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Defensive driving helps prevent crashes in spite of the incorrect actions of others or adverse driving conditions, such as weather, traffic, lighting, vehicle or road condition, or a driver’s physical or mental state. Prevention and precautions are the key components but sometimes, accidents are inevitable. Sedan insurance is available to protect your investment and assets, and serves as your first line of defense. To take it a step further, those in the transportation business should consider the following ways to help avoid crashes.

Be Prepared

Defensive driving when taking off from a parked position includes:

  • Walk around the vehicle (even underneath) checking for safe clearance before starting it.
  • Start up slowly, allowing others who may have unexpectedly approached, to safely move away.
  • Move the vehicle with clear intent after assuring all is clear.
  • Tap your horn in congested areas to warn others you will be moving and/or seek assistance to direct you.

The essentials to be a defensive driver in general require that you:

  • Assume other drivers will make errors.
  •  Keep the lights, mirrors, windows, and windshield of the vehicle clean and in good operating condition.
  • Adjust vehicle mirrors for maximum viewing area from your seating position.
  • Adjust speed, position, direction, and attention to be able to maneuver safely if a hazard develops.
  • Scan far ahead and frequently to the sides and rear to react safely to approaching situations.

Adverse Driving Conditions

Failure to adjust to adverse driving conditions is a major factor in crash causation. Defensive driving in these conditions include:

  • Increase following distance, avoiding rear-end collision if a driver in front brakes hard or loses control.
  • Use emergency flashers as necessary to warn other drivers you are slowing down.
  •  Apply brakes gently avoiding jerking movements.
  •  Be cautious of traveling too slowly on curves. The vehicle might slide sideways into traffic or off the road without sufficient forward motion.

Right-of-Way and Passing lanes

Always give right-of-way when entering traffic, turning left in front of approaching traffic, and changing lanes. Be sure to:

  • Not force other drivers to brake/steer because of an obstructive maneuver into their path.
  • Assume other drivers will not see/avoid you if you maneuver into their path.
  • Proceed only when certain there won't be conflict with other traffic.
    While attempting to change lanes, it is best to:
  • Scan the roadway ahead for traffic and road conditions.
  • Check for vehicles passing other vehicles in your lane from the opposite direction.
  • Maintain a safe following distance, ensuring that if the vehicle ahead makes an emergency maneuver, you can remain safe in your lane. (Increase distance if the driver behind is following too closely).
  • If you perceive trouble ahead, flash brake lights to alert drivers behind.
  • Give right-of-way when changing lanes and thoroughly observe the lane you plan on entering.
  • Always signal your intentions far in advance of any lane-changing maneuver.


To be a defensive driver while making turns, be sure to always:

  • Use turn signals far in advance to making a turn.
  • Check mirrors ensuring other drivers are aware of your intentions.
  • Be careful that your path doesn't interfere with pedestrians, other vehicles, or stationary objects.   

About American Risk Management, Inc.American Risk Management, Inc. (ARM), along with its predecessor entities, has provided public auto business owners with coverage for their vehicles and operations since 1938. We provide coverage to taxis, sedans, limousines, ride-sharing vehicles, sightseeing tours, courtesy shuttles, school shuttles, last-mile delivery, and couriers across the Washington, D.C. metro area. Our expertise and experience in the commercial transportation industry allow us to provide our clients solutions that fit their unique risk profiles. To learn more about what we can offer you, call us today at (202) 547-8700.