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The How and The Why of Defensive Driving

Driving, undeniably, is a permanent fixture of our everyday lives. Whether we use driving to commute long-distance to our workplaces, to access needed groceries for our home, to set awe-inspiring records on the race track- driving is a joy and a necessity. When you step out of your door and nestle comfortably into your car seat, you know you’re in for a treat. But do you also consider the potential hazards associated with cruising down your favorite highway? Do you prepare yourself and your family in advance in order to anticipate an accident? AutoNation cares about your safety, and AutoNation wants you to drive safe. This is the how and the why of defensive driving, which might just make the difference one day between a close call and a call for your insurance agent.

Defensive driving is loosely defined as a safe driving technique that all drivers, everywhere, are encouraged to utilize. It is also used to refer to a type of traffic school class which the DMV offers that often includes financial benefits like a reduction in fines, in insurance rates, and in ticket points on your driving record. But the goal of defensive driving, naturally, is not to reduce the numerical aftermath of a car accident- rather, it’s to prevent that accident entirely. But how do you prevent an accident with “defensive driving?”

This safe driving technique includes a variety of methods in order to keep you traveling without incident. Some of these methods include:

  • Keeping careful control of your speed
  • Maintaining a safe following distance
  • Staying distraction-free
  • Being aware of weather and road conditions
  • Remaining alert regarding other drivers and their reactions

The general theme is that of being conscious of yourself and others at all times. You may enjoy driving, but don’t allow yourself to slip into the human equivalent of auto-pilot. It may be difficult to stay alert and aware when driving during certain hours of the day, such as on a very early commute to work. For scenarios like these, plan ahead and prepare coffee or a snack to keep yourself invigorated and awake. Or, pull off to the side of the road to take a nap if you have the time.

Don’t skimp when it comes to driving safely. Defensive driving is a great way to practice awareness in your vehicle and it helps to keep not only you and your loved ones but also your fellow drivers safe on the roads. Stay calm, stay alert, and consider what may come. Expect the unexpected whenever you slide into the driver’s seat of your car, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself while you’re there, too.

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