What Does Defensive Driving Mean?

Driving safely is about more than being especially careful behind the wheel. The term “defensive driving” is thrown around year after year, but many drivers simply don’t know what it means. At Ken’s Automotive, we want you to be as safe as possible, and we have a full explanation of defensive driving for your review.

defensive driving: what does it mean?

What does Defensive Driving Mean?

The Definition

Taken from the Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, ANSI/ASSE Z15.1, defensive driving is the act of “driving to save lives, time, and money.” Defensive driving is a tactic designed to overcome the mistakes of other motorists, poor road conditions, and bad weather. Think of defensive driving as anticipating bad things that could happen.

Driving Distraction-Free

While distracted driving has been the focal point of driver safety campaigns across the country, defensive driving advocates have always asked drivers to remain distraction-free. Driving without distractions increases alertness, allows you to look ahead, and helps you see the flow of traffic.

Thinking Ahead

Thinking ahead is especially helpful when you are on crowded roads with unpredictable drivers. If you are thinking ahead, you can:

  • Prepare for the actions of other drivers
  • Better understand when traffic is slowing, shifting, or stopping
  • Respect the needs of other drivers

Thinking ahead makes it easy to slow down when it is clear traffic is coming to a stop. You can see reckless drivers around you, anticipate that someone is losing control of their vehicle, or note speed limit changes, detour signs, and construction signage. 

Controlling Your Vehicle

The number-one tenant of defensive driving is not to slow down so much as it is to maintain the proper speed. Drive with traffic instead of darting past other cars or enraging those around you by driving too slowly. 

Keep a safe stopping distance with the car in front of you, and slow down before turning or taking a curve. Slow down when you encounter rain, wind, and snow. Use your headlights in dark conditions, and use your headlights/high beams appropriately. For example, you can use your high beams to increase visibility, but you should turn them down when other cars are approaching.

Ken’s Automotive Keeps Your Car in Like-New Condition for the Spring

At Ken’s Automotive & Transmission, we will help you keep your car in like-new condition, making defensive driving that much simpler. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for all your auto repair and maintenance needs in Frederick, MD. 

 

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