What Are the Characteristics of a Defensive Driver?
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Defensive Driving Traits: Ensuring Safety on the Road

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Each time you get behind the steering wheel, you face different circumstances, including potentially dangerous risks. This is why developing safe driving techniques to respond to potential setbacks and hazards, such as damaged roads, collisions, and debris, is essential. Intelligent responses can protect you, other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and your vehicle. Below, the experienced agents from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of car insurance San Diego residents rely on for high-quality service, describe some of the most common characteristics of defensive drivers.

Following Safety Etiquette

Wearing a seat belt is the law, and failing to do so could not only lead to legal repercussions but may also put someone in danger in the event of an accident or quick stop. Your hands must always remain on the wheel unless other safety factors require you to remove them. Your eyes should always stay on the road.

Another safety etiquette rule defensive drivers generally follow is keeping their vehicles in clean. For example, dirty windows could prevent you from seeing traffic ahead of and behind your car and increase the risk of an accident. There are multiple reasons windows may be unclean, such as dirt that hasn’t been cleaned off or windshield wipers that don’t work, preventing you from clearing away debris, rain, and more.

Avoiding Distractions

You should always keep your eyes on the road and be aware of what’s happening around your vehicle. This means no distractions, such as using your phone or operating the radio. Defensive drivers don’t eat while driving because it could prevent them from reacting to problems accurately and promptly.

Staying Calm

Staying calm is crucial because it helps you maintain control of the situation, even if the car is uncontrollable. Being calm can help you keep your mind clear so you can effectively and efficiently put your driving and safety skills to good use. A calm defensive driver will follow laws and use common sense.

When defensive drivers are calm, they can remain alert and avoid hazardous situations. All of their attention will go to driving and protecting themselves and the safety of others. Calmness also allows drivers to make wise decisions instead of thinking irrationally and impulsively.

Anticipating Unexpected Situations

Staying educated about different driving laws, practices, and safety techniques is a characteristic of defensive driving. This knowledge can prepare drivers in the event of accidents and other traffic situations, allowing them to react accordingly and quickly.

In addition to knowing what to expect, defensive drivers also realize many unexpected situations could arise. Therefore, they anticipate possible setbacks by scanning the road ahead, checking their vehicles before getting behind the wheel, learning traffic routines and driving accordingly, and keeping their cars well maintained. 

Driving safely provides a number of benefits, not the least of which is the reduced risk of being in an accident. If you’re involved in an accident, it’s essential to have reliable auto insurance. San Diego drivers know they can trust the team from Altra Insurance Services to be there when they need assistance. For a free quote, give us a call today.

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