cheap car insuranceDid you know that most accidents are preventable? That’s right, the effects resulting from accidents, including personal injuries, property damage, and devastating loss of life, are actually preventable by taking specific actions every time we get behind the wheel of a car. If everyone applied the mindset and techniques of defensive driving, the number of crashes, collisions and even minor accidents could be significantly reduced. Also, keeping your driving record clean of accidents and tickets goes a long way in keeping you insurance costs down.

So, what is defensive driving? Simply put, it is reducing risks and anticipating dangerous situations by applying some very basic and common sense techniques. Most of us know and adhere to obvious safety laws like wearing a seat belt and obeying the speed limits, but defensive driving takes is further by using techniques that can be applied regardless of adverse conditions or the actions of other people.­

To help you recall these techniques and reap the benefits of Cheap Insurance,  use the four letter word safe, and remember that defensive driving is S.A.F.E!

Speed-Yes, there are the obvious speed limit laws, but remember that those limits are subject to all kinds of different driving conditions. Weather, traffic, terrain and road conditions are just a few. You need to be able to maintain control of your vehicle, and adjusting your speed to fit the circumstances is critical to sustaining that control. Speed limits are based on ideal conditions, which may not always be the reality. Excessive speeding is aggressive driving and the most dangerous because it leaves no way to remain in control if something goes wrong.

Awareness-Be diligent about evaluating your surroundings. You can’t control what other drivers are doing, but you can be watchful and anticipate the possible outcomes. Look out especially for motorcycles, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as any possible wildlife that may be in the area. You don’t need to be paranoid, just keep assessing what is going on around you and pick out those things that could pose the biggest threat. Always be considerate of other drivers but protect yourself by expecting the unexpected. Don’t assume a driver will let you merge or that they will stop at a red light or use their turn signal when changing lanes.

Focus-Pay attention to the way you are driving and look ahead. You are in control of yourself, which means knowing what distracts you and what doesn’t. If your passengers like head-banger rock music, but you find it disturbing, then turn it off or play something else. Keeping yourself focused is the key to being prepared for anything. Avoid anything that distracts you from your driving and be prepared to react to any dangerous circumstances.

Escape-Always be ready to escape! Don’t get boxed in by other drivers and aim for a 3-4 second interval between you and the car ahead of you. Add more seconds if it is nighttime or the weather is bad, or if you are behind a big truck. Look ahead of your position as often as you can and watch for brake lights in the distance or anything else that needs to be avoided. Position yourself where you have the best view, ideally that would be the middle lane so you can go to either side if you need to escape an aggressive driver or a wheel flying off a big rig. Leave yourself somewhere to go if your current path gets suddenly blocked.

Everyone can apply these simple skills and make a drastic difference in the economic, social and emotional lost caused by accidents, as well as making a drastic difference in you car insurance costs. Lastly, if you want to sharpen up your defensive driving skills you can take a defensive driving class by contacting your local DMV. Defensive driving is S.A.F.E. driving and it can save money, time and most importantly, lives.

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