Defensive Driving Tips To Avoid Aggression On The Roads
Posted on April 24, 2021
When you take off for the drive home in your new CarHub vehicle, you’ll likely discover that the roads ahead are not as friendly and welcoming as a test drive around our lot. This is where the importance of safe driving comes in, and mastering the correct driving skills can certainly make a world of difference. This means becoming a strong defensive driver, with the skill to avoid potential traffic crashes and insurance claims even when faced with aggressive drivers on the roads who have incorrect driving techniques.
What is defensive driving?
Defensive driving means protecting yourself preemptively from other motorists who may not be following the rules of the road. It means being able to predict disaster, damage or danger before it actually takes place, and before it harms you or your fellow passengers. This means avoiding a potential collision with an aggressive driver, as one example. Rules such as maintaining a safe following distance from other vehicles, checking your blind spots, slowing down appropriately at intersections, staying focused on the road ahead and driving without distractions (such as your smartphone or other devices) are all key elements.
What is the most important element of defensive driving?
The most important element of defensive driving is being aware of safe driving habits and putting them into action. Be aware of all road rules, signs and speed limits, at all times. According to MTO (The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario), safe driving consists of a combination of knowledge, skill and attitude. Meanwhile, defensive driving specifically consists of the three key concepts of visibility, space and communication.
Here at CarHub, we take safety very seriously. We’ve rounded up our guide to the top defensive driving tips to keep in mind for the road ahead:
1. Always watch for road conditions:
Road conditions have an impact on driving, and situations such as snow, rain or sleet call for careful defensive driving. Be sure to drive cautiously, as reckless moves on wet, icy or snowy streets can often result in disaster. Although defensive driving should be practiced at all times, it becomes most important when there are inclement weather conditions, such as slippery roads.
2. Follow speed limits:
We all know that speeding and disobeying speed limits can lead to tragic consequences, and we are all hoping to avoid those consequences when on the roads. Be sure to post all posted speed limits while out on the roads, regardless of other drivers around you who may be speeding, driving aggressively or trying to race.
3. Be a fair and respectful driver:
Courtesy goes a long way on the roads, and this often means preparing defensively for less than courteous behaviour from other drivers on the roads. Remember to stay fair and respectful as you drive. This means keeping emotions under control, not falling prey to the road rage or aggression of fellow motorists, not cutting off other vehicles in traffic and also maintaining a safe following distance of 2-3 seconds between yourself and other drivers.
4. Pay attention to traffic lights:
Remember, red always means stop, green is go and yellow means that the light is about to turn red, and you should stop if it’s safe to do so. It definitely doesn’t mean it’s time to speed up to see if you can get to the intersection before it turns red! To avoid causing accidents or harming pedestrians, never run a red light. Pay attention to traffic signals, at all times.
5. Consider taking a defensive driving course:
While it may have been a few years since your driving school days, you can always consider taking a defensive driving course in order to refresh your skills. Many of these courses are offered for adult learners who have been on the roads for some time already, or for those who drive commercial vehicles. You might consider doing this in winter to get some extra tips on driving in snowy conditions.
Does a defensive driving course reduce insurance in Canada?
Yes, a defensive driving course can help to reduce your insurance rates in Canada. You will have to check with your insurance provider specifically, but you may be able to save anywhere from 5 to 15 percent.
How often should you take a defensive driving course?
You may have taken driver’s ed as a teen or young adult, but if you are looking to sharpen your skills on the road, it’s recommended to take a defensive driving course every several years, if needed. If you drive professionally for work, it may be a requirement for your job (such as truck drivers or others who operate commercial or company vehicles).