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On the defensive

Anticipating other drivers’ actions and expecting the unexpected is part of becoming a safe and confident driver. This is termed ‘defensive driving’ and is all about thinking ahead, anticipating what other drivers are going to do and being ready to react. Your driving instructor will teach you that you need to be aware, at all times, of what is going on around you. This is essential if you’re going to become a good defensive driver. Although you don’t know what another driver is thinking, you should always try to second-guess their next action, and be ready to react accordingly if it affects you.

It’s important to constantly look ahead, keep an eye on changes in traffic flow and expect the unexpected. For instance, if you see an oncoming car waiting to turn right ahead of you, think of the implications and be ready to slow down or stop just in case they decide to turn across you, too close and at the last minute. Similarly, if you see children or workmen on the pavement, slow down and be prepared should they step out unexpectedly.