As a new driver, you may often hear the term ‘defensive driving’ – but what exactly does this mean? Defensive driving is a type of driving which ensures that drivers anticipate dangerous scenarios and hazards, reducing their risk of being involved in a road traffic accident. It involves ensuring you are aware of everything that’s happening around you and that you are a watchful, careful driver.
How to practise defensive driving
Defensive driving is a great habit to get into as it reduces your chances of being involved in a collision. There are 10 basic concepts involved in defensive driving that can help make anyone a better driver:
- Ensure passengers have their seat belts on before starting the engine – seat belts save thousands of lives every year
- Slow down, especially if you are driving at night or in inclement weather such as snow or fog
- Ensure you are concentrating fully on driving at all time and pay attention to pets or pedestrians at the roadside, who could suddenly step out onto the road
- Check your mirrors frequently so you are aware of your surroundings
- Always assume that other drivers may run through red lights or fail to give way and be prepared
- Always stick to the speed limit and reduce your speed according to traffic and weather conditions
- Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front so that you have room to escape a potentially dangerous situation
- Don’t drive under the influence or when you have not had enough sleep
- Make sure you follow the Highway Code – don’t try to race other cars and show respect to other road users
- Expect the unexpected – check your mirrors constantly and always ensure you are aware of your surroundings, anticipating problems that could occur
Can defensive driving reduce your risk of accidents?
Because defensive driving allows you to anticipate hazards, it provides you with protection against the actions of other road users such as bad drivers or drunk drivers. This means that by practising defensive driving you can reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. If another driver causes a road traffic accident and you are injured, you could consider claiming compensation.
How to claim compensation
Whether you have suffered minor whiplash after a car crash or have been left seriously injured and unable to work, call Accident Advice Helpline today to see how we can help you. Our team of professional personal injury lawyers have helped hundreds of people claim the compensation they deserve, and we work on a 100% no win, no fee* basis. The claims process is usually fairly straightforward and it’s unlikely you will need to attend court. Whether you are looking to make a claim today or would simply like some more information, call our team for confidential, no-obligation advice.