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12 Commandments of Defensive Driving

Most of the traffic accidents can be avoided if you drive safely. “But is it possible at all?” you might ask. What if the accident happened at others fault? What if bad weather was the culprit? What if there were other reasons not under my control? The simple answer is - You can significantly minimize and in many cases even eliminate traffic accidents if you drive defensively.

The standard defines defensive driving as "driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others."

The below rules of defensive driving are the recommendations of Pro Defensive Drivers and are based on a solid and proven practice of accident-free driving collected during decades of driving on real roads.

  1. Don't Trust ANYBODY!

    Never assume that other drivers on the road follow the rules and drive safely. Expect the worse and that will save you from the trouble of others.
  2. Yield Anyway!

    Be prepared to yield even if you have the right of way – other drivers can be distracted, confused or simply not well trained. Yield your way to accident-free driving.
  3. Keep Safe Distance

    This is one the golden rules of defensive driving – most of the traffic accidents happen because of tailgating. Close distance results in your inability to stop quickly and to avoid the accident. Keep the safe distance at all times.
  4. Don't Speed!

    Speeding magnifies any negative effects of traffic accident – it negatively affects your reaction, increases the braking distance to stop your car safely, decreases available time to make a safe traffic decision, severs the impact and damage (both to your car and yourself) if the accident happens. Remember the old traffic slogan - “Those who know – get it slow”.
  5. Wear Your Seat Belt!

    Help yourself to stay safe – wear a seatbelt. It will save you from a lot of injury troubles if an accident occurs.
  6. Beware of Intersections

    Always pass intersections with extra caution – many traffic accidents happen here!
  7. Never Run a Red Light!

    Running on red is not only illegal, it is also not safe. Even if you don’t see any cars approaching an intersection there is always a chance of unnoticed “last second” car trying to pass the same intersection.
  8. Know Your Car's Blind Spots!

    All vehicles have blind areas where the other vehicles can “hide”. The larger the vehicle – the larger the blind spot likely will be. Commercial trucks have the largest blind spots and hence require extra caution both from the truck drivers and other drivers around the truck. Remember the famous warning in commercial vehicles – “If you cannot see me in the mirror I cannot see you”. Know the blind spots in the vehicle you drive and understand other vehicles blind spots for your own safety on the road.
    Make sure to install special spherical mirrors or mirror attachments to help yourself to see 360° around your vehicle.
  9. Don't Drive Impaired

    Statistics shows that over 40% of all traffic accidents in the U.S. are caused by impaired driving. Avoid alcohol when possible; if not – always allocate enough time to sober out.
    Note, that contrary to popular belief coffee, tea, a cold shower or physical exercise cannot help you to get sober sooner. Best of all – use a designated driver. You can rotate this “prestigious” role in your group every time you go out and this way you will stay safe and sound.
  10. Patience, Patience, Patience

    Patience is the mother of safe driving. Many inpatient drivers follow the notorious pattern – “Saved a second – lost a life”. Just accept it – you cannot change things which are not under your control. Let them pass.
  11. Respect other Drivers

    Be a gentleman on the road. Help yourself by helping others in their driving effort. New drivers, elderly citizens, people with medical condition etc are the group of motorists who might need extra courtesy from experienced drivers like you.
  12. Absolutely No Multitasking. Period!

    This is the golden rule of all golden rules – we are not made by Mother Nature for doing many things at the same time. No texting, talking on the phone, GPS route adjusting or other non-driving activities behind the steering wheel. This is not just a safety issue – texting while driving, for example, is illegal in many states.

Drive defensively! With defensive driving habits on your side you will be able to keep your vehicle and yourself accident-free, your passengers safe, your driving record clean and your insurance premiums low!

More Resources for Defensive Drivers ...

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