This will allow you to formulate a defense that will prevent an accident.
3. Act in Time:
Once you see a hazard and decide upon a defense, you must act immediately. The sooner you act, the more time you will have to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Defensive driving requires the knowledge and strict observance of all traffic rules and regulations applicable to the area you are driving in.
It also means that you should be alert for illegal actions and driving errors made by others, and have a willingness to make timely adjustments to your own driving to avoid an accident.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Vehicle
Even the most defensive drivers could contribute to an accident on the road if operating an unsafe vehicle. Make sure you keep your vehicle in good shape by taking it for routine oil changes and fluid checks, ensuring the tires are properly inflated and performing other maintenance as needed.
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