Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

SAFETY > TRIP > DRIVING

Driving

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Having applied all the previous steps or phases of the trip, you are now off to a good start for a safe journey.

Become familiar with the contents of this course and apply the principles to the extent that it becomes second nature.

Over time you will find that you develop a 'gut feel' or refined perception of scenarios on the road BEFORE they develop.

When stopping along the way, be aware of areas that could lend themselves to a hijacking:

  • Low light

  • Areas close to the road that a person could conceal themselves.

  • If you have a negative 'gut feel' about a location, rather break the law safely than putting yourself in harm's way.

Have a look at the Real Life sub-section to get a good idea of how to put these Advanced Driving techniques into practice.

💡 Tips:

🛈 Info:

? Questions:

Safety Trip Driving

💡 Top safety tips when driving

Here are some top safety tips to keep in mind when driving:

  • Always wear your seatbelt: This is the most important safety tip for any driver or passenger. Buckle up every time you get into the car, and make sure all passengers do the same.

  • Obey traffic laws: Follow all traffic laws, including posted speed limits, stop signs, and traffic signals.

  • Avoid distracted driving: Avoid distractions such as texting, eating, or using your phone while driving. Keep your eyes and attention focused on the road.

  • Keep a safe distance: Maintain a safe following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to keep a distance of at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour.

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Always be aware of your surroundings, including other vehicles, pedestrians, and potential hazards on the road.

  • Check your mirrors: Check your mirrors regularly to be aware of what's happening around your vehicle. Adjust your mirrors before starting your journey to ensure maximum visibility.

  • Be prepared for emergencies: Always carry a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle, including a spare tire, jack, and tools to change a tire. Know what to do in case of a breakdown or accident.

  • Don't drive under the influence: Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as it impairs your ability to make good decisions and react quickly to potential hazards.

By following these safety tips, you can reduce your risk of accidents and keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Remember, safe driving is everyone's responsibility, so always be mindful of your actions behind the wheel.

💡 Off-road driving tips

Driving off-road can be an exhilarating and challenging activity. Whether you're exploring rough terrain or navigating through trails, here are some tips to help you stay safe and make the most of your off-road drive or adventure:

  • Know your vehicle: Understand the capabilities and limitations of your vehicle before venturing off-road. Familiarize yourself with its ground clearance, approach and departure angles, and four-wheel drive system (if applicable). Read the owner's manual to learn about any specific off-road features or recommendations.

  • Plan your route and inform others: Research and plan your off-road route in advance. Inform someone about your plans, including your intended route and estimated time of return. This is especially important if you're heading into remote areas with limited cell phone reception.

  • Check your vehicle: Before heading off-road, inspect your vehicle to ensure it's in good working condition. Check the tire pressure, brakes, fluids, lights, and any other components that could affect performance or safety.

  • Carry essential equipment: Pack essential equipment and tools such as a spare tire, tire repair kit, jack, tow strap, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and a basic toolkit. Depending on the terrain and duration of your trip, you may also need additional gear like recovery boards, a winch, or extra fuel.

  • Drive at a safe speed: Off-road terrain can be unpredictable, with various obstacles and uneven surfaces. Drive at a safe speed, adjusting it according to the conditions and terrain. Slow down when approaching steep inclines, descents, or sharp turns. Maintain a speed that allows you to have control and respond to obstacles effectively.

  • Use four-wheel drive (4WD) when necessary: Engage the appropriate four-wheel drive mode when tackling challenging terrain, such as loose gravel, sand, mud, or steep inclines. Familiarize yourself with how to engage and disengage the 4WD system in your vehicle.

  • Maintain momentum on obstacles: When encountering obstacles like rocks or ditches, maintain a steady speed and momentum. This helps your vehicle navigate over the obstacle more smoothly. Avoid sudden acceleration or braking, as it can lead to loss of traction.

  • Use proper braking techniques: Off-road braking requires a different approach than on-road driving. Brake gently and evenly to avoid skidding or losing control. Be cautious of braking on loose surfaces as it can cause your vehicle to slide.

  • Observe the terrain: Pay close attention to the terrain ahead, looking for potential hazards such as large rocks, tree stumps, or deep ruts. Be aware of the ground conditions, changes in elevation, and any signs of instability.

  • Respect the environment: Practice responsible off-roading by staying on designated trails, respecting wildlife and vegetation, and leaving no trace of your presence. Avoid damaging fragile ecosystems or disturbing wildlife habitats.

Remember, off-road driving can be challenging and unpredictable. If you're new to off-roading, consider taking a course or going with experienced drivers to learn the necessary skills and techniques. Always prioritize safety and be prepared for any situation that may arise during your off-road adventure.

🛈 Common driving mistakes

Common driving mistakes can occur due to various reasons, including lack of experience, distraction, or negligence. Recognizing these mistakes and taking steps to avoid them contributes to safer roads for everyone. Here are some common driving mistakes:

  • SpeedingDriving above the speed limit or too fast for road conditions is a common mistake that increases the risk of accidents and reduces reaction time.

  • Distracted Driving: Using a mobile phone, adjusting the radio, eating, or engaging in other distractions diverts attention from the road and impairs driving.

  • Following Too Closely (Tailgating): Failing to maintain a safe following distance can lead to rear-end collisions. Drivers should keep a sufficient distance to allow for sudden stops.

  • Running Red Lights or Stop SignsIgnoring traffic signals and signs poses a significant risk. Running red lights or stop signs can result in collisions at intersections.

  • Failure to SignalNeglecting to use turn signals or signaling inaccurately can confuse other drivers and lead to misunderstandings or accidents.

  • Ignoring Right of Way: Failing to yield the right of way when required can lead to traffic conflicts and accidents, especially at intersections.

  • Improper Lane ChangesChanging lanes without signaling, failing to check blind spots, or cutting off other vehicles can cause accidents.

  • Driving Under the InfluenceOperating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time.

  • Incorrect Merge Practices: Merging onto highways or changing lanes without proper signaling or adjusting speed can lead to dangerous situations.

  • Fatigue and Drowsy Driving: Driving while tired impairs concentration and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents.

  • Overconfidence: Overestimating one's driving abilities or taking unnecessary risks due to overconfidence can lead to accidents.

  • Poor Weather Preparedness: Failing to adjust driving behavior during adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or fog, can result in accidents.

  • Neglecting MaintenanceIgnoring regular vehicle maintenance, such as checking brakes, tires, and lights, can lead to mechanical failures on the road.

  • Ignoring Blind SpotsNeglecting to check blind spots before changing lanes can result in collisions with vehicles that are not visible in mirrors.

  • Not Using SeatbeltsFailing to wear seatbelts is a significant safety oversight that increases the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

To promote safer driving, it's crucial for all motorists to be aware of these common mistakes, stay focused on the road, adhere to traffic laws, and continuously strive to improve their driving skills. Defensive driving courses and regular self-assessment can also help address and prevent common driving errors.

? Is it illegal to not wear shoes while driving

The legality of driving without shoes varies depending on the jurisdiction. In many places, there are no specific laws prohibiting driving barefoot, and it is generally considered legal. However, it's important to be aware that laws and regulations can differ between countries, states, or regions, so it's advisable to check the local traffic laws where you are driving.

Here are some points to consider:

Countries or Regions Where It's Generally Legal:

  • United States: In the United States, there is no federal law that specifically prohibits driving barefoot. State laws vary, but in most states, it is legal to drive without shoes. However, some states may have specific regulations, so it's recommended to check the local laws.

  • United Kingdom: Driving barefoot is generally legal in the UK, and there is no specific law against it.

Considerations:

  • While it may be legal to drive barefoot, it's important to prioritize safety. Some people find that driving barefoot provides better control and feel of the pedals, while others may feel more comfortable wearing shoes. Choose whatever option allows you to operate the vehicle safely.

  • In some jurisdictions, if driving without shoes contributes to unsafe driving or an accident, it could potentially be considered as a factor in legal proceedings.

Exceptions:

  • In some countries or regions, there may be specific regulations or cultural norms that discourage or prohibit driving without shoes.

  • If you are driving a commercial vehicle, there may be different rules and regulations, so it's essential to be aware of any specific requirements for professional drivers.

It's crucial to verify the local laws and regulations in the area where you are driving to ensure compliance. Check with local traffic authorities, refer to official traffic codes, or consult legal resources specific to your location for the most accurate and up-to-date information on this matter.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving