SafetyWatch: Defensive driving

April 8, 2016 -  By

Defensive awareness of other drivers and their actions. Awareness of road conditions and how to deal with them. Awareness of potential hazards on the road.

The defensive driver drives with all those things in mind and takes deliberate steps to minimize danger for everyone.

Attitude is the key to defensive driving. Too often, drivers approach the road and think only about their concerns—where they need to be and how long it will take to get there. Defensive driving means an attitude shift that puts safety first—your safety and the safety of everyone around you. It encompasses the way you approach vehicle maintenance, interacting with other vehicles, and accommodating other drivers. It means driving with concern for other people, first and foremost.

When it comes to accident prevention, remember: See, think, do. In every situation, you should be aware of and recognize potential hazards. That could mean snowy roads, a downed power line or even a drowsy driver in front of you. Understand how to handle specific hazards you might encounter, whether they involve road conditions, other drivers or your own vehicle. Finally, learn to act fast when hazards arise—don’t take a wait-and-see approach.

See the hazards. Think about defenses. Do what you need to do and do it fast. This is the foundation of safe driving.

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