Defensive driving is a proactive approach to road safety. This strategy empowers motorists to anticipate and respond to potential hazards.
Adopting defensive driving techniques can reduce the risk of accidents.
Keep a safe distance
Maintaining a safe following distance is an important defensive driving technique. Leaving plenty of space gives you ample time to react to sudden stops or turns by the vehicle in front. Try to keep at least three seconds of distance from other cars under normal driving conditions.
Stay alert and aware
Regularly check mirrors, scan for potential hazards and pay attention to the actions of other drivers. This proactive approach allows for early detection of potential risks. Anticipating the actions of other drivers lets you react quickly and safely.
Distractions significantly increase the risk of accidents. Defensive drivers focus solely on the road, avoiding activities such as texting, eating or adjusting the radio. As a result, they can respond quickly to changing road conditions.
Follow traffic laws
Adhering to posted speed limits increases reaction time and reduces the severity of accidents. You should also adjust your speed according to road conditions, especially during inclement weather.
Using turn signals is a simple yet effective defensive driving practice. Signaling intentions provides crucial information to other drivers. They can anticipate lane changes or turns and respond accordingly.
Yield the right of way
This defensive driving practice fosters a cooperative road environment. Yielding to other drivers prevents unnecessary conflicts. It also reduces the likelihood of accidents at intersections or merging points.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reported more than 1,000 auto accident fatalities in 2021. Drivers can work together to reduce these tragedies with responsible driving practices.