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If you’re a driver, chances are you’ve heard the term “defensive driving”, but do you know what it means? Defensive driving refers to driving to prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others or the presence of adverse driving conditions. Defensive driving skills allow drivers to minimize their risks by anticipating situations and making safe, well-informed decisions to avoid hazards and accidents. While there are classes on defensive driving, this article will cover the top 3 techniques to help you drive safer and react to changing conditions to avoid accidents before they happen.

Top 3 Defensive Driving Techniques

1. Look Ahead and Expect the Unexpected

Think about what may happen as far ahead of you as possible, and never assume that hazards will resolve themselves before you reach them. Scan the roadway for possible changes in driving conditions and respond early if needed to avoid  dangerous situations.

2. Leave Enough Room to React

Leave yourself enough space to react to sudden changes. Control your speed so you are safely able to adjust should the unexpected happen. A following distance of at least 2 seconds is recommended for adequate reaction time to sudden changes.

3. Be Alert and Distraction Free

Distracted driving causes many drivers to miss changing road conditions or the actions of other drivers and causes you to become a hazard for others. It is the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents today. Avoid using devices such as cellphones, changing radio stations, or reaching for items in the car. These kinds of actions take your hands, eyes, and attention away from the road.

Defensive driving requires the knowledge and strict observance of all traffic rules and regulations applicable to the area you are driving in. It also means that you should be alert for illegal actions and driving errors made by others, and have a willingness to make timely adjustments to your own driving to avoid an accident. Once you see a hazard and decide upon a defense, you must act immediately. The sooner you act, the more time you will have to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

Defensive Driving Course Benefits

By taking a defensive driving course, you will not only be better prepared behind the wheel, but you may reap financial benefits as well. These benefits can vary from state to state, but may include the following:

  • 1. An insurance rate reduction.
  • 2. Reduction in fines associated with a traffic ticket.
  • 3. Offsetting ticket points on your driving record.
  • 4. Prevention or reinstatement of a suspended driver’s license.

This often has a number of other requirements than simply taking a defensive driving course.

Safer driving is the responsibility of all drivers on the road. By keeping these safe driving techniques in mind, you will learn how to modify and tailor your own driving behavior to the unexpected actions of other drivers, pedestrians and animals on the road. It’s important to never assume other drivers are alert, sober, or follow the rules of the road at all times. For more ways to protect yourself on the road, just call us at 724-929-2300. Our insurance agents can get you the right coverage for you at the best price. Let us do the comparing for you to save you time and money!