Defensive Driving in Arkansas
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Defensive driving means more than simply being a safe driver. When you practice defensive driving, you are always trying to keep one step ahead of the action on the road by anticipating what may happen next, looking for possible trouble, and having a plan in place to deal with whatever may happen.
Sure, that sounds like a lot of work, but your safety is at stake. And, with time and practice, being a defensive driver becomes easier and more natural.
To help you get started, we've compiled a list of defensive driving tips:
- Always have an escape route in mind in case an emergency situation arises. To effectively do this, you must always be aware of the space around you.
- Always attempt to keep a safe distance from the vehicles around you.
- Scan the path ahead of you at least 12-15 seconds. Don't just fixate on the road immediately ahead of you.
- Before crossing an intersection, be sure to look in every direction and make sure it's safe to proceed, even when you have the right-of-way.
- When approaching the top of a hill, or at any time when you have a limited field of vision, be extra cautious and be prepared to react quickly.
- Be on the lookout for people entering or exiting vehicles, especially when you're around school buses, ice-cream trucks, mail trucks, and delivery trucks.
- Be extra alert in construction zones and around emergency scenes, as other drivers may be distracted and not practicing safe driving habits.
- When around erratic or dangerous drivers, you should slow down, as they increase the chance that a dangerous situation will develop.
- Cover the brakes and exercise increased caution in areas such as shopping centers, school zones, toll plazas, playgrounds, and intersections.
- Don't assume that driving at the posted speed limit means you're driving at a safe speed. Automatically reduce speed when conditions warrant it, such as when driving in rain, fog, or on icy roads.
- When around parked cars, be alert to the possibility of someone darting out from between the cars, opening a car door into your path of travel, or trying to pull out of a parking space.
- When driving on roads that are very wet, be prepared that other motorists could splash your windshield, leaving you unable to see for an instant.
- Be wary of drivers with out-of-state plates or rental cars, as well as drivers who have a map out or their interior lights on. All are associated with drivers who may not be familiar with the area, and may be confused or distracted.
- Be on the lookout for drivers backing up into the road from a driveway or parking lot, as these drivers may have a limited field of vision.
- Watch out for slippery conditions during the first several minutes after it begins to rain, as the rain will mix with oily residue on the road surface.
- Try to remain as visible as you can to other drivers, and stay out of possible blind spots.
- When possible, keep a good distance behind trucks with cargo that could go flying into the road or your line of vision.
By practicing these techniques, you'll greatly increase the chances that you'll make it to and from your destination safely.
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