One of the best pieces of advice that can be given to a driver, whether they’re new behind the wheel or have been driving for years, is to focus on driving defensively. No, not everyone who is on the road is trying to kill you, but you can prevent the vast majority of collisions if you drive and act like they are. Use these simple tips to boost your defensive driving skills and feel more comfortable with driving lessons.
1. Pay Attention to Everything Around You
One of the first things that any defensive driving course will teach you is that driving an automobile requires the use of most of your senses. Not only do you need to see the road and possible obstacles in your path, but you need to be able to hear horns, sirens and other auditory signals. Think of your vehicle as an extension of yourself. Its tactile contact with the road is just as important as these other things. You want to make sure that your car can ‘feel’ the road, and communicate any issues it might be facing directly back to you. The Arrow Driving School can help you learn to stay vigilant.
2. Stay Back
When it comes to your handling of a vehicle, the most important lesson imparted by a driving school is that you want to keep a safe distance (2-3 car lengths at a minimum) and avoid tailgating. If you are following a car too closely and they stop suddenly, it could result in a rear end collision that can cause damage to both vehicles. A good defensive driving course will teach you about the ‘two-second rule’. See when the car in front of you passes a fixed point, then try to pass it at least two seconds later.
3. Put Down Your Devices
One of the biggest causes of car accidents is distracted driving. This often happens when we are texting, using an app or otherwise utilizing our phones. According to a new federal regulation, it is recommended you engage in hands-free phone calls or pull off to one of the numerous rest stops if it is an urgent matter. Cutting devices out of your drive time can also help you stay focused on the drive and practice the principles of defensive driving.
4. Go With the Flow (of Traffic)
Busy roads tend to have a flow or rhythm to the deluge of traffic. It is important to adapt to this rhythm and blend in seamlessly to the flurry that is going on around you. Do not go too fast or slow, instead maintain a similar speed to other cars. Avoid changing your lane too rapidly or too often. If lane changing is necessary, be sure to turn on your turn signal with enough time for the other drivers around you to react. When you are driving, you have entered into a social, unspoken contract with the other drivers. You all act courteously and follow rules to prevent loss to yourself and others.
5. Do Not Get Mad
It can be stressful to drive sometimes, but it serves no one to let your aggression get the better of you. Even in driving school, you will have to ‘rise above it’ and not retaliate when you think another driver has slighted you. This is the best way to keep us all safe and secure.
Defensive driving is one of those things that we should all practice. Arrow Driving School features driving lessons that will teach you all the skills that you need to be the best, safest driver around. Give them a call today and see just what they can do for you.