Maintain an Exit Strategy While Driving

Always Maintain an Exit Strategy While Driving

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:

  • What if the driver ahead of you abruptly applies brakes for no apparent reason (an animal enters the roadway, a tire bursts, etc.)?
  • What if the oncoming vehicle veers into your lane?
  • Could someone disregard the red light or stop sign ahead?

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.

Creating a Safety Buffer

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!

Establish and Maintain a Buffer Zone

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.

Preparing For The Driving Emergency That Will Happen To You!

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:

  • When your tire blows out: This emergency is one of the most common ones that drivers may encounter at least once in their driving experience. What to do if it happens to you is to simply grip the steering wheel tightly. Use both hands as this will prevent your car from swerving as the air leaves your tire.
  • When your car hydroplanes: This is one of the most dangerous driving conditions that can happen to any driver. It occurs when your car’s tires lose contact with the surface of the road because of water. It doesn’t matter whether it lasts for an instant or several seconds, when this happens, it means that you’ve lost all the available traction.
  • When your brakes stop working: Another common, and really dangerous situation! There’s a high percentage of getting into accidents when this happens to you, especially if you’re speeding. This causes people to panic and quickly hit on their brakes. At times, this can end up in more dangerous situations.

Drive Like A Pro

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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