All of us at one time or another have unfortunately found ourselves in driving situations that resulted in a collision a ticket or some other form of driving disaster. Not only does this potentially cause damage and injury incidents can also cause insurance rates to increase. While the goal is to try and avoid such situations there are things we can actively do to help ensure that we remain safe and secure on the road as well as keep car insurance premiums low. Here are a few tips in defensive driving for Albertans that can help all of us to become more aware and more cautious drivers.
1. React to Other Drivers
This may be easier said than done but paying attention and watching what other drivers around you are doing is a critical part of staying safe. This involves continuously checking your mirrors. Keeping your eyes and ears open for anything out of the ordinary and trying to anticipate others’ moves as much as you possibly can. This is especially true during Alberta’s winter driving conditions.
2. Control Your Speed
This is something absolutely everyone can do in order to become a safer and more efficient driver. Racing along at high speeds is simply dangerous. Paying attention to speed limits and adjusting your speed according to a particular situation is essential to being a responsible and safe driver. For example many Albertans drive dangerously fast in icy conditions simply because they have 4×4 or winter tires. While good winter tires improve winter driving performance your speed should still be adjusted according to the road conditions.
3. Leave Enough Time For Braking
Braking early can save you from slamming into the back end or side of another vehicle. You always want to leave enough room between you and the car ahead of you to avoid any potential incidents. If you are tailgating them and they have to stop suddenly this could very easily result in a crash. Many crashes that occur on the streets of Alberta’s cities are a result of drivers following too closely. Avoid this scenario by leaving at least two seconds of following distance preferably four or more if you’re behind a semi or trailer.
4. Be Mindful of Weather Conditions
Particularly heavy rains snowstorms and even high winds. All affect the road conditions. Zipping along with little regard for the weather and how it consequently alters highway surfaces is dangerous. Ensure your lights are on in the case of storms and adjust your speed accordingly.
5. Do Not Become Aggressive
We’ve all heard the term road rage. Someone cuts you off and you immediately get angry and at times you might even try to “retaliate.” This is the very worst thing you can do and will only lead to trouble and potentially an accident. Stay calm and do not go on the offensive. What if that person was someone you knew?
6. Take a Defensive Driving Class
A refresher course can certainly never hurt. You will learn some valuable driving tips as well as learn useful strategies for becoming a better defensive driver. Not to mention certain courses could be used to get a discount on your car insurance. It’s a good idea to talk to your broker about the potential benefits of any driving course you may be considering.