Perhaps you consider yourself a terrific winter driver. You were born and raised driving in New England, you know how to pump the brakes, turn into a slide, you have a 4×4 vehicle. None of that truly matters if you don’t practice defensive driving. When it all comes down to it, there are other drivers out there who can smash into you regardless of your skills.
Tips For Defensive Driving
Stay alert. Being alert (not sleepy or under the influence) allows you to react quickly to potential problems — like when the driver in the car ahead slams on the brakes at the last minute. Obviously, alcohol or drugs (including prescription and over-the-counter drugs) affect a driver’s reaction time and judgment. Driving while drowsy has the same effect and is one of the leading causes of crashes. So rest up before your road trip.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Check your mirrors frequently and scan conditions 20 to 30 seconds ahead of you. Keep your eyes moving. 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 roadway by turning right or taking the next exit if it’s safe to do so. Also, keep an eye on pedestrians, bicyclists, and pets along the road.
Keep your speed down. Posted speed limits apply to ideal conditions. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your speed matches conditions. In addition, higher speeds make controlling your vehicle that much more difficult if things go wrong. To maintain control of your vehicle, you must control your speed.
Beware of Distracted Drivers. More than ever, people are paying less attention to the road while driving, and too much attention on others things like their phones, eating, etc.. The best defense against this is to be super aware and cautious in your own driving, and to look out for errant drivers before they can impact you.