Every year, thousands of people die due to aggressive driving that doesn’t take safety into consideration and may include ill intentions toward others. This is why learning its opposite, defensive driving, is important.
Defensive driving consists of safe driving behavior that prioritizes safety and intention to save money, lives, and more. All drivers should aspire to be defensive drivers. But, in particular, truck drivers and individuals who are on the road regularly towing or hauling cargo long distances should practice defensive driving to keep themselves and others safe while they’re on the road. This is why we’ve gathered a few defensive driving tips to help you be more intentional about driving safely.
- Focus on driving.
When you’re in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, your focus should be on the task at hand: driving. Texting, eating, brushing your teeth or hair, talking on the phone, and fiddling with the radio, among other things, should be avoided. By focusing on driving, you’re paying attention to your vehicle, the road, and other vehicles around you. This allows you to better anticipate other drivers’ actions and stop or turn as necessary to keep everyone inside and outside of the vehicle safe.
Although the other vehicle may not have the right of way, if you’re not sure if they are moving forward or not, yield. It’s always better to opt for caution when it comes to yielding and letting others go before you or aggressively moving forward anyway. Yielding by default as a defensive driver will minimize the risk of collision and undesired accidents occurring.
- Expect other drivers to make mistakes.
The one thing that you are in control of while you are driving is what kind of driver you are and how you are driving. You can’t control or anticipate how other drivers will react to obstacles or ambiguous situations. Always trust yourself and don’t trust that the other drivers will react in the proper way when anything occurs on the road. By expecting others to make mistakes, you can anticipate what to do and drive accordingly to maximize your and others’ safety.
- Slow down.
It’s much harder to stop your vehicle when you’re speeding along than when you’re going at a reasonably slow pace. Stay at or around the speed limit. And drive with caution, leaving enough space between you and the vehicles ahead of you so that you can brake in the case of them suddenly stopping. Slowing down means that you’ll have more time to react if something happens on the road.
- Always buckle up (and advise your passengers, as well).
One of the most important steps of defensive driving is taking safety measures and precautions to protect yourself and your passengers. Wearing a seatbelt and making sure that your passengers are, will protect you if you get into an accident. Don’t let forgetting to wear a seatbelt be the reason why you’re dealing with multiple injuries or worse.
Defensive driving is a great skill to practice and refine, and you can always become a better defensive driver. Start today by implementing these 5 tips every time you sit in the driver’s seat. You’ll be glad you did. Prepare yourself for the future when you may need a tow or emergency roadside assistance by saving Tow Pro’s number in your phone to call in your time of need: 615.256.TOWS(8697).