Driver education: Three rules of defensive driving

Along with regular fleet maintenance, driver education is one of the best ways in which you can help keep your employees safe on the roads when they are operating a company vehicle.

While most people would consider themselves a competent and confident motorist, the fact is that many people frequently stumble into poor habits and bad technique when driving.

For that reason, it's a good idea to regularly remind your drivers as to the three basic rules of defensive driving that can help them avoid an accident this summer.

Think ahead and predict the unpredictable

Often drivers will fall into the bad habit of only focussing on what is directly in front of them, allowing their mind to wander and losing sight of what is up ahead.

A better approach to driving is to be constantly thinking forward in order to assess the oncoming hazards and potential risk factors that could lead to an incident.

This way, you can be adequately prepared to manage any sudden changes in conditions and take the necessary steps to avoid danger.

Keep your eyes moving

Tying into the first rule of defensive driving, keeping your eyes moving is another aspect of being constantly aware and prepared on the roads.

It's important to be aware of yourself and your surroundings whenever you are operating a motor vehicle, including the other cars that are around you on the road.

By using your eyes to check all of your mirrors - rearview and side - as well as performing frequent head checks when necessary to evaluate your blind spots, you can ensure you are informed as to what is happening and what dangers may be present.

Never assume

Another common mistake made by Australian drivers is to take the actions of other motorists for granted. This is poor practice as the truth is that it is impossible to fully predict the actions of other drivers.

An example might be when changing lanes on the freeway. In this circumstance, you might assume that the driver in front of you will carry on at his or her current speed, or that the driver to your rear will not accelerate quickly.

A better approach is to focus on your driving and be consistently giving yourself enough room to move and avert collision if necessary.