Defensive Driving Includes Driving to Communicate
All drivers want to know that other motorists on the road see them, and implementing some defense driving tactics can help ensure that drivers and their vehicles are seen. For example, using flashing headlights to let other drivers know they have room to merge or honking the horn to let other drivers know they are about to hit something are ways to communicate while on the road. Additionally, making eye contact with other drivers can prevent them from making a mistake that impacts your driving or, if you are looking at them and they do not look back, you know to be vigilant while around them.
While these are the basic ways to communicate with other drivers while on the road, there are some other ways this can be accomplished as well. Here are some tips to help you drive to communicate.
Stay Out of Blind Spots – When driving, make sure to position yourself in a lane in such a manner that you are not in another driver’s blind spot. Being in other drivers’ blind spots makes it harder for them to see you when they are trying to change lanes or merge onto the highway.
Use Turn Signals – Other drivers are likely not psychic and do not know when you are planning to turn or change lanes. This is why using turn signals is so important. Using a turn signal when changing lanes lets other drivers know you plan on coming over, and they likely speed up or slow down to make room. Additionally, using a turn signal when making a full turn lets other drivers know to slow down.
Check Brake Lights – It is very important to make sure your vehicle’s brake lights – and all lights for that matter – are in proper working order. Much of other drivers’ reaction time to stopped traffic is indicated by them seeing brake lights, as these lights alert them to what is happening up ahead. If a vehicle’s brake lights are not working, there is a higher chance of the vehicle being rear-ended.
By using all of these non-verbal indicators while driving, it is much more likely that other drivers will see your vehicle and be able to better predict your movements. This is crucial for being able to predict potential road hazards and also being able to avoid accidents, helping to keep both you and other motorists safe on the road.
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