A defensive driver is a driver who is proactive in considering their safety and the safety of others. It is more than simply reacting to other drivers.
Defensive driving is about planning for risks and doing what you can to avoid them.
1. Plan ahead
Look up directions before leaving. Have them programmed into your device or printed out so they are easy to access before you get on the road. Look at the weather before leaving and allow for extra time for inclement weather. Speeding is always dangerous, but the danger increases when you speed through decreased visibility or hazardous conditions.
2. Allow proper distance
There are several benefits to allowing adequate space between you and the vehicle in front of you. When you follow too closely, your range of vision narrows to the back of that vehicle and not much else. With a clearer view ahead, you can see the bigger picture of the flow of traffic. With more space, you have more reaction time if you need to brake or swerve to avoid a collision.
3. Avoid distractions
When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, your focus should be on the road and the other vehicles around you. Put your phone out of your reach, silence it or use an available hands-free option. Set the radio and airflow controls before driving. Keep any food and drink limited to something you can consume without taking your eyes from the road. Distracted driving often leads to collisions. It also lessens your ability to react to hazards that may otherwise be easily avoidable.
Motor vehicle accidents are often unpredictable, but making defensive driving a habit will make you more aware and alert to potential dangers on the road.