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What is Defensive Driving and How Could it Help Me?

Defensive driving refers to a specific style of driving that can best be summarized as “better safe than sorry”. When it comes to driving, there’s something inherently dangerous about the practice that most people are willing to overlook just because of the odds involved.

After all, most of the time, when we set out to drive somewhere, we get where we’re going without incident. However, as a precaution against those times when we might find ourselves in a jam, it’s important to learn the principles of defensive driving from a qualified driving instructor, and then practice them consistently.

Watch What You’re Doing

The number one rule of defensive driving is to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Think back to all the descriptions of automobile accidents that you’ve ever heard. Chances are good that most of them contain the phrase “I never saw him coming!” at some point or another. The reason for this is that this is by far the most commonly used explanation for why an accident occurred. What it really means, however, is that at least one of the drivers involved wasn’t paying attention. If they had been, they would have seen the other driver coming, and they could have avoided the accident.

Never Trust the Other Guy

It might seem somewhat cynical, but one of the first things that you’ll learn in defensive driving lessons is that you should never trust the other guy to do the right thing. If you’re approaching an intersection the same time as another car, and you have the right of way, and it seems like the other car might not stop… don’t chance it. It’s much better to assume that the other car is going to make a mistake and be wrong, than to assume that they’ll do the right thing and be wrong. There’s an old saying that goes hand in hand with this principle: “no one ever yielded their way into a car crash”. What this means is that it’s very hard to be TOO cautious when driving. Again, better safe than sorry.

Keeping Your Distance

When we take our driving tests, most of learn the car-length rule for space, wherein we’re taught to trail behind the car in front of us one car length for every ten miles per hour we’re going. The problem with this rule, however, is that it’s hard to get a handle on just how long a “car length” really is, especially when you’re traveling at high speeds. What you want to do instead is to try and make sure you have at least two full seconds of distance between you and the car in front of you. To determine this, observe the car passing a landmark, and then count how many seconds until you pass that landmark yourself. It should take at least two full seconds or else you’re trailing too close.

Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. There are times, such as when it’s dark or raining, that you want to trail even more, up to 3 or 4 full seconds.

By consistently applying the principles of safe, defensive drivingComputer Technology Articles, you can stack the odds in your favor that you’ll arrive safely at your destination every time you get behind the wheel. That’s a feeling that’s worth the few extra seconds it takes to play it safe.

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Learn how to drive step by step with Driving Plus Driving School. For more information on Driving Plus and their instructors visit Driving Schools.

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