Seven Defensive Driving Tips for Auto Safety

by | Aug 3, 2011 | Auto Tips, Car Safety

If your summer vacation plans include a road trip,  chances are you will run into traffic.  Even if you have already visited your local auto mechanic to ensure your car is ready for the trip, make sure “you” are ready too.  Here’s an article to help get you there safely.

One of our goals as responsible citizens is to drive safely, according to both state laws and common sense. As summer vacations get into full swing, we offer these recommendations for developing more intuitive, safety-conscious driving habits:

  1. Be aware of congestion levels ahead of you. If you notice vehicles around you decelerating but the vehicle immediately in front of you hasn’t, slow down anyway.
  2. Watch what’s going on behind you. I’m often thankful for the accidents I’ve avoided by accelerating just enough to avoid a less-attentive driver running into me.
  3. Be courteous; allow vehicles to pass you. They may have had to switch lanes due to something you can’t see.
  4. Pay attention to subtle clues that someone is changing lanes, such as: looking in their driver’s side mirror or turning over their shoulder to check the lane to their right. They might not have their blinker on.
  5. At stop signs and signals, allow extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. The driver who stops behind you might not be paying attention and you’ll be glad you can pull up further to avoid being hit.
  6. If you have a distraction, such as kids, etc. Pull over! It is not worth the life of you or your family (or others) to try to deal with what’s going on behind you while moving forward on the highway.
  7. Allow extra time to get where you’re going. Check highway reports to see whether you’ll encounter roadwork, detours, or other delays. If you happen to be on I-95 for your travels, check out: This site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

And, of course, remember those recommendations from driver’s ed that seemed to be old fogey-ish:

  • Posted speed limits are for optimum road and weather conditions.
  • Allow a car’s length between your vehicle and the one in front of you for each 10 miles per hour. Don’t assume you’ll be able to stop as fast as you need to in an emergency.

Enjoy your travels!

photo courtesy of mitmall


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About the Author

About Brian England

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care), got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD. A few years later, he started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. Brian is a big believe in preventative maintenance, and his philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan.