Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Staying Inside the Lines: How to Drive Defensively


If you have accumulated a few traffic tickets after just a couple of years of getting your license, you could be at risk of financial burden and suspensions. You may not realize it now, but the propensity of getting into situations that end up in traffic infractions is probably the result of inadequate driving education.

Learning the mechanics of driving and the rules of the road is not enough to deal with traffic conditions nowadays. What you may want to consider would be to learn about how to drive in a defensive manner so that you not only diminish the risk of getting a ticket but also avoid getting into accidents. To this effect, here are four skills you should acquire:

Expect the Unexpected

Similar to the emotional stability technique of letting go when you can’t manage the actions of others, you should learn to accept that there are certain traffic factors you will not be able to control. The only assumption you can make about other drivers is that they probably do not practice defensive driving. Drivers are bound to make mistakes; it is up to you to react to them adequately.

Sometimes despite everything you can do, you may still be involved in an accident. The good news is, if you were doing your best to drive defensively you are almost certainly not at fault. If you find yourself involved in an accident and were injured, you may want to consider consulting with someone like Knochel Law Offices PC or a different law office you recognize. You could be entitled to some compensation to help you cover medical expenses and related costs.

Keep up with Car Maintenance

Not many drivers realize that their erratic driving emanates from overcompensating for mechanical issues. If your brakes are out of adjustment, for example, your driving will be negatively affected in terms of safety.

Control Your Speed

High and unsafe speeds are the major cause of road traffic accidents across the United States. You also have to accept that speed traps are part of a revenue generating machine that will never go away. Your car is equipped to keep you and other drivers safe in case of a collision up to the posted speed limit. Once you realize that modern traffic conditions are not conducive to driving fast, you will be less likely to get tickets.

The Two-Second Rule

Tailgating and drafting are racetrack techniques that should never be applied to the interstates and freeways. Instead, you should follow the two-second rule, which is the absolute minimum distance that you should follow vehicles ahead of you. To apply this rule on the highway, look at a stationary object to the side of the road and use it to estimate how long it takes you to reach it relative to the car in front of you. The safe following distance should be at least three car lengths or two seconds.

In the end, defensive driving could be exactly what you need to stay longer on the road and away from traffic court.

Tim Esterdahl

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