Defensive Driving Skills You Can Use to Protect Yourself When You’re on the Road

In recent years, companies from Google to General Motors have poured billions of dollars into the pursuit of a fully self-driving car. Proponents of such vehicles promise a world with safer roads and lower transportation costs.


Autonomous cars collect sensory input from cameras, radar, and laser sensors to map their surroundings. Then, sophisticated software combines it with hard-coded rules and predictive modeling to plot a route.

1. Drive Defensively

Defensive driving is a set of skills that you can use to protect yourself when you are on the road. It includes avoiding collisions caused by other drivers, oblivious or intoxicated motorists, and inclement weather.

Drivers who know how to drive defensively can save their lives and that of their passengers in an accident. They can also keep their vehicles in good condition and reduce their insurance costs.

The best way to practice defensive driving is to take a course at a defensive driving school. These schools are welcoming to people of all ages and experience levels and will help you learn how to be more aware of your surroundings and make safe decisions while driving.

It is very important to be able to see the road ahead and behind you when you are driving. You should scan the road at least ten seconds, a quarter of a mile, or to the next intersection to ensure that you have enough time to avoid potential dangers.

This is a skill that can be difficult to develop, but it is one that can help you drive safer. The more you can spot hazards, the more confident you will become when it comes to making driving decisions.

You should also make sure to follow traffic laws, which are intended to keep the roads safe for everyone on them. These rules ensure that traffic flows in a predictable manner and minimize the number of accidents.

A lot of accidents happen due to violations, so it is important that you always follow the rules. For example, you should never speed or drive while under the influence of alcohol.

Another thing that you should do to drive defensively is to never get angry at other drivers. This can be very dangerous because it can cause other drivers to act irrationally.

2. Practice Patience

If you’re a new driver or if you’re just learning to drive, practicing patience when you’re on the road can help you avoid getting angry or upset. It also helps you stay focused on the road and concentrate on driving without distractions.

Practicing patience can be helpful in many areas of life, including on the road. It can help you be calm when you encounter an impatient driver or when you’re dealing with a situation that’s taking a long time to resolve.

It can also be a useful tool to use when you’re working with a team. Studies have shown that patient leaders and teams are more productive, creative, and collaborative.

But it’s easy to feel like patience isn’t as important anymore, in a world where instant gratification is the norm. Even things that traditionally took a long time to achieve — such as getting braces off or building a house from toothpicks — may be worth the wait if you can keep your stress levels low.

In any case, having the patience to get through tough situations can help you feel more confident in your abilities. It will make you less likely to give up or get frustrated, and it will help you build stronger, more reliable relationships.

Having the patience to wait for something — or someone else — is essential for living a happy, healthy, and meaningful life. It can also help you develop strong and lasting relationships with your friends, family, and coworkers.

3. Practice Turning

Getting better at turning is one of the most important skills to learn as a new driver. If you’re not good at it, it can make your driving experience difficult and dangerous. Fortunately, it’s something you can improve with practice.

First, find a safe parking lot or street where you can practice turning left and right. Pick a space about half-way down the line of spots and start practicing until you can do it perfectly.

This is not as easy as it sounds, but once you’ve mastered it, it will be easier on the road. This can also help you avoid being rear-ended by other drivers when they swerve into your lane.

Next, practice going through intersections safely and with proper speed control. You should also watch for pedestrians and make sure to follow the right-of-way rules when entering an intersection.

While it may seem counterintuitive, holding your steering wheel with both hands can be the most efficient and safest way to turn a vehicle. This is often called hand-over-hand steering, or push/pull steering.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, but once it’s mastered, you can easily make turns without having to rely on your brakes. Normally, you should only use the brakes when you need to swerve or make a quick emergency maneuver.

When it comes to braking, try to use the brake pedal lightly, not hard. This will prevent your car from skidding out of control as you pass a corner.

Another common mistake made by new drivers is to turn their steering wheel too much when they’re turning around a corner. This is usually due to a lack of experience. Generally, a turn should take less than one full rotation of the steering wheel.

4. Keep Your Eye on the Road

If you’re not using your eyes properly when driving, you can end up causing an accident. This can happen if you’re distracted by something, like texting or talking on the phone. Or if you’re tired or sleepy.

Another thing you can do to keep your eye on the road is to concentrate on your peripheral vision. This is because it helps you see what is happening ahead of your car.

This can be important for defensive driving, because it allows you to scan the driving scene and recognize hazards before they become a problem. For example, if you notice a ball rolling across the road or a child playing in the street, you can recognize these dangers before they are too late and take steps to avoid them.

You should also check your mirrors periodically to make sure that other drivers aren’t tailgating you. This can cause a collision, especially if the driver in front of you brakes quickly or changes lanes.

Finally, you should always try to increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This can help you to avoid rear-ending them, as they will be less able to see your vehicle.

In addition to checking the mirrors, it’s also a good idea to occasionally glance at your speedometer to make sure you’re staying within the limits of the road. This can be especially important if you’re driving at night or in bad weather, when visibility is reduced.

You should also avoid following other cars too closely, as it can make them nervous and limit their visibility. This can lead to a collision, especially if there are animals on the road or debris.

5. Practice Multitasking

Driving requires drivers to pay attention to a variety of things, including the road ahead. This includes things like traffic signals, road signs and other cars on the roadway. Without the ability to focus on these items, drivers can make errors that can lead to a collision or other serious injury.

Multitasking is the process of focusing on several tasks at once, often in an effort to save time. While this may sound like a good idea, it is not safe. In fact, it is considered as dangerous as texting while driving and can actually increase the risk of a collision.

When you are multitasking, your brain splits incoming signals between your right and left sides, which makes it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Your brain is also less likely to notice dangers on the road that you could have seen if your eyes were focused on the road instead of another task.

Drivers who multitask may not even realize they are doing it, but they are still putting themselves at risk. Studies have shown that multitasking can interfere with your ability to drive safely and can cause you to miss important cues about the road, which can lead to a collision.

In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to use a handheld wireless communication device while you are behind the wheel. This includes texting and using a smartphone.

While it may be tempting to listen to music or talk on the phone while you drive, these activities are extremely distracting. These distractions may also slow you down and cause you to swerve or hit other vehicles.