Learning Defensive Driving 101


Is it true that being a defensive driver can help reduce your insurance premium? Read on.

I am not sure if you have heard this story already about a man who filed his first insurance claim after 34 years of driving. Asked how he managed to achieve it, he graciously answered that he simply assumes that all drivers on the road are there to hit him. Although this situation is a bit paranoid and not exactly the situation where we all want to be, but his driving habits are all attributed to defensive driving Sadly, defensive driving is no longer as common as they used to be.

Few Tips about Defensive Driving

Be a loner

Have you noticed on freeways and highways that drivers tend to pack themselves together? This amazes me a lot and the bitter truth reveals the all-time high 90% collisions occur for that situation alone.  Why? For two simple reasons and that is the limited time to stop for a full stop and the lack of an escape route.

I know how irritating it is to be tailgated but apart from that, it is just downright dangerous. Have we already forgotten our driving lessons that we need to have at least one car length of distance for every ten miles per hour of speed?

Here is a good way to quickly determine if you adhering to this rule or not. What you can do is to pick up one landmark for the vehicle that is ahead of you – say, a bridge, lighting post or whatever that is front of you. When that vehicle passes that landmark, count the number of seconds until you pass to the same landmark. Now, that number will provide a good approximation as to the number of cars lengths between you and that car ahead of you.

So, for instance – if you are traveling at 40 miles an hour, and you reach the same spot in just two seconds, then it is a clue that you have to slow down a little bit

Also, avoid at all times to “be with the group” when driving in freeways. Find a place to slip away from the traffic or pull over for an emergency. The bottom line is, avoid being “boxed in” as much as possible.


Be conscious about the weather condition and visibility and adjust your speed accordingly. If you are experiencing heavy rainfall, fog or snow – then assume an increase of stopping distance needed. It is also prudent to turn on your lights to improve your car visibility. 

Hurry Up and Wait Syndrome

Some people felt an adrenaline rush whenever they see the stop light turning red. There is absolutely no point of doing that, and it will put your life at risk and the others on the other side of the road. When the light turns green, avoid charging out because this is not a guarantee that someone on the other side stops at the red light. Proceed only after all the traffic is cleared and stopped.

Use Your Head Not Your Heart

It is advisable that you refrain from driving if you are experiencing emotional disturbances or fatigues.  Take a walk, calm yourself down, breathe deeply, yell to your hearts out or even course someone (if you have to). Only then, with a peaceful and calm mind, that you can start driving.