When they are asked, many drivers often say that they consider themselves to be safe (or good) drivers. But even if you are an experienced and skilled driver, you can still be involved in a road traffic accident because of poor driving conditions or the recklessness of another driver, and this is something that comes through no fault of your own. But although it’s impossible to control road or weather conditions or how other drivers behave, you can do something about your own driving skills. So how can you become a better defensive driver on UK roads?
Here are some top tips:
1. Always observe and anticipate
One of the first rules to becoming a better defensive driver is to be observant and anticipate what might happen. While you are driving, observe what you see on the road. What are the potential risks? What can you do to mitigate them?
A simple example is when you see a bend, and you can’t see the road ahead clearly because of the bend. When this happens, it’s best to reduce your speed and approach it with caution – you have no idea what might be coming from the other direction, and it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
2. Always maintain a safe distance
It is also essential to maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This will allow you enough time to react to anything that might happen and then take the appropriate action. You will indeed be glad you did if the other driver makes a mistake. Remember that no matter how careful you are while driving, the person driving in front of you may be distracted by using their phone, chatting to someone else in the vehicle, or any multitude of things that might cause them to experience a lapse of concentration.
Don’t assume that everyone is as careful or as focused on driving as you. It’s always best to keep your distance from other vehicles so you can deal with anything unexpected that might occur while you’re driving along.
3. Pull over and stop when necessary
One way to avoid a road traffic accident is to simply get off the road. For example, if you are driving along and the driver behind your vehicle is driving erratically or too close to your vehicle, pull over and stop in a safe place (service station, lay-by, etc.). Just let the vehicle pass, and then continue on your way. Remember that driving on the road is not the same as driving on a race circuit, and it’s best to ensure your safety by pulling over and stopping when you think it’s best.
Even if you adopt defensive driving tactics, you might still become involved in an accident through no fault of your own. If this happens, you may have the right to claim compensation for damages, either to your vehicle or your person, as the road accident claim Gloucestershire experts like Shires Law attest.
In such cases, it’s best to consult with experts who handle road traffic accident claims such as the above-mentioned law firm, and they can advise you on the best course of action to take.