Though experience on the roads can make you a better driver, it might cause you to become too comfortable behind the wheel. When this happens, you might not always use defensive driving tactics, which minimize the risk of accidents. Fortunately, becoming more vigilant on the roads can keep you safe. Below, you'll learn more about how driving schools recommend staying defensive.
4 Essential Defensive Driving Tips
1. Use the Three-Second Rule
Without leaving enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead, you can’t come to a complete stop if the driver slams on their breaks or gets into an accident. You can minimize the risk of a collision by using the three-second rule.
To do this, select a stationary landmark, such as a building, road sign, or tree. When the vehicle in front of you passes the landmark, count the number of seconds it takes you to reach the same point. If it's less than three, slow down to increase the stopping distance.
2. Avoid Phone Use
An estimated 25% of all auto crashes occur because drivers get distracted by their phones. Feeling comfortable behind the wheel might make you more inclined to check the device while driving, which may lead to an accident. You can minimize distractions by turning off your phone and stowing it in the glove compartment. Alternatively, download an app that temporarily blocks calls and text messages until you reach your destination.
3. Use Caution at Intersections
Though you may proceed through intersections when you have a green light, drivers in lanes crossing the intersection perpendicularly to you might run a red light. As you approach a green light, decelerate slightly and look both ways. This can give you more time to stop and avoid a collision if a car runs a red light.
4. Prioritize Auto Maintenance
Keeping your vehicle in excellent condition minimizes your risk of an accident. A mechanic can inspect your brake pads and fluid during each oil change to ensure your braking system engages properly and brings your car or truck to a complete stop.
Additionally, check your tires’ tread depths monthly to ensure they grip the roads properly by placing a penny sideways and upside-down into one of the grooves. If you can see most or all of Lincoln's head, you should replace the tires to avoid skidding into oncoming traffic. Additionally, replace your wipers once they begin to leave streaks on your windshield to promote visibility during inclement weather.
For extra help with driving defensively, contact Sure-Drive Driver's Training. Located in Villa Hills, KY, this driving school offers brush-up classes and defensive driving lessons to the Tri-State area. Call (859) 331-0007 to enroll in upcoming driving courses and visit the website to learn more about how this driving school can help you feel more confident and in control behind the wheel.