Defensive Driving Techniques It's About Space

Defensive Driving Techniques It's About Space

There are a​ lot of​ different aspects to​ defensive driving techniques, but a​ key feature is​ to​ create and​ maintain​ space around your​ vehicle. After all, it's difficult to​ come into contact with another vehicle, or​ some other object, if​ you​ constantly maintain​ adequate space around your​ vehicle.


Use defensive driving techniques to​ create space around your​ vehicle. Never allow yourself to​ get "boxed in" by other vehicles. Adequate space creates enough reaction​ and​ braking time to​ help you​ avoid a​ collision.

One of​ the key aspects of​ creating space is​ to​ follow the vehicle in​ front of​ you​ at​ a​ distance of​ at​ LEAST two seconds. you​ achieve this​ by watching as​ the vehicle ahead passes some object such as​ a​ sign on​ the side of​ the road, or​ a​ mark on​ the road surface—then count "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two." if​ you​ pass your​ chosen spot before reaching "two," you're too close and​ should slow down slightly, repeat the count and​ get the space you​ need!

Avoid being tailgated, or​ having other vehicles encroach on​ your​ space. Employ your​ defensive driving techniques by changing lanes, or​ adjusting your​ speed to​ enable tailgaters to​ pass.

Even following at​ two seconds distance, you​ must be alert to​ respond quickly, but you​ should have enough margin​ under normal circumstances.

Sometimes two seconds' space may not be sufficient. Leave more space when you​ can when following a​ vehicle different to​ yours, such as​ a​ motorcycle or​ truck. Motorcycles can usually stop faster than you​ can in​ a​ car, and​ large trucks impede your​ vision, which can cause you​ not to​ see hazards until too late. you​ need to​ monitor this​ aspect of​ your​ defensive driving technique to​ take into account the characteristics of​ the vehicles near you. if​ in​ doubt, it's better to​ allow a​ bit more space than normal.

Allow extra space when travelling on​ a​ loose, or​ slippery road surface as​ your​ stopping distance may be longer than normal.

Be aware of​ the vehicles next to​ your​ vehicle in​ other lanes and​ try to​ adjust your​ speed to​ keep your​ vehicle "in​ the open", with no vehicles on​ either side. Be very wary if​ you​ become surrounded by vehicles in​ a​ moving “pack”. Use your​ defensive driving techniques to​ negotiate yourself into a​ space between packs, so you​ have clear lanes on​ both sides. (this​ is​ absolutely vital for​ motorcyclists!)

Even when you​ are stationary, such as​ at​ a​ red light, you​ need to​ leave adeqaute space between you​ and​ the vehicle in​ front. Leave enough room so you​ can escape if​ the car in​ front of​ you​ doesn't move, or​ if​ you​ need to​ move away from danger approaching from behind. Make sure you​ can see the rear tires of​ the vehicle in​ front of​ you​ where they touch the road. this​ will give you​ sufficient room to​ negotiate around when necessary.

When driving remember to​ use your​ defensive driving techniques to​ give yourself some space and​ avoid unwanted contact with other vehicles.

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