Tips for defensive driving

Whether you’ve taken driving lessons or not, you’ve likely heard the term defensive driving. So, what is it? Does it really matter? And, how can you learn to drive defensively?


Defensive driving: a definition
Defensive driving is a set of driving skills that allows you to defend yourself against possible collisions caused by other drivers — bad, drunk, or impaired drivers — as well as poor weather conditions. 

Drivers that understand and practice defensive driving are better able to avoid dangers on the road, and are less likely to be involved in accidents. 

 

The mindset
Never made assumptions about another driver’s intentions. It may be easy to fall into this routine, since you’d expect parked vehicles to remain that way, cars to stop at stop signs, or to use just one lane at a time. However, each of these are examples of assumptions. 

 

Expect and learn to anticipate the possible mistakes of other drivers around you. This will ensure that you’re always alert and ready to adjust your driving in order to defend yourself and help to protect others using the roadways, including pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Tips for defensive driving:

  • Plan for the unexpected
  • Be prepared to react to other drivers
  • Control your speed

  • Continuously scan your surroundings and check your mirrors and blindspot
  • Keep both hands on the wheel
  • Reduce noise in your car’s cabin (i.e. radio volume)
  • Do not make assumptions of other drivers
  • Respect other users of the roadway (motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians)
  • Be aware of changing road and weather conditions
  • Be alert and avoid distractions such as your mobile phone or eating while driving

 

When learning to drive, or brushing up on new skills, it’s always best to enlist the guidance of a professional. There are a number of driving schools across the country that have teachers trained to deliver both a theoretical and practical approach to driving so that you can understand and apply your new skills. 

Remember, when behind the wheel, it’s everyone’s responsibility to drive safely and in accordance with the law. If you see someone driving erratically, feel empowered to contact your local law enforcement authorities to report the dangerous driving.

 

At Gatsby Valet, driver and vehicle safety are our paramount concern, as is the safety of others using the roadways and parking areas. All of our staff are trained to identify and react to varied driving conditions and situations to ensure the safe movement of vehicles.

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