If you are distracted by events inside your car:
- Check the situation ahead.
- Pick a safe time to look away.
- Cover your brake pedal with your right foot.
- Take short looks inside the vehicle and im
check the road ahead of you.
- Dont look at a map while driving. Have a passenger
help you with navigation.
- Stop and read the map if you dont have a passenger
in the car.
Defensive Driving: Looking Ahead for Trouble
Watch the brake lights of cars both ahead of you and
in other lanes for signs of trouble ahead. Start braking
early if you see traffic ahead of you slowing down.
Defensive Driving: Avoid Being Rear Ended
In order to minimize the likelihood of your being rear-ended
by another vehicle:
- Increase your following distance from vehicles ahead
of you, particularly in adverse conditions or if you
can see other drivers braking or driving erratically.
- Signal early whenever you turn, stop, or change
- Slow and stop using smooth braking techniques and
avoid braking at the last minute.
- Keep pace with the flow of traffic whenever possible.
- Check your mirrors to check the following distance
of vehicles behind you.
- Before you change lanes, double-check their direction.
- Whenever you are stopped in traffic, keep your brake
- Make sure your brake lights are kept clean and work
Defensive Driving: Compromise to Reduce the
Risk of Hazards
You should not view driving as a competitive activity.
It is important that you always compromise to reduce
the risk of hazards to you and drivers and pedestrians
who are relying on you for their safety:
If you are on a two-way street and facing a line of
oncoming traffic, you should be prepared to brake and
move to the right if an oncoming vehicle moves into
your lane. If this happens, you should:
- Slow down.
- Pull to the right as far as you safely can.
- Sound your horn and flash your lights.
As you approach a curve, you should slow down, downshift
if you are driving a manual transmission, and smoothly
steer around the curve. Once you have returned to safe
road, accelerate again to the appropriate speed.
If there are no speed limit signs posted for the curve,
the decision of what speed is appropriate is up to you.
Many factors should affect your decision: the condition
of the road, the sharpness of the curve, visibility,
and the condition of the car you are driving.
You should recognize the curve and adjust your position
and speed ahead of time, rather than trying to deal
with it in the curve. Braking in a curve can be dangerous
and result in a tire blowout or loss of control of your
If you are on a two-way road, be very wary of oncoming
traffic. Oncoming drivers could cross the center line
and cause a head-on collision. In order to be prepared
to avoid this, start by staying to the right of your
Defensive Driving: When a Collision Cant
Preparing for a Collision
There may come a time in your driving career when you
can see a collision coming, but cannot safely do anything
to avoid it. If this should happen, all you can do is
to prepare yourself to emerge from it as safely as possible.
If you are about to be hit from the rear:
- Be prepared to brake so that you wont be pushed
into another car or into oncoming traffic.
- Head restraints, or head rests, prevent neck injury.
Keep your head restraint adjusted so that it reaches
the back of your head, not the base of your skull.
If you are about to be hit from the front:
- Use your arms and hands to protect yourself if you
are wearing a seat belt with a shoulder strap.
- If your seat belt does not have a shoulder strap,
throw yourself across the seat beside you so that
you wont be thrown into the steering column
or the windshield.