Thursday, November 22, 2018

10 Defensive Driving Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe

When driving, it’s important to be on top of your game so that you can avoid any mishaps between you and other drivers. Read these 10 defensive driving tips, so that you can be prepared on the go.

1. Avoid Getting Distracted

You might have found yourself engaging in distracted driving, especially if you have children. But you need to make it a rule that you won’t look away from the road so you can keep your family safe. When your children ask you to look at them or something they are holding, tell them that you can’t look while you are driving. Avoid looking through your purse or using your phone while driving as well. Any action that takes your eyes off of the road — even for a second — can cause a car accident.

2. Pay Attention to Other Drivers

You might have heard the expression, “You not only need to drive for yourself, you need to drive for everyone else, too.” If you haven’t, what it means is that although you might be one of the best and safest drivers on the road, that doesn’t mean that you can control how other people drive. Be alert and aware of what other drivers are doing on the road. For example, check your rearview mirror to monitor how drivers approaching your vehicle are driving. Take note if they are weaving or speeding excessively.

3. Look Ahead

Not only do you need to pay attention to the drivers behind you, but you also need to look ahead in the distance to spot potential problems. Sometimes, you might need to change lanes to avoid a stranded car or a police officer making a traffic stop. Other times, you might notice brake lights flashing on cars up ahead, which signals that you will need to slow down.

4. Follow the Speed Limit

Speed limits are posted for a reason — so that drivers can proceed safely. When you exceed the speed limit, you are posing a danger for you, your passengers and every else on the road you meet. Plus, speeding can equal reckless driving, depending on how fast you’re traveling, which can equal huge fines. For example, in Henrico County VA reckless driving is defined as driving at 20 miles or above the posted speed limit.

5. Be Willing to Yield

Not all drivers operate the vehicle they are driving with confidence, and drivers who are unfamiliar with the traffic laws in a specific area might make errors. Always be on the lookout for confused drivers who might not do what they are supposed to do, such as yield to drivers coming off the interstate. Be willing to yield if you can do so safely, so that you and the other driver can avoid a car accident. Even if the collision isn’t serious, you’ll still have to deal with everything that happens after a car accident.

6. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Stop

Sure you can slam on your brakes and make your car stop, but at some point, you’ll likely have an accident. Get to know the feel of your vehicle’s brakes, so that you will know when to start applying them as you approach a traffic light or stop sign. That way, you’ll be able to give yourself ample time to stop without slamming on the brakes — and your brakes will last longer as well.

7. Use Your Blinkers

Drivers aren’t mind readers, so you need to be as helpful as possible when out on the road. When you plan to turn or change lanes, always use your blinker. Also, don’t wait until the last second to turn your blinker on. This can catch other drivers unaware and cause them to make a mistake.

8. Avoid Tailgating

If you’re in the habit of following too closely behind other drivers or tailgating, you need to stop. Not only is driving too closely annoying to the driver you’re following, it also can end up badly for you. If the driver ahead unexpectedly slams on his brakes, you just might plow right into the back of his car.

9. Keep a Safe Distance from Large Trucks and Precarious Loads

If you’ve ever been driving and heard a loud popping noise, followed by a mark or crack in your windshield, you might have been driving too closely to a large truck. Unfortunately, some trucks will throw up rocks and gravel from the roadway, which can strike the windshields of other drivers, so keep a safe distance. Also, if you see a vehicle or trailer with a load that seems unstable, keep a safe distance behind it to avoid having your car struck by flying objects.

10. Avoid Blindspot Errors

If you’ve ever tried to change lanes while driving only to see a car in the land you’re trying to move to at the last second, you know a blind spot can be dangerous. Just as other drivers should stay out of your blindspot, you should learn how to avoid blindspots as well. Make it a habit to pass other drivers in a timely manner and not hang out in an area where they can’t easily see you. And, when you decide to change lanes, ask someone else in the vehicle to double-check that there’s not another car where you’re planning to move. 


  1. I am from Boston and we are KNOWN for our defensive driving. You will definitley need these tips if you come here and drive because we will run ya right off the road lol.

  2. I hate driving in heavy traffic or big cities. I navigate and help in that area. My husband drives. Team effort

  3. These are great tips and many times things we often forget to do. It is so much better to be a defensive driver than an offensive driver.

  4. In these days with so many drivers distracted by texting and talking on the phone, it pays to be even more of a defensive driver. I see it every day - people texting and driving really makes me mad. These are all wonderful tips.

  5. These are some great tips! Driving can be such a dangerous thing, we all need to make sure we are doing our bit when driving to keep the road safe.

  6. There are too many people out there, driving distracted. I hear reports all the time about people being ticketed for texting while driving, Your tips are sure to help people with the upcoming holiday traffic rush.

  7. All of these safe driving pointers are excellent. I try to employ most if not all of them every time I get behind the wheel.

  8. These are all great tips for keeping yourself and family safe whilst driving. I usually don't have an issue with my driving - it is all the people aroundme who have no clue what they are doing! LOL

  9. I try to do all of these while driving with my family. People are nuts behind the wheel these days. Especially in Texas.

  10. I love all of your tips. Great post! I tell my son that expression all of the time as he's getting closer to being a driver.

  11. These are important tips for staying safe while driving. I've never heard the the expression “You not only need to drive for yourself, you need to drive for everyone else", because I approach driving in this way.

  12. These are all great tips. I've been driving for over 25 years now, so luckily I'm aware of them.

  13. This is so important! Safe driving and knowing how to be safe on the road is huge. I have unfortunately been in two accidents due to other drivers being distracted and it is terrifying.

  14. I took a defensive driving course in the 70s and now I feel like it was the single best thing I did for myself as a driver.

  15. I agree with all of these driving tips but number 2 reminds me of my grandma! She always told me she wasn't worried about my driving but the others driving on the road with me.

  16. Great tips. I'm already a very defensive driver. Trying to teach my daughter to be the same. Always checking out the people near us on the road.

  17. Theres are great reminders and tips. I have scolded myself a time or two for rummaging for something while driving than realizing just how unsafe that could be!

  18. So important to drive defensively! I always talk with my teen son about it!

  19. Yes, you always want to make sure you're aware of your surroundings while you drive. More so when you have kids in the car.


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