Coping With Heavy Traffic – 5 Defensive Driving Tips

Lower gas prices means more cars on the road…especially during commute hours. Unfortunately, that also means bigger chances of fatal crashes…according to a University of Alabama study.  The National Safety Council has created handy list of tips to help you stay alert and spot in advance…daily hazards that are avoidable.

  • Check your mirrors every three to five seconds while always scanning ahead for possible dangers.
  • Always give the right of way to fellow motorists, but be prepared to react to unexpected lane changes and turns.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles…especially during heavy traffic…by reducing speed to give yourself sufficient response time
  • Be vigilant for signs of impaired, distracted and yes…aggressive driving.  Keeping calm under pressure is a valuable skill to develop…use techniques like deep breathing to keep focused.

Everyone wants to avoid accidents…and “Watch out for the other guy” is old expression that has merit.  Yet, we are all “the other guy” for other drivers.  Recognizing the top unsafe driving behaviors that lead to collisions is a valuable skill you can develop to recognize in others and yourself. Learning how to avoid each dangerous behavior naturally develops safer driving habits and collision avoidance techniques.

  1. Following too closely – California freeway drivers encounter this daily. Three seconds of distance between your own vehicle and the one ahead can make all the difference.  If you’re being tailgated…just maintain your speed and move over to let him or her pass if they wish. Never speed up to accommodate the tailgater!
  2. Driving too fast – Watch closely for both the posted speed limit and weather conditions. Remember, treacherous weather conditions override the posted speed limit. Slow down if rain, snow or icy conditions dictate.
  3. Violating right of way – Make sure you’re yielding properly and following all traffic signals and stop signs by driving at an appropriate speed to give yourself time to react and take a moment to scan intersections before entering them.

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