What is Defensive Driving?

8-10-18  | Business  | Jeff Rausch

Defensive driving is:

Defensive driving entails the continuous and consistent employment of your driving knowledge and foresight to the situation.

  • Driving to avoid all collisions.
  • By not committing mistakes or driving errors ourselves.
  • Looking out and compensating for the actions of others, adverse weather, road and traffic conditions.

You are not employing defensive driving principles when you:

  • Do not have an adequate space cushion of 3-4 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Do not look both ways before entering an intersection to ensure traffic has stopped or yielded.
  • Assume the other driver will yield to you when making a maneuver.
  • Assume it is safe to turn when an opposing driver waves you on or allows you to turn in front of them.
  • Do not first look left, right, & left again at an intersection when your light has just turned green.
  • Have your wheels already turned left when stopped to make a left turn.
  • Drive on or close to the center line, especially on a curve.
  • Turn left in the face of oncoming traffic – when your view is obstructed by a vehicle opposite of you also trying to make a left turn.
  • Do not come to a complete stop for a stop sign, instead you keep the wheels rolling.  
  • Do not stay far enough back from the vehicle stopped in front of you. You should be able to see their rear tires touching the pavement.
  • You back your vehicle without checking the clearances - All backing collisions are preventable.
  • Exceed the posted speed limit or drive at a speed to fast for existing traffic and/or weather conditions.
  • Constantly drive in the fast lane (the left or passing lane) – A major cause of road rage.
  • Do not turn from the nearest lane into the nearest lane, not crossing a lane during your turn.
  • Do not keep your eyes moving, you should shift your focus every 2 seconds checking in front & mirrors.
  • Do not realize a parked vehicle (even double parked) may be a hazard, they are never the cause of a collision.
  • Do not continuously observe pedestrian traffic next/near your vehicle, especially at night/poor weather.
  • Do not Slow Down and cover your brake when you enter an intersection or identify a potential hazard.

While these situations may not in themselves cause a collision, they can each contribute to the possibility of being involved in a preventable collision. By avoiding these poor driving habits or mistakes, you can help reduce your chance of being involved in a collision situation; realizing that in almost any situation, where one driver drives Defensively, there will NOT be a collision. Let that driver be you!

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Contact Jeff Rausch, Vice President, Risk Solutions for more information on loss control services:
Jeff.Rausch@53.com | 502-498-1898


Jeff Rausch