12 Defensive Driving Tips

Becoming a defensive driver will reduce the likelihood of auto collisions, protect yourself and other people on the road. In reality, not all people drive well but everyone believes they have enough ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Some drivers, particularly boys, weave between lanes while some do speed. Many careless driving behaviors are occurring every day. Besides, many accidents happen because of drivers’ distractions like talking on the cell phone, texting, sending an email, or even eating while driving. You can control the actions of other people; however, you can learn some defensive driving skills in this article. I believe that it will help you have a safe journey.

1. Follow Traffic Rules, Particularly Traffic Signal Lights

 Going through the red light is the number one cause of intersection crashes. Some drivers don’t pay attention to the traffic lights while some are in a hurry or they are not just patient drivers. The best practice here is to observe carefully before each intersection and not to speed up when the light turns yellow.

2. Wearing A Seat Belt 

Buckling up might reduce many road traffic deaths annually. The National Safety Council says that the risk of injury can be reduced by up to 50 % owing to wearing seat belts. The statistic within 4 years shows buckling up saved 75000 lives. Therefore, wearing a seat belt when driving is considered necessary to protect yourself as well as other people on the road.

Divers, particularly, remember to buckle up before starting a car. Here are some statistics that you should update about teenage driving.

3. Concentrating On The Road While Driving 

Sometimes drivers are not focused on the road, particularly teenage drivers. So here is a list of useful tips that will help you avoid the distraction when driving. 

  • Put your phones on silent/ vibrate mode, even completely turn the phone off. 
  • Sleep well. If you feel sleepy, you had better pull over and take a short break before continuing your journey. 
  • Observing the road carefully. However, don’t let yourself be distracted by what is going on the road. For example, you see an accident surrounded by the crowd and you immediately slow down, even stop a car suddenly. This not only causes a traffic jam but also increases the likelihood of a collision.

4. Try To Predict A Risk To Prevent It 

You should not drive too close to the car in front and only focus on it because you can not see as far ahead. As a result, you can not predict what is going on in the next road to take proper actions. 

5. Have A Fast And Smart Reaction When Sensing A Hazard 

You have to have an immediate plan to prevent a hazard instead of staring at it. 

6. Do Not Drive Too Close To A Vehicle In Front Of You 

Imagine what will happen if the car in front of you stops suddenly because of avoiding a certain obstacle? The advice for you is following the three-second rule, which means that you had better have at least 3s of driving time based on your current vehicle between two cars. On the other hand, in some harsh conditions, you need to lengthen the distance between you and other people such as heavy rain, snow, slippery roads, or traffic jams. It is also dangerous to drive close to vehicles like buses, large trucks, etc.

7. Do Not Trust Other Drivers On The Road

You can’t expect people to operate vehicles as you wish. Instead, you should focus on what you can handle, which helps you protect yourself from traffic risks. For instance, when you see a driver operating a vehicle slower than the traffic flow. You shouldn’t tailgate her or him because that action will not make them go faster.

8. Let Other Drivers Know When You Are Maneuvering Through Traffic

Let other drivers know what you will be doing next by communicating with turn signals, hand signals, and your vehicle’s lights.

9. Do Not Weave Between Lanes

Crossing into another lane unnecessarily will heighten the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes. Namely, 

  • You cross into another lane without slowing down and a driver is moving into this lane. If two vehicles do speed, it may cause a crash. .
  • There are many drivers involved in an accident because of slipping between two vehicles that don’t have enough room for another vehicle. The vehicle in front of your car can drive slower suddenly and this may make you rear-end it. 

10. Keep Distance From Reckless Drivers 

If you see a car recklessly swerving between lanes with a high speed, you had better reduce the speed of your vehicle and keep a safe distance from them. Besides, you also sense other road hazards such as drunk drivers, driving on the center lane, driving with unstable speed or tailgating

Be careful at intersections and watch out for drivers that go through red lights.

As I mentioned above, do not believe any drivers on the roads. Some reckless and irresponsible drivers will drive the way that makes you “surprised”. 

Not all drivers will stop a car immediately when the traffic light turns red. Therefore, if you have the green light, you had better slow down when going through the intersection, particularly in the first seconds of green light. Therefore, if you are at an intersection and the light turns green, check for cars that trying to go through the red light and may collide with your vehicle from the side

11. Stay Away From Road Rage Situations

If you see a person is operating a vehicle carefully or is upset at your driving and honks at you, do not communicate with him or her in any way or with eye contact. Slow down and let the driver speed away.

12. Braking Unexpectedly Is Dangerous

Observe the brake lights of cars in front of you so that you can take proper action immediately. For example, you notice the car ahead starts slowing down gradually and braking, you should not drive close to it, instead, brake early to prevent an unexpected stop.


If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know your thoughts.


Hi there! I’m Jordan, chief editor of Crush the Road and I’m a self-confessed automative fanatic. Cars or vehicles has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and has one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other automative enthusiasts like me. Welcome to my fantastic blog!

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