Defensive driving practices can keep you safe while you’re out on the road, as well as potentially save the lives of your passengers or other drivers. The general idea of defensive driving is driving in a way that is safe despite the actions of others or the conditions you’re faced with out on the road. By engaging in defensive driving, you are better prepared for potential hazards and are focused on everything that lies in front of you.
Here are some tips from our trucking company in Minnesota about how you can engage in defensive driving practices:
- Stay focused: Defensive drivers always keep their hands on the wheel, and never perform other tasks while driving. So if you regularly eat, apply makeup, use your phone or get distracted in any other way while driving, you need to stop this behavior if you are to stay as safe as you can while driving.
- Keep eyes moving: Defensive drivers are constantly checking their mirrors, their speedometer, and the road that’s ahead of them. This helps you to stay aware of potential hazards in the road, slowing traffic and other issues. The point is to anticipate and identify problems before they become an issue for you.
- Always be alert: You should never get behind the wheel if you are overly tired or otherwise impaired. It is imperative that you stay alert while behind the wheel so you can respond quickly and appropriately if an issue arises.
- Drive with the flow of traffic: Speeding is certainly never encouraged, as it is the cause of many accidents every single year. However, you also don’t want to drive so slowly that you become an obstacle in traffic. Drive at the same speed most other vehicles on the road are going so your behavior is predictable to other drivers sharing the roadway with you.
- Use the two second rule: Whenever you are on heavily traveled roads or highways, use the “two second” rule to maintain an appropriate amount of space between you and the car in front of you. Choose an object on the road ahead of you (a sign, a line, etc.) and begin counting seconds as soon as the car in front of you passes it. You should have two seconds between when the vehicle in front of you passes the object and when you do.
- Focus on your visibility: You do not want other drivers to have problems seeing you on the road. Always use your headlights if it’s raining or dark out. Use turn signals whenever turning or changing lanes. Make sure your brake lights are functioning. Never stay in the blind spots of other vehicles.
- Adapt to the environment: If conditions are becoming dangerous, you need to adapt your driving. Even light rain can make the roads slippery, so slow down and stay safe.
For more tips about how to stay safe out on the road, contact K-Way Express, Inc., a longtime trucking company in Minnesota.