The longer you drive, the more confident you become behind the wheel. And sometimes this confidence can cause you to forget that not everyone is paying as close attention to the road as you are. Whether you are teaching your teen to drive and are looking for some good advice to give them, or you just want to brush up on your own driver safety, PermaPlate has put together a list of our top five defensive driving tips to help keep you safe out on the road.
Think about Safety
Defensive driving starts before you even get on the road, so before putting your key in the ignition, take a moment to ensure you are ready to go. Is your seatbelt on? Are your children properly strapped into their booster seats? Are there any objects in the car that may bump around (groceries, sports equipment, etc.)? Do you have everything you need for the day?
Get Rid of Distractions
Another important thing to do before you start your car: Get rid of potential distractions. Driving is a task that requires your full attention, so turn down the radio and leave the newspaper on the seat next to you.
One of the worst distractions for drivers today is cell phones, and if you have been tempted to use yours while driving, we encourage you to switch it to silent mode and set it out of reach before you hit the road. Whether placed in your glove compartment or on the backseat, removing this distraction will help to ensure that you – and those around you – are safe.
Pay Close Attention to Your Surroundings
There is a lot to be aware of when you are on the road. Not only are their stop signs, lights and other vehicles to watch for, there may be children walking down the sidewalk, a dog that runs into the street and much, much more.
Keep your eyes moving as you drive, scanning your surroundings and checking your mirrors to ensure that you are aware of everything that is going on. By paying close attention to your surrounding and the actions of other drivers around you, you are more likely to avoid an accident should anything unexpected occur.
Follow the Speed Limit
Another important component of defensive driving is following the speed limit, and remembering that posted speed limits are in place for ideal conditions. Depending on the weather, take time to assess the road conditions and maintain a speed that will allow you to stay in control of your vehicle.
Also, always maintain an appropriate following distance, even if the driver ahead of you is going below the speed limit.
Don’t Make Assumptions about Other Drivers
The last and most important piece of advice we can offer is not to make assumptions about other drivers and what they will do. Consider the worst case scenarios (the other drivers speeds through the red light, doesn’t move over to let you merge, roll through a stop sign, etc.) and be prepared to act accordingly to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
Even while following these defensive driving tips, accidents can happen, which is why PermaPlate offers automotive protection products for all your vehicle needs.