General defensive driving tips
South Africa’s roads are a minefield of preventable accidents caused by poor driving and poor road conditions. You can overcome some of the obstacles using just a few defensive driving tips and applying the right attitude. It is also a good idea to take a professional defensive driving course to practise some of the techniques mentioned here. Practical experience is invaluable. The point of defensive driving is to keep the driver as alert and aware as possible on the road.
The AA provided tips that you should follow for overall road safety:
Use the 2-3 second rule to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
This should be increased to 4-6 seconds in bad weather conditions, driving at night, on gravel or when towing a trailer.
Reduce your speed according to the road, traffic and weather conditions. Remember that posted speed limits apply to ideal conditions.
To maintain control of your vehicle, you must control your speed to be appropriate for the road, traffic and weather conditions.
Maintain a safe constant speed and avoid weaving in and out of lanes.
Always have an escape route. Always have space to move your vehicle to if your immediate path of travel suddenly gets blocked.
Having an alternative path of travel is essential, so take the position of other vehicles into consideration when determining an alternative path of travel.
Do not “over drive” your headlights at night, that is, drive so fast that you cannot stop within the distance available. People can not stop in the distance they can see on dipped beam and end up hitting pedestrians, potholes or tyre casings.
Always adjust your speed so that you can stop within the distance you can see.