One of the most crucial pieces of advice I can offer you is to always maintain an exit strategy while driving. You should always anticipate the worst-case scenario and be ready for it.
Continually ask yourself questions and create possible scenarios in your mind. For instance:
You should be continuously mentally posing these kinds of questions while you drive. We do this subconsciously, but consciously thinking through the situation will make you much safer.
Regrettably, you are obliged to share the road with individuals who don't take driving safety seriously. That's why you must always leave yourself an out in case the worst happens. Having an escape plan is critical to your safety.
As a practical example, you should try not to drive directly next to someone. If someone pulls up beside you and matches their speed to yours, either speed up or slow down so that the lane next to you is clear. That way, if you need to swerve somewhere, you have a place to go. What if you can’t use the lane next to you? Where will you go if something happens? Maybe the shoulder is an option. If not, you might need to increase your following distance so you have some additional stopping distance. Again, always have a plan!
If you're far enough behind the vehicle in front of you, swerving probably won’t even be necessary. Swerving should actually be a last resort and if you are forced to swerve, that means you were following too closely. But you should always give yourself options. Have more than one escape route whenever possible. That means not only keeping a safe following distance, but also keeping the side of your vehicle free from obstructions.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a driving emergency will, without a doubt, happen to you. Every driver has one of those moments where they must slam on the brakes, swerve to avoid a collision, or simply have a near miss. But the difference between a near miss and an actual collision largely rests in your hands.
Here are three common driving emergencies you can prepare for and how to react to them:
The best professional drivers and emergency responders are taught to plan for the unexpected and you should do the same. Sooner or later in your driving career, something unexpected will happen. You can prepare for unexpected situations and be wrong as many times as you’d like. But all it takes is to be right once to save yourself time, money, headache, injury, lawsuits, and possibly even your life or the life of a loved one.
By properly looking as far ahead as possible to spot potential hazards, shifting your eyes and getting the big picture without fixating on anything, and always having a plan in case the unexpected occurs, you can’t help but to be a safer driver.
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