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When it comes to driving, most of us consider ourselves
to be a good driver while everyone else is either
an idiot or a maniac.

We all occasionally neglect to use our turn signal, pull out with
a little less than enough room, change lanes a bit too closely,
etc.
Most of us don't mean to, but driving is a very complex combination
of tasks and with all that is on our minds these days, it is very easy
to be distracted.

Road Rage is a growing problem all over the U.S. and no one is
immune from it.
It is simply an incident in which one driver does something that sets
off another one and makes them angry.

Doesn't take much, does it?

Anyone who spends any time at all on the road has and will continue
to experience some form of Road Rage.
Thankfully, not the type that ends up with someone shot or in the
hospital.
Usually, it is simply someone else's behavior causing us to mutter
something under our breath (or louder) and that is the end of it.

Here are some basic driving tips that can help to prevent you from
being the target of someone else's rage.
T
hey will also make you a very good driver if you consistently
exercise them every time you hit the road.

You can save fuel, and protect yourself and your family on the road
by practicing defensive driving techniques, by anticipating what is
happening ahead of you on the road and reacting
accordingly.


First and foremost, be courteous.
Think of what you might say or do
to the other driver if you were
face-to-face say, in the grocery store.

We have a tendency to slip into anonymity when we are behind the
wheel and can act out in ways that we would never think of if we
were actually eye-to-eye with the other person.

Instead of automatically reacting when you feel angry, diffuse
your emotions by counting slowly, singing, or making
funny animal noises: meow, roar, or moo for about 10 seconds
or so.

This might sound strange, but you might end up laughing
afterwards.


Obey the general rules of the road.
If you are simply driving aggressively and cutting others off, etc.,
then you are definitely asking for it.
Don't use obscene gestures.

Some people drive with their left foot resting on the brake pedal,
a habit that increases fuel consumption and wears out the brakes
prematurely.
This is also be dangerous because it causes heat buildup in the
brakes, which reduces braking power.
Plus your brake lights stay on all the time, which means that drivers
behind you have no warning when you actually apply the brakes to
slow down or stop.


Periodically check your turn signals.
We all laugh at the folks driving
down the road with their signal
on for miles, but it can happen to the best of us.
Just make it part of your scan as you drive and make sure they are
off until you want to turn or change lanes.

Signal your intentions.
If you want to turn or change lanes, use the fancy little lever on the
steering column that makes those cool little lights on the corners
of your car flash.

Keep looking around you, in and out of your car, while driving.
Check your mirrors, turn signals, gauges, blindspots, other traffic,
etc, constantly to keep aware of what's going on around you.
Some people are totally oblivious to anything other than their cell
phone while they are driving and it really irritates everyone
else around them.

If, while checking your mirrors, you see someone behind you
(probably too close) and you are in the left lane, move to the right.

Don't block a speeding car to slow them down, you might be
inviting trouble.

Stay out of their way.

This applies only if you have room in the next lane and do not have
a legitimate need to be in the left lane (other than to make that clown
behind you mad).

Give aggressive drivers plenty of room to get around you.

Don't make eye contact with an aggressive driver.

Most aggressive drivers habitually
tailgate and absolutely "have"
to get ahead of everyone in front of them
(even if there are ten more cars ahead stacked up in that lane).
It is not worth a confrontation just to hold up the idiot.
Just let him or her pass. If they are speeding, hopefully an
officer will get to meet him up ahead.

Do not tailgate those ahead of you. About 90% of rear end
accidents are caused at least in part by people following the
car ahead of them too closely.
The old rule of thumb is 1 car length for every 10 MPH of speed.
That is the minimum.
You will not lose that much time by backing off a few car lengths
and you might avoid being at fault in an accident.

You will also keep from ticking that person in front of you off and
possibly causing them to suddenly brake for that "dog" that ran
out in front of them.

Watch your high beam headlights.
Make sure that you are not blinding anyone (either oncoming or
from behind) with your brights.

Speaking of headlights.....
Do not be afraid to use them!
If visibility is poor, turn on your headlights.
Just because you can see all of the other cars does not mean they
can see you.
If it is raining, snowing, foggy, very cloudy, or you simply cannot
see very well, turn them on.
In Wisconsin, the law now requires you to have your lights on when
it is raining.

Anticipate the other driver's next move.
If you anticipate that the person beside you is going to change lanes
in front of you, you will be ready and can prepare accordingly.

Leave room in front of your vehicle at traffic lights.
You should always leave enough room ahead of your vehicle to allow
you to pull out and around the car in front of you should an
emergency arise or the car ahead of you becomes disabled.
Always leave yourself an escape route.


If you see someone driving aggressively, stay away
and contact the police or sheriff's department when you can
safely do so.
Even if you're not being affected by the aggressive driver, you could
be saving other lives on the road.

And remember, don't get distracted by your cell phone.
Whenever you're driving and your attention is not on the road, you're
putting yourself, your passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians
in danger.




5 Keys of Defensive Driving:

The Smith System was established in 1952 by Harold Smith, it
operates on the principle that most collisions are preventable
if the right driving habits are learned, practiced and applied
consistently.
Since then, millions of drivers have benefited from this
system.


1. Aim High in Steering:
Look 15 seconds into your future, not just look at the vehicle
in front of you.


2. Get the Big Picture:
Look for Hazards:
Other Motorists, Pedestrians, Vehicle doors opening


3. Keep Your Eyes Moving:
Don’t stare. Use your peripheral vision. Stop the fixed habit stare.

4. Leave Yourself an Out:
Monitor the space cushion around you and your vehicle.

5. Make sure They See You:
Use your signals, Directionals, 4-Way Flashers,
Head Lights, Brake Lights, Horn.
Make Eye Contact.