Who Are These Defensive Driving Tips Coming From?
In addition to having a strong and slightly odd passion for driving, I maintained a perfect safety record driving through all of the lower 48 United States in all weather conditions as a long-haul trucker. I’ve also completed advanced driving courses such as the Smith System Advanced Driving Course, participated in precision truck driving competitions, received multiple safe driving awards, have analyzed thousands of car accident videos, and became a certified CDL driving instructor (by the way, check out my truck driving blog). The above defensive driving tips are what I believe to be the top 5 most important aspects of being a safe driver. If you follow the above tips every time you drive and make it a habit, you will not only be a safer driver but you’ll also lower your stress level while driving (remember when driving was fun?).
What Defensive Driving Is Really About
Learning defensive driving isn’t so much about improving your own driving skills, rather, it’s how to avoid other drivers. People do dumb things all the time on the roadways. And face it, you’ve done some pretty stupid things yourself. How do I know that? Because we’ve ALL done stupid things on the roads. Nobody is a “perfect” driver. That’s why it is important to always expect the unexpected and plan for anything that might happen. By following the defensive driving tips listed above, you have learned how to safely position your vehicle in nearly any condition to avoid almost any unexpected situation. Notice how I say “almost” and “nearly”. That’s because you can’t plan for everything. However, following the above tips will make you a much safer driver than most. What defensive driving is really about is predicting other peoples mistakes! Sure, you’re wrong about 99% of the time. But when that 1% happens, you’ll be glad you practice defensive driving techniques.
Make Defensive Driving A Habit
Defensive driving can take some time to get used to. Breaking old habits can be hard. For instance, when I used to teach new truck drivers, it was very difficult for some of them to look really far down the road. In a truck that can take up to 3 football field lengths to stop, it is crucial for the safety of everyone that truck drivers look far down the road and predict emergency situations. It usually takes some reminding the first several days, but after a while, it becomes second nature. The same applies when driving any vehicle. For a while, you may have to remind your self to do certain things, but once it becomes second nature and you don’t even have to think about it, you’ve become a defensive driver!