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  • Defensive Driving in Kansas

    If you're concerned about traffic tickets and the impact they might have on your driving record, it's smart to master the art of defensive driving.

    What is Defensive Driving?

    Whenever you are on the road, you are in a potentially life-threatening situation. However, defensive driving can help to minimize the risk associated with traveling to your destination.

    Practicing defensive driving techniques, in addition to knowing the rules of the road and basic driving skills, is the best way to help keep you and those around you safe.

    Defensive Driving Techniques

    Although Kansas teens must complete a driver education program that addresses defensive driving in order to earn their first license, older drivers may not be as familiar with these safety tips.

    Pay Attention

    The key element of successful defensive driving is paying attention. When you're behind the wheel, avoid all unnecessary distractions. Don't eat, talk on your cell phone, adjust the radio, or engage in other non-essential activities. Look ahead to anticipate hazards and look around to monitor the behavior of other drivers.

    Communicate Your Intentions

    Part of being a respectful and courteous driver is communicating your intentions.

    Always use your turn signals, but be careful not to signal too early. For example, if you want to turn right into a service station immediately after an intersection, signaling too early may convince others that you plan to turn at the intersection. As a result, they may try to turn left in front of you.

    It's also a good idea to avoid making any sudden movements while on the road. If you're driving in an unfamiliar area, pull over to the side of the road if you think you are lost. Don't simply slam on the brakes, back up, or make a sharp turn to find the exit you've passed. Always strive to behave in a predictable fashion.

    Don't Speed

    In addition to running the risk of earning yourself a hefty traffic ticket, speeding drastically increases your chances of becoming involved in an accident.

    When you are driving too fast for the weather and road conditions, your reaction time is reduced. If you see an obstacle, you may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.

    Speeding is also dangerous because it increases the "stored energy" in your vehicle. This means the amount of force is increased if you happen to hit something. For this reason, collisions that occur at higher speeds are typically much more serious.

    Get Rid of Tailgaters Safely

    Although it's fairly easy to avoid tailgating another vehicle, many people find it difficult to know how to safely get rid of tailgaters.

    When someone is following you too closely, it can be tempting to simply hit the brakes suddenly or try to use your brake lights to "warn" the other driver of his mistake. The safest way to cope with a tailgater is to allow him extra room to pass.

    Until then, keep a minimum following distance of four seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you need to make a sudden stop, this will help give the tailgater time to react and potentially avoid a collision.

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    False

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