Defensive Driving Techniques
Defensive driving is one of the most important things you can do to prevent injury on the job. Let’s take a look at the meaning of driving defensively and discuss techniques for staying safe.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving means anticipating dangerous situations by taking into account the actions of others and the presence of adverse driving conditions. Simply stated, defensive driving means being completely ready for potential surprises on the road.
What does Defensive Driving Require?
Defensive driving requires the knowledge and strict observance of all traffic rules and regulations applicable to the area in which the vehicle is being operated. A successful defensive driver will never be involved in a preventable accident. The following requirements of the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Program can be helpful in learning to drive with a more defensive mentality. According to the program, defensive driving requires:
A constant alertness for the illegal acts and driving errors of other drivers, and a willingness to make timely adjustments in your own driving so that these actions will not cause you to get into an accident.
An understanding and anticipation of any adjustments you may need to make in your driving for hazards presented by unusual or changing conditions. Such conditions include the mechanical functioning of your vehicle, type of road surface, weather, light, amount of traffic, and your physical condition and state of mind.
A thorough knowledge of the rules of right of way and a willingness to yield the right of way to another driver whenever necessary to avoid an accident.
An attitude of confidence that you can drive without ever having a preventable accident.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Vehicle
Even the most defensive drivers could contribute to an accident on the road if operating an unsafe vehicle. Make sure you keep your vehicle in good shape by taking it for routine oil changes and fluid checks, ensuring the tires are properly inflated and performing other maintenance as needed.