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The tips below will help teach you how to combine your driving skills and the ability to make the right decision at the right time to help you master defensive driving.

  • Put aside your emotions when you get behind the wheel. Driving while you are angry, frustrated or worried will take your mind off the road.
  • Pay attention to the road. You should pull off the road if you need to do something other than drive (i.e. read newspapers, shave, eat breakfast or change clothes).
  • Keep your eyes moving to get the big picture. You should be looking 10 to 12 seconds down the road to identify trouble spots. Also make sure you scan for bicyclists, pedestrians, construction, traffic congestion, erratic drivers and changing road conditions.
  • Check your mirrors every few seconds. You can avoid accidents by knowing what is on both sides of you and behind you at all times.
  • Signal your intentions early. If necessary use your turn signals, horn, or lights to help others avoid surprises. Using your signals helps other drivers understand your plans and allows them to make their own defensive driving decisions.
  • Avoid frequent lane changes. By changing lanes, you do not get ahead. Instead, you slow everyone down and create a dangerous situation.
  • Keep an escape route open to avoid trouble. Thinking ahead and planning your actions will help avoid crashes. Always allow enough time, space and visibility to stop or maneuver safely and avoid boxing your vehicle in between other vehicles.
  • Never text while driving. Consider putting your cell phone on silent or in the glove box. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over when it's safe to do so before reaching for your phone.
  • Never tailgate. One of the leading causes of crashes occurs when someone is driving too close to the vehicle in front of them. Tailgating also prevents you from having an escape route.
  • Make sure the other driver or pedestrian sees you. You can achieve this by making eye contact with the other person.
  • Always wear your seatbelt and be aware of the conditions. Depending on the road conditions you may need to reduce your speed to ensure your traveling safely.

By practicing these defensive driving tips you will be able to react to most traffic situations with time and space to maneuver safely. For younger drivers, it may require additional experience and hours behind the wheel to master defensive driving.

Even with Defensive Driving, Auto Accidents Happen

Even if you are the safest driver, you cannot control other drivers, the weather or other unforeseen situations. Because of this, there is a chance you may still end up in an auto accident. Protect yourself with an auto insurance policy from Farm Bureau Insurance. With a long history in South Carolina, we are known for offering affordable policies that meet your needs and personalized responsive service. Contact a local agent to learn more about the benefits we can offer to you.