For most Americans, driving is a part of life. However, just because so many people drive, it doesn’t mean that all drivers possess the same driving skills and abilities. To be a safe driver, it is important to know how to drive defensively rather than offensively.

Only looking out for yourself when driving is dangerous– for you as well as the others on the road. As a responsible driver learning defensive driving skills is vital.

Defensive Driving Tips

Plan Ahead.

Before heading out, take a moment to check the weather and note anything that could impede safe driving.  Be it a rainstorm, snowfall, strong winds, or any other natural element knowing what you are driving into helps you be prepared.  When driving in rain, don’t use cruise control; for areas where snow is common use chains or snow tires.

Be Alert

Don’t just watch the vehicle directly in front of you.  As you drive, continuously scan to your left and right, check your mirrors, and watch the vehicles 2-3 in front of you.  When driving in town, make it a point to look ahead at intersections for any incoming traffic.  By trying to anticipate where a vehicle will be or what a driver may do, you can be better prepared if a quick stop or adjustment is needed.

No Tailgating

Tailgating

Tailgating is wonderful if you are referring to grilling and partying before a sports event.  However, it’s not safe for driving!  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 87% of rear-end vehicle accidents are a result of tailgating.  When driving behind another vehicle allow a distance of at least 3-seconds, more when driving in inclement weather or behind large trucks, motorcyclists, or busses.

 

Blind Spots

Be aware of your vehicle’s blind spots and be vigilant in looking all around you before turning and changing lanes.  In addition, stay out of other drivers’ blind spots.  More so, when following behind a tractor-trailer, remember that if you can’t see their mirrors, they cannot see you!

Road Rage

Things happen, people get distracted, forget to use their blinkers, and cut you off- unfortunately, this is part of driving.  But don’t blow things out of proportion.  As long as no one was injured and there wasn’t an accident let it go and keep moving.  Getting upset or acting the fool while driving won’t solve anything- and will likely end up causing bigger problems!

Follow the Rules

Use your blinkers, stop at red lights, yield when directed and other basic driving rules aren’t just something one should learn to pass a driver’s test.  They are important and should be followed.

Minimize Distractions

Distracted DrivingPut down the phone, don’t play with the AC or radio, don’t be distracted by the passengers, and if possible, avoid eating/drinking while driving.  Anything that takes your attention off the road is a distraction.

Proper Maintenance

While not a part of defensive driving, the maintenance of your vehicle affects how it performs.  Simple tasks such as keeping your vehicle clean so nothing obstructs your view or minimizes the effectiveness of your tail lights, keeping fluids topped off and oil at the right level, and seeing that your tires are in good condition and properly inflated go a long way towards preventing an emergency roadside stop.

You can keep your vehicle working smoothly with synthetic oils, lubricants, and fuel additives from AMSOIL. You can get all the products you need at Buy Great Oil to keep your car in great driving condition.  If you’re not sure which formulation is best for your vehicle, use the vehicle guides on AMSOIL’s website.

Defensive driving is proactive rather than reactive. Planning ahead, paying attention, and being prepared for those “what if” driving scenarios makes a big difference between knowing how to drive and being a safe and competent driver.

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