Texas highways can be filled with aggressive, distracted and inexperienced motorists. The best way to stay safe on the road is to drive defensively every time you get behind the wheel. Defensive driving means taking precautions ahead of time and never letting dangerous situations take you by surprise.
Plan every drive
Checking current weather conditions and considering rush hours doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it’s the first step of defensive driving. If you have to be somewhere by a certain time, leave early if you think there will be inclement weather or heavy traffic. It’s always important to make sure your gas tank is at least half-filled, your windshield wiper blades work and your tires are in good condition.
Scan your surroundings
A big part of defensive driving is scanning for potential hazards. So many motor vehicle accidents occur when reckless drivers take others by surprise. If you spot a driver that’s about to run a red light or make an unsafe lane change, you could take defensive action before they do. While scanning your surroundings, you may also notice overly distracted drivers that you should try to keep your distance from.
Limit your distractions
Driving while drunk, exhausted or distracted are some of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel. If you have a smartphone, put it out of sight or at least turn it off to avoid getting distracted. You should also refrain from eating while you drive or doing any type of personal grooming. Let passengers in your car know if their noise is affecting your ability to concentrate on the road.
Don’t let all of the concern over driving hazards get you too stressed out. Staying calm is another important aspect of defensive driving because it can help you to avoid road rage. You are also more likely to make the best split second decisions in emergency situations if your heart rate is normal.