Practicing safe driving techniques and keeping your head towards will keep you out of accidents. However, you should also prepare yourself for some possibilities in which you have to apply evasive driving – this is where you need to think quickly and keep yourself and your vehicle from the harm of another driver.
The typical example of this situation is encountering another driver that doesn’t see you and slams on his brakes reflexively. Another is a driver that runs a red light, and you have only a single second to react and stay out of the intersection.
It could perhaps be an aggressive driver behind you and you need to get out of their way quickly. Any of these can result in an accident or death. When these situations occur, you should be confident in your evasive driving skills and knowledge that you won’t panic and worsen the situation.
So, first and foremost, know your vehicle well. You may not have done this when you have learned driving, but do to look for an empty parking lot to do this.
Practice the following:
1. Quick Panic Stops
With your car traveling at 25-30mph, try to make a quick stop. Be sure no to do this more than once in a row without cooling off your brakes. Press firmly on the brake pedal to know how effective your anti-lock braking system in these situations.
At times, you may need to change lanes quickly to avoid hazards. One common example of this is when one lane is suddenly at a stand-still and you have to swerve or use the panic brake to avoid a collision.
The safest move in this situation is to swerve your car to the shoulder even if you think you have enough room to brake. You may not have as much space as you think, and the person on the other car behind you may not be as alert as you. But, swerving properly helps avoid collisions on both ends of your car.
3. Practice on a Less Traveled Road
To practice evasive driving, do it on a less traveled road. Turn your car and simulate these situations and notice how it reacts to sudden direction changes. Staying alert even in the practice of evasive driving is the most important of all. You need to be cautious about both obstacles and other vehicles.
There are companies like Ford, who allow test drivers to run their vehicles in rigorous testing to anticipate the vehicle’s reaction in these situations. Through this, you get to know it for your own sake and be confident that your vehicle can handle dependently.
However, keep in mind that while it’s important to know your car’s limits, you need these activities in minimum to avoid excessive wear on the car.
4. Practice in Both Dry and Wet Conditions
Moreover, it is suggested to practice these maneuvers in both dry and wet conditions. If you can have an experienced driver to accompany you and share the experience with this practice, call them as they may provide valuable insight.
Make sure that your safety belts are fastened at all times. Once you’ve chosen your practice spot where there is no traffic, be sure to still keep an eye out for other vehicles.
After sensing your vehicle’s ability, visualize some of the situations I’ve mentioned, and plan how you would react.
Practicing defensive driving (signaling early, double-checking mirrors and blind spots, obeying the road rules) will help keep you out of most situations, but learning evasive driving can help give you peace of mind. Both of these are crucial to safe driving.