No matter what level of driving experience you have, or if you are a teen, adult, or mature driver, knowledge of defensive driving is a must. Here are the basics that you will probably learn should you ever attend a driver improvement course.
Focus on the Task on Hand
Any good defensive driving course will teach you that driving is a serious activity that demands all of your attention. Anything that diverts your attention from the road to something going on inside of the car significantly increases your odds of being in an accident. This is why it is essential to never do things that might take up a ton of your attention, like talking on the phone, texting, eating, or trying to find something inside the car. In fact, texting and talking on the phone have become such serious problems that many states have passed laws that make doing so illegal. For your safety and the safety of others, it's crucial to place all of your attention on driving while in your car.
Online traffic schools emphasize that you should be psychologically fit for driving before you get behind the while. That means that your ability to be alert is not impaired by drugs, alcohol, illness, or fatigue. Even common over the counter medicine like cough syrup or antihistamines can make you drowsy and hinder your level of awareness, so pay close attention to warning labels before you take anything and drive.
You should always be scanning the road for any obstacles or hazards you might encounter. When driving around city or suburban areas, be especially watchful of pedestrians who may be attempting to cross the street. On freeways, give yourself plenty of room in-between your car and the car in front of you. When you attend a traffic school online you will learn the "two second" rule. That is, you should give yourself two seconds of distance between yourself and any car you are following.
Obey the Law
You may think that going faster than the posted speed limit, making illegal U-turns, or rolling through stop signs can save you a bit of time and get you to your destination faster, but in reality it can cost you in the long run. Increasing your chance for accidents or getting pulled over will cost you far more time than it might save.
Have Your Car Well Maintained
Traffic schools also frequently educate on the importance of vehicle maintenance. An important part of defensive driving starts well before you even start the car. A poorly maintained car creates a lot of unnecessary hazards. For example, bald tires make it easier to lose control in you have to turn sharply. Old shock absorbers actually increase the distance required to brake suddenly. And old, worn out wiper blades made it more difficult to see when it starts to rain. When you take the extra effort to ensure your car is in tip top shape, you keep yourself safe and save a lot of money in the long run.
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