Leave Yourself an Out

Exclamation Mark SignDo you plan to avoid trouble when you are driving? A defensive driver always tries to maintain a space cushion around their vehicle to give themselves both time to decide and a place to go if a problem occurs. It is an active role rather than a reactive one and requires continual thought and adjustment.

Always maintain at least two seconds following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This space gives you time to react when things go wrong. It also gives you more room to see what is going on further ahead on the highway and avoid problems before you become involved in them.

Keep a cushion behind your vehicle as well. One way to deal with a tailgater is to make more room in front of you so that the tailgater has more time to react if something happens. Another is to slow and encourage them to pass, or pull over and stop to let them by. Trading inconvenience for safety is always worthwhile.

Always wear your seat belt. It helps to maintain a space cushion between you and the interior of your vehicle. If you have an airbag equipped vehicle this is even more important! Maintain at least 10 inches distance between you and your airbag and use the seat belt to keep you properly positioned in the event of deployment.

Never match speeds with the vehicle travelling beside you on multi-lane highways, especially at freeway exits. Offset your vehicle to the front or rear so that you have a place to change lanes into if the need arises. This will also avoid having someone collide with you if they don't check properly before a lane change.

Never drive in another driver's blind spot. If you cannot see the other driver's face in their rear view mirror, they probably can't see you either. Remember that there are huge blind spots for drivers of transport trucks. Avoid the "no zone."

Comments

Good advice.

But what should you do, if all of the traffic on the highway with you is exceeding the speed limit by, say, 5 km/h to 10 km/h?

Stictly adhere to the limit (whereby cars will constantly be getting too close to your rear bumper, and/or passing you so that your out constantly disappears)?

Or deliberately drive with the best space cushion you can manage, to reduce the chance of collision?

Your not suggesting speeding, are you?

You sound like you have the same mentality as Ian Tootill and his need for speed group, trying to justify speeding as being somehow OK if everyone else is doing it. Why speed up and increase the carnage should it happen (simple physics) & decrease your reaction time like the rest of the flow over the limit are doing?

I never find myself having to speed to stay "safe?" if the rest of the drivers choose to ignore the law and drive dangerously and risk lives, in no way am I going to join in on such reckless behaviour. There are other ways to deal with many drivers that ignore the law and selfishly choose risk your and other lives, like already said, slow down and encourage them to pass, pull over when safe and let them by and if no safe place exists for some time and they are too close you can lightly touch your brake pedal enough for the light to come on to encourage them to back off until safe to pass, and if that still fails then slow down even more so that if a crash occurs less damage will occur, then try speeding back up to the limit to see if they leave room, if not slow back down until they can pass or you can pull off the road safely.  With my front & rear facing dash cams I will always have a witness for court should something happen, and to top it off for me, speeding will never be a factor in a crash should it occur where it would be for the rest of the flow that speeds.

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