Defensive driving is something that every driver swears they do. But when you hit the road, you observe a different truth. Drivers often commit these 5 mistakes without knowing it or even feeling guilty:
This is obvious. We always have a reason to speed. Yet speeding cuts down our reaction time. (Normal reaction time is between .75 second and 1.5 seconds, on average.) At 110 km/h, your car will move at least 35 meters before you have a chance to hit the brakes. We’re often over-confident that we can react to anything. This is not true.
A good driver drives at a speed matching traffic conditions as closely as possible without speeding. If traffic is moving at a higher speed than the limits, keep to the slow side of the traffic. Going any faster doesn’t really save you time and you’re burning more fuel as well.
2. Not Paying Attention
Most collisions involve inattention. Inattention can involve daydreaming, distractions, sleepiness, fatigue, talking, etc. It is true that most collisions happen within a short distance from home or the office. This is because as we drive in the all-too-familiar environment, we tend to let our guards down.
3. Running the Red Light
There are two types of red light runners — the daydreamer (a distracted driver) and the impatient driver. In the city, impatient driving is a common sight and we tend to hit the accelerator when we see the amber light… instead of waiting an average of just 45 seconds for the traffic light to turn green! Be reminded that collisions at intersections are pretty fatal.
4. Not Looking Far Enough
Many drivers only focus on a short stretch of road ahead – not good enough. You should be looking about 15-20 seconds ahead or as far as you can. This gives you ample time to observe what’s happening ahead so you can avoid most potential hazards. Also, don’t concentrate on any particular spot in your field of view for more than a second. This tires your eyes and promotes “road hypnosis”.
5. Drive Unpredictably
Driving predictably is part of planning ahead and paying attention. You should signal early and get yourself into a position early so that others have plenty of time and space to respond and adjust. While on the highway, filter toward your exit early so you don’t have to cut multiple lanes at the very last minute.
The above points seem like nagging, but it’s something which we’re so used to committing. Just for the next 7 days (a week), will you be able to catch yourself doing at least one of these “little” dangerous moves?