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Driving Defensively: Encountering Other Drivers on the Road

Defensive drivers are proactive drivers. Reactive drivers end up in accidents, battling traffic tickets and watching their insurance rates rise. Anticipating the conditions of the road is one of the underlying premises for driving defensively. TX defensive driving classes prepare drivers to respond to the continuum of skills and mindsets that other drivers bring along with them to the road each day.  Are you prepared to encounter these types of drivers?

Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving is deadly. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, distracted driving is “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”  Stopping at a traffic light is the perfect opportunity to quickly scan the behavior of other drivers.  Does someone have a cell phone out, makeup applicator in hand or a bowl of soup precariously balanced on their lap?  As soon as the traffic moves again, the proactive driver can navigate themselves safely around and away from any distracted drivers.

Novice and Teen Drivers

New drivers are inexperienced, and teen drivers specifically are one of the highest categories of drivers to struggle behind the wheel. The National Highway Safety Administration says that teen drivers “have a higher rate of fatal crashes, mainly because of their immaturity, lack of skills, and lack of experience. They speed, they make mistakes, and they get distracted easily – especially if their friends are in the car.”  What can you do as a defensive driver in this situation?   TX defensive driving classes discuss and uncover the importance of courteous driving, especially when it comes to encountering the novice driver.  Rules of the road including maintaining a safe driving distance and making driving decisions clear to others by signaling and communicating intentions are a sure way to maintain a safe drive for all.

Aggressive Drivers

We’ve all experienced the aggressive driver.  The one who speeds past slower traffic, changes multiple lanes without signaling and cuts off other drivers only to advance a car length or two from where they started.  There is simply no room for aggression behind the wheel, ever. Drivers committed to arriving at their destination safely are also committed to responding to aggressive drivers in a calm, courteous and polite manner.  Should these strategies yield minimal results, or should a driver ever feel threatened on the road by aggressive behavior, a phone call to 911 is the next best option.