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Defensive driving tips

People may be a good qualified driver, but there are situations that are out of human control. Defensive driving is a set of driving skills that allows you to defend yourself against possible collisions caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, and poor weather. i.e. the factors beyond your control. If you are prepared for unexpected incidents that may occur anywhere and anytime, your reactions are better.

Donít make assumptions about another driverís intentions; you risk being caught off guard when drivers do not do whatís expected.
"Expect the unexpected" is the rule of safe driving.

What are those key elements of to defensive driving?

  • Only drive when you really have to - other forms of communication and transport are much safer, more efficient and better for the environment.
  • Always remember to keep your vehicles properly maintained and in the good conditions. No matter how well you drive, you are not safe unless your vehicle is in good condition.
  • Always try to be update with the traffic laws driving rules and regulations, The Highway Code rules.
  • Give enough time for journey you move, plan your journey, check the weather, traffic conditions on your route
  • Try to take enough rest before you move for driving and never let yourself be distracted from driving. Do not drive if you are tired.
  • Always remember to avoid drugs or alcoholic driving because it is very dangerous to drive. In this condition drivers are not in their conscious mindset they drive in exhausted way and brake highway rules. These techniques must be followed while driving to avoid unnecessary accident
  • Use seat belt - Wearing the seat belts can reduce the injuries of that person as it stops that person to come out of his seat and hit other interiors of the car which is also called second impact.
  • Maintain a proper speed while driving, focus of the driving.
  • Be alert - at all times be prepared for unexpected incidents that may occur anywhere and anytime. Expect other drivers to make mistakes and be prepared to react.
  • Once you have identified a potential hazard and decided what to do, act immediately.
  • Anticipate potential hazards from other motorists, pedestrians, weather and equipment and take steps to minimize the risk.
  • Avoid risky maneuvers like trying to beat red lights.
  • Avoid internal distractions - eg. Using mobiles phone, watching TV in the car, changing CD in CD player, heated arguments while driving, because this breaks your concentration.
Defensive drivers are also likely to save money - driving smoothly and steadily using concentration eagerness and observation is highly fuel efficient.

Defensive driving is a technique of road driving that keeps you away from other people's problems. Adopting good defensive driving techniques is like a habit. Once learnt and incorporated into your driving routine, they will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life.

Acquiring defensive driving techniques helps you to protect yourself and your loved ones from trauma and serious injury caused by other irresponsible drivers.
Crown copyright material has been reproduced by permission of the Driving Standards Agency which does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the reproduction.
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