Defensive driving is generally what experts recommend for the safety of an individual concerned about crash risk. Rather than simply complying with traffic laws, motorists engaged in defensive driving techniques actively try to reduce their risk of causing or being involved in a collision.
Parents who have a teenager learning to drive or who is getting their practice hours in are often very anxious about the risks that their young driver takes while on the road. Encouraging young adults to learn about and practice defensive driving techniques could reduce their risk of a collision and give parents better peace of mind. For example, the three defensive driving tactics below could all help increase a young adult’s safety at the wheel.
Don’t trust other motorists
Perhaps the most important rule in defensive driving is to never assume that people in other vehicles will do the safest or smartest thing in a situation. Instead, drivers should do the opposite. They should acknowledge that many motorists will not make a smart choice and might fail to observe their surroundings properly. Defensive driving requires that people adjust their personal habits based on the risk posed by other drivers in any particular situation.
One of the best ways for motorists to minimize their crash risk is to effectively communicate with others on the road. Obviously, verbal communication and gestures only work in a handful of situations when drivers have already acknowledged each other or are very close to one another in traffic. Turn signals and brake lights are crucial to effective communication with others in traffic. Consistently using turn signals before merging or rounding a corner can reduce the likelihood that other motorists will misjudge someone’s intentions. Tapping the brakes can let someone know that there is a traffic slow down ahead or just that they’ve gotten too close to someone’s bumper.
Minimize personal risk factors
Everyone brings some degree of risk with them when they operate a motor vehicle. Some people have trouble making decisions quickly, while others are easier to distract than the average person. People should acknowledge and try to adjust for their personal weaknesses when driving. They also need to avoid the three major contributing factors to many crashes, which are chemical impairment, fatigue and distraction.
Parents who teach their children to carefully monitor other vehicles and drive safely help those new drivers reduce crash risk while they are learning how to safely navigate the roads.