WA Defensive Driving
Not quite sure what defensive driving is? Does it seem to be a way to retaliate against other drivers when they are approaching you? Well, that is nothing about defensive driving – which is actually a way to prevent accidents and incidents by always being on guard, or defense. The correct thinking on roadways is that all drivers around you are on the verge of making a mistake – mistakes that you must avoid to remain safe in your vehicle.
Washington defensive driving is defined as the method of driving in a manner that is more alert to the driving situations around you, pretty much as if you were waiting on something to go wrong.
Washington Driver Defensive Driving Tips
Driving during Rain
Washington is always experiencing a bit of rain, and the only way you can be sure that you are really safe during these rain storms or showers is to drive defensively in Washington. You can do this by:
- Reducing your speed 10MPH which is a great way to give yourself a bit more leeway in avoidance of an accident, especially during those first 10 intense minutes of the storm, where road conditions can be much more slick due to the first rains mixing with oil residue.
Hydroplaning is another risk you must be careful for as it is much more possible when you are driving 35MPH or more. If you feel that the tires have left the roadway, simply:
- Ease of your gas pedal and try your best to keep your vehicle as straight as possible. Only after you feel traction has regained should you apply the break.
Ice on Roadways
As the temperature drops in Washington, ice can form on the roadways and create great peril for those drivers behind the wheel. Keeping your eye out for ice on the roads is the best way to drive safely in Washington during these times. If you do encounter ice on the roadways, be sure that you have slowed the vehicle to a speed much life if you were in rush hour traffic, even if you think you are protected by four wheel drive – which doesn’t increase road traction on ice.
It is also imperative that you are aware that ice does form on a bridge quicker than the roads, which means you should use extra caution on bridges. While roads have natural insulation within the ground, this insulation is absent from bridges, making your trip more perilous.
Negotiating Road Curves
When approaching a curve ahead, you must be sure that your speed is lowered in order to bend through without having to apply the brake. If you break while curving, your risk of skidding is increased greatly.
Driving in Washington Traffic
As you enter traffic:
- Drop or increase your speed to match that of the drivers around you in order to be most safe.
If you attempt to drive faster than the other drivers, you will see that you have much more passing and lane changing to do – which does increase your risks. After all, it is better to arrive late than never at all. If you think that driving slower than other drivers is going to increase your Washington road safety – think again. It only puts you at further risk as you are unintentionally clogging the traffic and causing other drivers to react in the wrong way, often putting you and them at risk of an accident.
Driving with Fatigue
There are several road studies that compare driving sleepy and drunk as being much the same in terms of danger. If you want to ensure that you aren’t a risk on the roads due to fatigue, follow these handy Washington driver safety tips:
- Plan your trips so you are more rested when departing than tired. In other words, depart earlier in the day so you are arriving to your destination when you begin getting tired, or at least can get some good headway before stopping.
- Avoid the ingestion of medications that can cause drowsiness.
- Avoid eating a large meal before getting on the road to avoid fatigue.
- Stop to stretch, breath, and even get a little caffeine while on a longer trip.
- If you find that your eyes are too heavy to keep open, by all means stop and nap even if you have to get on the side of the road.