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Defensive Driving Skills Or How To Survive On The Road: 7 Rules To Live By

Feb 17, 2008
It is true that driving is a very dangerous activity. Any trouble in driving would not only endanger his own life but also the life or lives of his passengers and other drivers and passengers at other cars in the road.

Through the decades, people have witnessed some of the most tragic accidents by road. It is in this regard that there is a need to further popularize defensive driving.

Defensive driving refers to a form of road driving training that is aimed at helping a driver take an important intellectual and safety approach that helps save brakes, fuel, tires and of course, lives.

Defensive driving skills are necessary to lower if not totally eliminate the risks of driving vehicles through the anticipation of dangerous driving situations even at the face of adverse conditions and inappropriate driving practices by others.

There are seven general rules that are generally observed when a driver is acquiring and practicing the skills to defensive driving. Here are those general rules.

1. Pick and purchase the right car.

Of course, the basic requirement before acquiring and using defensive driving skills is to make sure you are driving the right vehicle. No matter how cautious and safe you are as a driver, you would inevitably encounter challenges and road accidents if you are driving an unsafe and accident-prone car in the first place. So how could you select and purchase the right car? There are some basic tips on car purchase.

First, when purchasing cars, avoid bland and dark colors. Gray, tan and silver are bland colors that look like urban camouflage. Thus, other drivers would have a hard time taking distinct and immediate notice of the car.

Likewise, dark colors like black and red are very hard to see especially in dim light. Then, make sure the car's center of mass is low and the four-wheel drive system has a differential center balancing forces between rear and front. It would also help if you would avoid purchasing or driving cars with heavily tinted windows especially in the front.

2. Inspect the car thoroughly before driving.

Check all the components and parts of the car prior to driving. As an unwritten law, drivers should make it a habit to inspect the good quality and condition of tires, engines, lights, brakes and oil and water levels especially in preparation for a long trip.

Major car accidents usually happen because some components and parts of the car are not in good condition, most especially the brakes. Make it a must to have the car sent for a mechanical condition check with professionals at least once a year.

3. Focus on the road.

Defensive driving skills center well on focusing on the road. When driving, always scan the highway or road for any tell-tale signals from other vehicles like turn signals and brake light indicators form other cars.

Usually, vehicular accidents occur because drivers fail to take heed and recognize the light indications and warnings from other drivers. Moreover, it is also imperative for you to make sure your headlights or daytime running lamps are turned on while driving in a busy and rapid road to avoid other cars from crashing into your car.

4. Always assume the worst in other drivers.

It may be a little paranoid, but one of the distinct defensive driving skills is the ability to always assume that other drivers are the worst drivers. As such, do not rely heavily on light indicators from other cars, as drivers have the tendency to change minds on the last minute about taking a turn. Also, expect that other drivers at your back might not be able to see and interpret the stop signals and other tail light indications you may do.

Beware when you see drivers talking to their mobile phones while driving as they are more prone to accidents. Do not always assume that in intersections you will always have your right of way.

5. Keep an exit route.

When driving in the highway, always remain in the outer lane especially on freeways. That way, the need to cross the lane to get to the shoulder in cases of problems would be eliminated. Have space on either side of the vehicle.

6. Avoid danger.

Avoid driving at danger sites, like near large vehicles or cars that are defective. Visibly damaged cars should also be avoided as it can be safely assumed that their drivers are not skilled enough to drive safely.

7.Observe precaution when approaching or passing by vehicle break-down and crash scenes.

When being awed by such vehicular cases, stay focused on your own driving. If not, you may risk running at wandering animals or pedestrians. Worse, you may run across obstacles or other road accident-causing sites.
About the Author
Alex Baumm. Please visit the CarClubTalk Car Forum to find out more information and tips on Defensive Driving and Car Purchase
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