How to Drive Smart

There are many things to take in consideration in order to drive smart. Being a safe and responsible driver takes a combination of knowledge, skill and attitude. To begin, you must know the traffic laws and regulations that help traffic move safely. These safety procedures will hopefully help you drive smart on the road.


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    Be physical and mentally alert - You must be in good physical and mental condition to drive. Do not drive when you are sick, tired, angry, injured, drinking alcohol or anything that may reduce your ability to drive.
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    Know your vehicle - Knowing your vehicle can provide the driver with a better understanding how it operates. There are many different characteristics including anti-lock brakes, 4-wheel drive, automatic and manual vehicles.
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    Check vehicle if it is completely functional - When you first enter your vehicle make sure your breaks are functional. In order to do so, step to your breaks. If you feel there is no pressure, you might want a mechanic to check it. Adjust the mirrors, seat and check if your signals are working properly then get into position to drive.
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    Fasten the seat belt - To become a smart driver you must always buckle your seat belt.
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    Turn on headlights at night and in poor conditions - The number one rule when driving is making sure you have perfect vision of vehicles and also that others can see you. Use your high beams only when there are no street lights and pitch black.
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    Use signals - When ever you switch lanes, leaving the road, moving out from a parked position or turning, you must signal. Signalling is very important, it provides the other drivers a chance to predict your next movement and also give them 3-5 second heads up so they can react.
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    Blind spots - When ever you switch lanes, turn or even cross an intersection, always glance your mirrors and blind spot for a safe transition.
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    Missing an exit on the freeway - Missing an exit is very common, do not try to squeeze your way to the exit because you might cause an accident or even worse injure yourself. Just simply proceed driving along the freeway and take the next exit.
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    Yielding the right-of-way - There are times where you must yield and let the others proceed before you. Vehicles approaching on the right have the right-of-way, in cases where intersections have no signs or lights. If you are turning right, you must wait for pedestrians to cross the road first because they have the right-of-way. Also when buses are pulling out their bus stops you must let the bus enter the main road.
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    Stay within the speed limit - Obey the maximum speed limit signs along the road, it also allows the drivers to stop safely. When there is bad weather, heavy traffic or construction try to drive slower with caution.
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    Keep your distance - leave a two second gap (depending on the speed of your vehicle you might need more than two seconds to stop safely) between vehicles to avoid collisions. To do so select a marker on the road ahead and count two seconds if your vehicle does not pass that marker by the time you counted to two then you're in a good position.
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    Pumping the breaks - bad road conditions can cause your wheels to slide out of control, this might happen if you suddenly break hard, accelerating too quickly or driving to fast around a corner. To avoid skids you must pump the breaks and keep your steering wheel straight.


  • Try to practice on a daily basis even if its only a five min drive you’ll never become worse by driving more.
  • Plan your routes before you drive to reduce the amount of distractions, if you need to glance at a map pull over in a safe position.
  • Participate in hobbies that require a different technique of driving, for example boats, go carts, and ATVs.
  • There are unfortunate times when the traffic lights might burn out or knocked out by the weather. When this happens the intersection is treated as a 4-way stop sign.
  • Watch others while they drive to gain knowledge, this can be a good opportunity to view different situations on the road.
  • Do not take both your hands off the steering wheel even when your turning or switching lanes and your hands should be near nine and three o’ clock.


  • Do not “pump” the break if you have ABS breaks, they will not work. Pumping the breaks will defeat the computer's efforts to sense a wheel skid.
  • Breaking any traffic laws and regulations can be fined, sent to jail or even lose your driver’s licence.

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Categories: Defensive Driving Skills & Safety