Defensive Driving During a Summer of Distracted Drivers

With warm weather, we’re all trying to relax as best we can, wherever we can. Unfortunately, some people can take this a little too far, and find themselves incredibly distracted when in the driver’s seat. Not only that, but with heat exhaustion a possibility, some drivers could be making even worse decisions. It’s your job not only to avoid that happening to you, but to drive in such a way that keeps you and your passengers protected, in addition to the distracted party. Here are five defensive driving concepts to keep in mind this summer.

Look Around You

It seems like the most obvious thing, but simply making sure you have a visual awareness of your physical surroundings – including keeping an eye on your mirrors, especially when making turns – is a huge part of defensive driving. You can’t move in response to a dangerous vehicle or safely avoid an obstacle in the middle of the road without practicing diligence in awareness of the cars and road around you.

Take it Slow

Speeding is not only not great for your gas mileage, but it’s unsafe. You should pay attention to road conditions, as well, as that technically reduces the ideal speed limit, since speed limits are meant to apply to the road, traffic and weather being in ideal condition. Rarely is that the case, all at once. Also, the faster you are going, the harder it is to stop quickly, which is necessary to avoid some accidents.

You’re the One You Can Count On

Depend on yourself first, as you can never be certain what anyone else can do. Don’t assume other cars will be “the safe one,” when it is safer and smarter to always try to be the smartest driver on the road. The more people who practice this way of the thinking, the more accidents we can avoid overall.

Eliminate Distractions

Whether it’s playing music or podcasts, or a phone that won’t stop dinging, keep your distractions to a minimum. Also, never engage with a phone while in the middle of driving – always pull over somewhere safe before taking or making a call from your car. Keep your music or podcasts down while driving, at least low enough that you can hear cars or motorcycles that might sneak up on you or be in distress.

Establish an Escape Route

Keeping an eye on your road and your route are important to not only avoid delays, but avoid accidents. Have an awareness of upcoming stops to pull over, or ways to switch your route, or spots on the road to avoid or head to in case of an emergency.

Summary

You can only be responsible for your own driving, but you can also help prevent accidents by other people who haven’t taken responsible for their unsafe driving. Driving defensively simply is a matter of being awake, aware and practicing avoidance. Keeping your distance and planning your routes is always the safest option for a good defensive driver to take.

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