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Super Driving

August 5, 2015

Seven Secrets of Super Driving

When you drive defensively, you’re taking control of the situation and keeping your eyes open for aggressive or inattentive drivers who might cause an accident. Here are seven easy things you can do:

1. Think safety first. Avoiding aggressive and inattentive driving tendencies yourself will put you in a stronger position to deal with other people’s bad driving. Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. Always lock your doors and wear your seatbelt to protect you from being thrown from the car in a crash.

2. Be aware of your surroundings. Check your mirrors frequently and scan conditions far ahead of you. If a vehicle is showing signs of aggressive driving, slow down or pull over to avoid it. If the driver is driving so dangerously that you’re worried, try to get off the road or highway by turning right or taking the next exit if it’s safe to do so.

3. Assume the worst. Assume that drivers will run through red lights or stop signs and be prepared to react. While driving, imagine that other drivers (especially truck drivers) don’t see you when you are making your way into their path. Also, keep an eye on pedestrians and pets along the road.

4. Stay cool, calm, and collected. It’s best to avoid making eye contact with aggressive drivers. As hard as it can be, ignore any aggressive facial or hand gestures. And don’t race aggressive drivers – you run the risk of inciting their road rage. Other drivers do stupid things. The best drivers don’t get mad or try to get even.

5. Get the authorities involved. If you see an aggressive driver or trouble ahead, get to a safe place to pull over and call authorities or the police. Any information you can provide – a description of the vehicle, its license plate number, the direction it’s going – will be helpful.  If an aggressive driver crashes or causes an accident, try to stop safely a good distance from the scene. Wait for the police to arrive so that you can tell them about the aggressive behavior you witnessed.

6. Don’t drive if you are under the influence or very sleepy. Alcohol, illegal drugs, and some prescription medications affect a person’s judgment, including the ability to make important braking and steering decisions on the road. That means you’ll be less able to react quickly and drive defensively. Sleepy drivers can be just as bad as intoxicated drivers, so make frequent rest stops or let a friend drive if you’re tired.

7. Don’t take risks. When in doubt, don’t pass. And keep a safe following distance. That way you can avoid a collision, stay in your lane, and not get rear-ended if the driver in front of you slams on the brakes.