Florida Defensive Driving
As the saying goes you can't change others but you can change yourself. The same goes for driving to avoid accidents. Getting upset with other drivers doesn't make the roads safer. The only protection you have against other drivers is to be a Defensive Driver - drive safe, recognize the bad drivers and avoid them.
This section walks you through how to be a defensive driver - we also have information about defenive driving courses.
Following are Defensive Driving Tips to help keep you save on Florida roads.
Rule #1: The 2-Second Rule
Give yourself time to respond. You never know when the car in front of you is going to slam on their brakes for an animal crossing the road or some other reason. You can avoid accidents by driving a safe distance behind vehicles using the 2-second rule. Here's how to check yourself:
- Watch the vehicle ahead pass a fixed point (sign or tree)
- Count 1001 and 1002 (2 seconds)
- If you reach the mark before you say 1002 you're tailgating - back off!
Rule #2: How to Spot a Bad Driver
There are so many drivers out there distracted by cell phones, passengers or other reasons. You need to be constantly on the alert for bad drivers. Here's how to spot a bad driver and make sure you get away from them immediately!
- Signals inconsistently
- Abrupt turns and Swerving
Rule #3: Don't Drink and Drive
It only takes one drink to impair your brain. It's not worth it. Zero tolerance is the only way to go - never drink and drive and here's why:
- A DUI will stay on your record for 75 years
- License suspension
- Costs you at least $8,000
- Car insurance sky rockets for your whole family
Rule #4: Don't be an Aggressive Driver
Okay, so we've all yelled a word or two at a bad driver. But one of the worst drivers is an aggressive driver - it's time to take a hard look at yourself. Tests have shown that aggressive drivers cause accidents rather than prevent them. Ask yourself if you do any of the following, and if you do, make an effort to change for the positive. You can only change yourself, not others.
- Do you yell at people while driving
- Do you speed up to stop drivers from "cutting in"
- Do you tailgate (follow closer than two seconds)
- Do you accelerate when the light's yellow
Rule #5: Avoid Head-On Collisions
When driving, you need to constantly be aware of your surroundings. Head-on collisions are the most dangerous crashes. Here's how to avoid one:
- Always be on the lookout for dangerous situations
- Look for cars backing out of parking spots or driveways
- In bad weather, slow down, turn on wipers and lights
- Keep an eye out for bad drivers
Rule #6: Stay Focused
Lastly, the number one thing you can do as a driver is to stay focused and rid yourself of bad habits now and forever. Develop good habits, stick with them and you'll avoid accidents. Bad habits make you dangerous to yourself and others on the road. Here's what NOT to do while driving (pull over and stop before doing any of these):
- Eat and drink
- Adjust music
- Use a cell phone
- Turn your head to talk to others in the car