Defensive Driving Techniques to Refamiliarize Yourself With
Being a safe and responsible driver also means being a defensive driver. While the word “defensive” might sound dangerous, it’s not a bad thing. Rather, it means being in a state of heightened awareness. If you’re a defensive driver, then this means you are prepared for any surprises that might pop up on the road in front of you.
Through defensive driving, you are actively working to prevent accidents on your own, despite the actions of others around you. To avoid accidents by practicing defensive driving, follow a three-step process of seeing hazards, understanding potential defenses and acting in time.
See the Hazard
Think about what may happen as far ahead of you as possible, and never assume that hazards will resolve themselves before you reach them. Also, be alert for illegal actions and driving errors made by others, and be ready to make timely adjustments to your own driving to avoid an accident.
Understand the Defense
Review a potentially hazardous situation in your mind after you see it so that you can act quickly and in plenty of time. This will allow you to formulate a defense that will prevent an accident. Even though you might be quickly approaching these potential hazards, there is still time to react and analyze your options of what to do.
Act in Time
Once you see a hazard and decide upon a defense, you must act. The sooner you act, the more time you will have to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Do not wait until it is too late, but also take the time to look around you to make sure that you aren’t swerving into the path of other drivers by avoiding the hazard.
Why Defensive Driving Matters to Insurers
By using these techniques to your advantage, you can often make yourself a much less risky driver in the eyes of your insurer. Defensive drivers are less likely overall to speed, drive recklessly and have accidents. They are therefore less likely to file a claim against their auto insurance policy and thus cost the insurer money.
As a result, insurers offer various incentives for those who want to become better defensive drivers. Some will even off discounts to policyholders who enroll in approved defensive driving courses. These classes will help you become even more familiar with the finer points of defensive driving, and give you the skills you need to be even safer behind the wheel. If it helps you to avoid an accident, then that’s a lot of burden off of the insurer. They might choose to reward you with further savings.