5 Important Defensive Driving Reminders

Do you remember sitting in Driver’s Ed, overwhelmed by the number of rules and the amount of safety information you were expected to learn? How about during your driving instruction, being scared of driving off the road or not braking fast enough and hitting the car in front of you. Don’t you wish someone would have told you a few key points to remember so you could relax? Well, here they are. Share them with that new driver in your life.

  • Stay focused. We live in a fast-paced world. People pride themselves in being able to multitask. Unfortunately, too many people attempt to do that while driving. It is not uncommon to see people eating, listening to music with headphones, texting, applying makeup or even reading. This makes it that much more important for new drivers to focus on driving and only driving. Many states have rules around new drivers not having passengers in their car. The main reason for this is to avoid distraction.
  • Check your six. Ever jump into a rental car, take off, and realize you haven’t adjusted the mirrors? This is an easy thing to forget, but mirrors are like another set of eyes in the back of our head. The more we can see the better. However, no matter how well we adjust the mirrors, there will always be a blind spot, so make sure to still look over your shoulder to make sure you didn’t miss that approaching car on the highway.
  • Keep your distance. Don’t tailgate. We have all been guilty of this at one point or another. The day we are running late is the day we get behind the person driving 5 miles under the speed limit. The reality is whether we are riding their bumper or 10 yards back, they will still be going 5 miles under the speed limit. It will be even more frustrating for them to stop quick and you slam into the back of their car? Give yourself the space to be able to stop safely. Allow more distance at increased speeds and in inclement weather.
  • Slow down at all intersections. A yellow light does not mean speed up! Slowing down when approaching will allow you to stop safely if the light changes or the person in front of you stops quickly. 4-way stops can be tricky because cars often approach at the same time. When in doubt, let the other person go first.
  • Pay attention to road signs. This may seem obvious, but how many times have you been driving along thinking about something else and suddenly realize your lane is closed ahead for construction? Signs are not only there to keep you safe, but paying attention to them can save you a lot of money. In many states speeding fines are doubled in construction and school zones.

Stay safe out there!