DEFENSIVE DRIVING TIPS
Defensive driving is often defined as preventing crashes before they occur…
It is the demonstration of an attitude, awareness and driving skills such as:
- Staying alert and keeping your eyes moving so that you can keep track of what is happening at all times.
- Looking for trouble spots developing around you.
- Having a plan of action if the other driver does the wrong thing.
- Knowing that the law requires drivers to protect each other from their own mistakes.
A Defensive Driver Must:
- Be able to keep a safe driving record.
- Have a positive attitude on road safety.
- Be physically and mentally fit to drive.
- Have received proper training before driving
FACTORS THAT AFFECT DRIVING:
A defensive driver must develop and demonstrate an attitude that:
- Shows concern for other road users.
- Recognizes that other road users will make mistakes.
- Knows no journey is so urgent that a safe speed can be maintained.
- Driving is a skill which requires the application of good techniques.
- Believes that safe driving requires an alert mind at all times.
An ideal defensive driver:
- Always wear a seat-belt.
- Keeps within the advisory speed limit.
- Constantly scans the road for potential hazard.
- Signals his intentions at all times.
- Shows courtesy at all times.
The factors affecting the behavior of the driver are the following alcohol, drugs, and fatigue.
Right Mental Attitude
A defensive driver always maintains a safe caution of distance in front and behind his vehicles by:
- Observing the four-second rule.
- Adopting a positive and skilled mental approach.
Search – The road seen ahead, around and rear of the vehicles.
Identify – The potential and immediate hazard on the road.
Predict – The actions of other road users.
Decide – What to do to avoid an unsafe situation.
KEYS TO EFFECTIVE DEFENSIVE DRIVING
- Standard of vision, hearing and health all have a bearing on the amount of concentration.
- The driver must adjust the speed of his vehicle on the degree of concentration he is able to apply.
Driving Plans and Decisions
- Driving plans should be made on the correct assessment of the changing scene both ahead or to the rear of the vehicle.
- Driving plans should enable the driver to make decisions in a methodical manner.
- Plans and decisions are combination of what can be seen, what cannot be seen circumstances which are expected to rise, allowances for the mistakes of other road users.
View From the Vehicle
- The driver must aim to have the best possible view of the area around the vehicle.
- Windows and windshield must be clean.
- Washers and wipers should be functioning.
- Mirrors are properly adjusted at the start of the journey.
Visions Affected by Speed
- The driver must adjust the length and the depth of his vision according to the speed trail.
- Focus further ahead as his speed increases.
- Road and traffic conditions will govern speed.
Visions Affected by Fatigue
- Continuous driving for long periods will cause fatigue which will result in eye strain.
- Recognition and assessment of dangerous situations will become late and inaccurate.
- Making it essential to have period of rest.
- Fog, rain, fading daylight or bright sunshine will reduce visibility so speed must be kept LOW.
A good driver is one that looks ahead and recognizes any change in the road surface.
Keep a steady speed on open roads. Slow down smoothly. Press the gas pedal lightly.
Starting up slowly give other drivers and people walking a chance to see what you are doing.
They can then judge how to react. When you have reached the speed you want, glance at the speedometer.