Have you come across the term defensive driving but do you really know what it actually means? Most people think it’s motorists using their car indicators from a mile away or driving in one lane the whole time. It’s actually the additional skills you acquire on top of your current driving style. Drivers gain defensive driving skills by experience or by defensive driving courses offered by driving institutes across UAE. Here are some of the common defensive driving techniques you can adopt.

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Concentration

Most of the serious accidents are caused due to lack of concentration while driving. When you’re behind the wheel, it’s your responsibility to stay focused at all times as a minor distraction can lead to a massive accident. Here are some common distractions to avoid at all times:

  • Eating in a car while driving.
  • Using your mobile phone (AED 800 fine + four black points).
  • Making your pets ride in the front seat.
  • Applying makeup while driving or at a stoplight.

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Maintain your speed

It’s true that speeding over the road limit is dangerous but driving too slow is also hazardous. You are required to drive according to the road speed which are denoted on sigh boards on all roads to maintain the traffic flow.

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The two-second rule

The general rule of thumb is in an open traffic condition you’re required to maintain a two-second distance from the car in front of you. Imagine driving down a freeway and choose a fixed object in front of you. The car in front of you should pass that object and after two seconds your car should pass. This will determine that you’re at an optimal distance at your current speed.

Look at the horizon

When driving on any road don’t get fixated on the car in front of you but always try to look as much ahead as possible. How is it going to help you? In case of a panic situation, you have enough time to adjust according to the situation. Professional drivers call this technique “high eyes” and use it at all times to avoid any kind of danger.

[Related: What to do when your car suddenly breaks down]

Check both ways at intersections

Accidents caused at intersections are commonly known as T-bone collision. It’s a dangerous place where drivers accelerate as soon as the light turns green. It’s advised that drivers should at least wait for two seconds before acceleration as not all drivers stop once the signal turns red. Signal jumpers usually are on high speeds and can cause a deadly accident if you aren’t careful.

Blind spots

If you don’t change your lanes very often it’s a good thing as it minimizes the chance of an accident. However, when changing lanes you must be stay alert of other wreckless drivers who generally dart in and out of lanes trying to cut off traffic. Before changing lanes not only check your mirrors, but also check blind spots as sometimes you might not catch a car next to you in the mirrors.

Keep distance from bad drivers

Always maintain enough distance from cars so that in a panic situation, you can have an escape plan. This does not mean keeping too much distance when there is neck to neck traffic but when there’s free flowing traffic. Keep distance from problematic drivers such as tailgaters, road ragers, constant lane changers, and slow drivers.