Expect the unexpected.The road is an unpredictable place where drivers need to react to changing circumstances (not to mention the sometimes-questionable judgment of others).
While today’s automobiles are designed to keep their occupants safer than ever, distractions and challenges, such as cell phones, navigation systems and digital entertainment systems have also crept into our cars. To help prepare you for whatever and whomever the open road may present, we’ve assembled these reminders regarding defensive driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as, “when individuals commit a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Aggressive driving, which every year is responsible for countless accidents and fatalities, includes: exceeding the speed limit, following too closely, erratic or unsafe lane changes, cutting off another vehicle, slamming on brakes in front of a tailgater, improper gestures at other drivers, yelling, repeatedly honking the horn or flashing headlights, and failing to obey stop signs, yield signs, traffic signals, railroad grade cross signals and other traffic controls.
A few ideas to consider if you encounter an aggressive motorist:
- Avoid the driver. Do not retaliate. Just get out of the way.
- Avoid making direct eye contact.
- Keep your car locked and your windows up.
- Keep enough space between you and the vehicle in front to pull out from behind if you need to.