What do people consider defensive driving to be, and what’s involved?

Have you ever heard the terms defensive driving or defensive drivers and wondered what it was? It’s a commonly asked question. In the following article, we’re going to walk you through what defensive driving is. We’ll also cover how you can become a defensive driver. It’s never too late to change how you drive!

If you have been involved in any automotive accident in Eagle County or Summit County, Colorado, Mountain Recovery is only a phone call away at 970-476-1124. We operate 24/7, 365-days a year, to keep you moving and help get your vehicle back on the road.

What Is Considered Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving utilizes a set of safe responses to potential hazards they may encounter on the road. This includes dangerous or damaged road surfaces, other drivers on the roads, debris, animals, weather conditions, and much more.

Whenever you choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you’re taking risks. Unfortunately, driving is never risk-free, regardless of how long you’ve been driving, where you drive, or what you drive. However, by employing specific driving techniques, you can help to keep yourself and other drivers on the road safe.

What Is Considered a Defensive Driver?

Defensive drivers use defensive driving techniques to reduce their chances or risk of having an accident. They do this by remaining alert, controlling what they can around them, and always being prepared for the unexpected. Typically, there are defensive driving techniques that you can learn doing defensive driving courses. Some insurance companies will even reduce the premiums on your car insurance if you’ve successfully completed a defensive driving course.

What Are Defensive Driving Techniques You Should Know?

If you are interested in becoming a defensive driver, then the following defensive driving tips will help you become a safer and more aware driver:

  1. Never Rush, Always Take Your Time – Speeding is easily one of the most common traits of aggressive driving behavior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identified that speeding was a factor in 26% of traffic accidents where a fatality occurred. So, while speeding a few miles over the posted limit won’t get you to your destination much earlier, it could mean the difference between a serious injury or death.
  2. Never Drink and Drive or Use Drugs and Drive – According to the Insurance Information Institute, alcohol, drugs, and medication are a factor in over 10% of fatal car accidents annually in the United States. So, if you have drunk any alcohol, used any drugs, or taken any medication which could affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, never get behind the wheel.
  3. Stay Alert and Keep Your Eyes Open – Always stay alert! Circumstances on the highway or road can change quickly in the blink of an eye. If you’re a defensive driver, you’re always scanning vehicles all around you. That truck two lanes across may not seem like a risk, but if it blows a tire or swerves into your lane to avoid an animal, then you need to be prepared to take evasive action.
  4. Maintain A Safe Following Distance – Always maintain a safe distance. According to the NHTSA, over 40% of vehicle collisions are rear-ended collisions. If you are tailgating other vehicles on the road, then you’re much more likely to get into an accident. Maintaining a gap of 2-3 seconds from the car in front of you is recommended to avoid a rear-end collision.
  5. Note Potential Road Hazards – Always note hazards on the road. Potholes, debris, loose cargo, and dead animals can quickly cause an accident if someone takes evasive action to avoid them or runs them over in front of you.
  6. Don’t Get Distracted – While you’re driving! According to the NHTSA, distracted driving was a contributing factor in over 2,800 accident-related fatalities and 400k accident-related injuries. Turning to talk to other people in the car, playing with your phone, playing with your radio, or looking around inside your car can all be a serious distraction while driving.
  7. Don’t Get Competitive On the Roads – If you see someone else speeding on the roads, it doesn’t mean that you need to. Defensive driving involves a variety of factors. These include maintaining safe speeds, safe space between you and other cars, and being aware of your surroundings at all times.

The Benefits of Defensive Driving

Defensive driving will help you avoid injuries and stay safe on the roads. It can also save you a lot of time and money. It does this by helping you avoid potential accidents. Aggressive driving is dangerous and will result in you being involved in an accident or getting fined. All of these factors will increase your insurance premiums, costing you even more money.

If you get too many tickets, lose your license, or have too many accidents, your insurance company may drop your insurance coverage. Which means you’ll need to find another insurance company. It can get pretty costly!

In comparison, defensive drivers are usually rewarded for their safe driving practices. Check with your insurance and see if they offer discounts for undertaking a defensive driving course.

When You Need A Tow

Hopefully, now you have a much clearer idea about what a defensive driver is and what defensive driving is. Want to learn more about becoming a defensive driver? Look for certified defensive driving courses in your local area. You can also check with your insurance company to see if they reward defensive drivers.

If you have any questions about defensive driving, then please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us directly. Our friendly and professional team at Mountain Recovery is always happy to assist you.

If you have been involved in any automotive accident in Eagle County or Summit County, Colorado, Mountain Recovery is only a phone call away at 970-476-1124. We operate 24/7, 365-days a year, to keep you moving and help get your vehicle back on the road.