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Top tips for defensive driving

You can never be too careful when out on the road. Itís impossible to tell the mood of the driver in the lane beside you, nor whether they are fully concentrated on the road and what theyíre doing. So how can you protect yourself and your car from these other drivers? The answer is defensive driving.

What is defensive driving?

Defensive driving is a set of skills that allow you to anticipate and avoid the dangerous behaviour of other road users. Be it drunk drivers, those using their mobile, or someone just not concentrating on the road. Defensive driving skills make you highly aware of the road users around you.

Tip One Ė Donít be too trusting

Itís nice to assume the best in people. But when youíre on the road, it can be a matter of life and death. So donít assume that the car in front is going to break smoothly for the traffic lights ahead, or indicate when they turn.

It also relates to when another driver flashes their headlights. This is actually against the Highway Code, and doesnít automatically mean they are giving you permission to move. Wait for the other driver to slow down or stop before moving yourself.

Tip two Ė Keep your eyes open

Something we are taught in our driving lessons is hazard perception. But after youíve been driving for a while, you might be a bit less observant when youíre on the road. Defensive driving is picking up those techniques again. What are the potential dangers on the patch of road youíre driving on? Where are the blind turns, sharp corners, or change of speeds?

Tip three- keep a safe distance

Not many drivers stick to the recommended distance from the car in front. Itís up to you to make sure you have enough room around you to react. If the car in front is moving slow, donít get right up behind them. Either keep your distance or overtake. The same is the case if a car behind you is getting too close. Slow down and either let them overtake or adjust their speed.

Tip four Ė pull over and let them pass

Defensive driving means you are likely to encounter frustrated drivers who only want to get from A to B as fast as possible. If a driver is being reckless behind you and acting aggressively, the best action you can often take is to just move to one side and let them through. If they are going to have an accident, let it happen to someone who isnít driving defensively.

published: 10/04/2018 08:33:42

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