Most adult drivers rate their driving skills as ‘above average.’ Despite that, many people could improve their defensive driving skills.

Defensive driving isn’t just about being in control of the vehicle. It is about being able to anticipate and react to anything other drivers might do. There are five things every driver should know so they can react to the unexpected.

Stay Calm

Aggressive driving is a contributing factor in 66% of all vehicle accidents. No matter how good the driver, a person driving in an emotional state is a distracted driver. Staying calm behind the wheel is an important part of being a good driver.

People can easily become frustrated behind the wheel, whether they are stuck in traffic or have just been cut off by an aggressive driver. Nearly 2% of drivers admit to having driven someone off the road following a road rage situation. The road is no place for retaliation, especially when 1500 people die per year in road rage incidents.

Avoid Sudden Changes

Drivers should avoid sudden lane changes or changes in speed, as these often lead to automobile accidents. All drivers should drive like they have a cup of hot coffee on the dashboard. They should avoid sudden turns, abrupt changes in speed and sudden stops.

More than a quarter of car accidents are rear-end collisions caused by a driver slamming on their brakes. Another 9% of all car accidents are due to sudden lane changes. Other drivers usually cannot anticipate rapid changes in direction and speed, and these types of actions are responsible for many accidents.

Assume Everyone Else is a Bad Driver

The truth is most motorists are competent drivers. However, assuming other drivers are focused and will not pull out in front of you or move into your lane can lead to car accidents. Instead, drivers should assume that everyone on the road is a dangerous driver and be prepared for the unexpected.

Keep Vehicle Maintenance Up-to-Date

Tire blowouts and other mechanical failures cause anywhere from 10 to 15% of all accidents annually. Drivers can prevent these types of dangerous situations by replacing worn tires and keeping their vehicle in good repair. The time to find out about a mechanical problem isn’t during an accident. It is before the dangerous condition causes the accident in the first place.

Dress Appropriately

Footwear can be a hindrance to good driving. In the United Kingdom, nearly 1.4 million accidents per year are blamed on footwear. High heels and other shoes make it difficult to maintain speed and react quickly.

Drivers should save the fashion statement for when they’re out of their vehicles and keep a separate pair of shoes for driving. The best shoes are closed toe ones with good traction and low heels.

Whether a driver has been on the road for 1 week or 20 years, there is always room for improvement. Most of the time, these improvements are simple everyday fixes that any driver can use to become better. Regardless of a driver’s skill level, a driver should always make a point of improving that skill.



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