man holding steering wheel

Defensive Driving to Save Your Life

No doubt, being able to drive is fun. The freedom to go to places and to see new destinations can give happiness and fulfillment. However, having a license entails a whole new level of responsibility because as a driver, you are accountable to the lives of your passengers and the lives of the drivers around you.

Not everyone on the road is a responsible driver. Road accidents happen not only because of a driver’s error but because of other factors that might lead to a crash. For this reason, you need to equip yourself with driving techniques that ensure protection from all the possible hazards and collisions on the road. Being a defensive driver, do not expect others to be like you in terms of actions and decision making on the road. Learn to trust no one but yourself. You are the only one that can protect yourself and your vehicle from the dangers on the road.

road accident

Many things are beyond our control when on the road. As a driver, learn how to master the techniques of defensive driving because this can save your life. The ultimate goal of defensive driving is creating a safety cushion around your car. It is like creating a safety bubble to protect from danger and collision each time.  Here are the essential techniques to start mastering the next time you hit the road. Being a defensive driver does not make you weak or uncool. It just significantly lowers your chances of getting into an accident.

Go for Zero Distractions

Defensive driving requires to stay focused on driving. Being one hundred percent focused on the road would mean zero distractions for the driver. There are things that could distract and remove your eyes from the road, even just for a few seconds. One distraction is the mobile phone. Pausing to answer a call or read a text message is dangerous. Watching videos while driving is just as risky. Driving apps can also ruin your driving focus. The best thing is to avoid using your mobile phone while driving. Stick to the old school radio for entertainment. Do not risk your life or anybody else’s life by answering an unimportant call.

man eating donut driving

Another popular cause of vehicular accidents has something to do with food. Eating or drinking while driving can be avoided. It is advisable to wait until you arrive at your destination before consuming your meal. Choose to dine in, drive-thru, or pull over to the side to finish that sandwich or drink that coffee. Remember, accidents can happen in seconds, and this could happen while you were fishing out for your French fries or putting ketchup over your burger.

Alertness is also an important factor when it comes to driving. Lack of sleep is a cause of concern and should not be taken lightly. Of course, everyone knows not to drink and drive. Better to have a designated driver when attending parties or if you are unable to get a good night’s sleep.

Keep a Safe Distance

Defensive driving is about keeping a safe distance from other cars on the streets to have a safety cushion should anything go wrong. The rule of the thumb in maintaining a safe distance is following a 3-second rule, especially on winding roads or difficult terrains. The trick is to count 3 seconds after a car passed by a particular landmark then count how many seconds for you to pass by the same marker. This is the safe distance on clear roads. In case the road is congested, you can follow the 1-second rule. Add another second if the road is congested together with rain or snow.

Aside from the 3 second rule, defensive driving encourages to always stay at the center of your lane. Check the traffic in front and behind to anticipate any threat or danger that comes your way. Look far ahead to predict what the car in front. In case of a pedestrian in the horizon, the car in front would slow down so hit the brakes early.

road rage woman driving

Stay Cool on the Road

There will be aggressive drivers around you. From those who will attempt to tailgate to those who will drive fast. Being a defensive driver would be challenging yourself to be relaxed and calm at all times. It is challenging to stay calm in a road rage situation, but going up against an angry driver is not worth your stress. If you are under this situation, remain calm and leave. Take deep breaths and drive as far and quickly from the livid driver. Cooler heads will prevail in road conflicts.

When an aggressive driver is too close behind, the best thing to do is let him pass. Slow down and signal the driver to overtake. If the aggressive driver can’t take a hint, turn on your hazard signal and stop safely on the side as soon as you can. It is essential to get rid of this speeding driver early on before problems occur.

woman wearing seatbelt

Safety Devices are a Must

Defensive driving promotes the use of devices that were invented to minimize injuries on the road in an event of a crash or a collision. Utilize these devices whenever you go out. One of the most necessary safety devices is the seatbelt which is the best tool in saving lives inside the vehicle. Airbags are additional safety and protection against impact. Do not forget to use car seats that are age-appropriate in case of children on board. All of these are meant to keep one safe while driving. Utilize them because they can make a difference between life or death.

Mirrors are one of the best safety devices invented for cars on the road. Glancing at your mirrors to check cars on your side or behind will aid in keeping as far away from any collisions. Learn to use the mirror and master glancing at them as often as possible.

Learn to Communicate with Other Cars

There are instances wherein collisions are caused by miscommunication between two cars. When on the road, it is not the same as communicating face to face with the driver. It is quite challenging because communication is done using your headlights or signal lights. Sometimes drivers get lazy and opt to skip the signal lights whenever they are about to make a turn. Unable to communicate with the car behind if you are planning to make a turn in the next corner would mean collision.

There are also other ways to communicate with other cars including car horn or blinking headlights a couple of times. During the day, communicate with other cars using hand gestures like a simple wave. Communication is key on the road. It is a great way to stay on the safe side.

car maintenance

Take Control of Your Vehicle

When it comes to road safety, one of the essential things is controlling the state and condition of your vehicle. It is the responsibility of the driver to have a well-conditioned car before driving it on the streets. Road safety departments of each state or county have a set of laws to ensure vehicle renewal. It means the vehicle has passed safety tests. Make it a point to regularly check your vehicle at least twice a year old car models. Before going on a long drive, check the brakes, engine, and wheels. Having a well-maintained car will keep everyone safe. It is best to invest in a car’s regular maintenance.

Top 5 Safe Driving Apps to Use

The world cannot ignore how technology changed and is continuously changing everyday lives. From connecting the world through social media apps to making lives convenient, technology has shaped actions and thinking. Although reliance on technology has so many undesirable effects, one cannot ignore the fact that technology has created so many things that help with daily ordinary tasks, One of which is driving.

Almost everyone owns a smartphone these days and there are thousands of applications to choose from. The apps out there are not all about just games and social connections, there are apps that are especially created to help roads become a safer place for drivers and passengers. There are basic apps that help maneuver traffic and provide directions and then there are also apps that enable and empower you to become a safe driver.

The use of mobile phones while driving is pointed out as one of the top reasons for road accidents and collisions. However, there are mobile apps that are created to help you become a better driver, without using or touching your screen. If you are curious about how mobile phone apps can help you get through your destinations safer, here are some of the more popular and highly rated ones out there.

Safedrive App

Safedrive is one of the most creative in the market when it comes to promoting road safety for drivers. The strategy of Safedrive is to reward drivers who do not use their mobile phones whenever they are operating their vehicle. It is a great app as it motivates and gives drivers another reason not to hold their mobile phone while driving, apart from safety of course.

How does this app work exactly? Safedrive app rewards drivers whenever they’re able to get from their starting location up to their destination without using their phones. No checking notifications, answering a call, tinkering with social media or sending an SMS. An anti distracted trip rewards drivers with points. Points can also be taken away from you once the app detects that you held and used your phone while still in transit.

The big question now is what can drivers do with these points? The points that you earn can be redeemed at partner establishments where you can get discounts for retail and dining. That’s right, you can get stuff for yourself by just being a disciplined driver. This is such a brilliant way of promoting road safety as the perks and discounts give drivers a reason to just concentrate on the road and not on their mobile phones.


When you ask drivers why they use their mobile phones while driving, one of the common answers is that they just need to read or respond to a very important SMS or email. This is a very common excuse because of today’s traffic and car volume on the road, it takes commuters so much time to get to their destination.

Workers are tempted to touch their mobile phones because of a very important email or call that they are expected and required to respond to immediately. Parents can no longer wait to come to a complete stop when they see their child calling as it might be an emergency. Drivers who use their mobile phones would simply tell you that they are left with no choice but to take their eyes off from the road because of these instances.

Drive is one great solution to these things as it helps eliminate texting and reading emails from drivers as the app itself will be the one to read them out loud for you. What it does is that the moment you receive a message, the app will read out loud these messages for you without the need for you to glance at your phone. The users of the app are pleased that it reads messages in a natural way and not the usual robotic voice. It also understands some difficult acronyms such as BRB (be right back) or LOL (laugh out loud). An add-on to the Drive app is that you can also create an auto-response and set it in such a way that it will forward your message to the message sender. For example, it can automatically send a “driving, talk to you later” to all those who text or email you while you’re on the road.

The app ensures that you have your eyes on the road at all times and it also allows you to stay connected even if you’re on your commute. Others would complain that they miss out on a lot of things as they spend so many hours unreachable whenever they are on the road and driving. With Drive, you will no longer miss out on anything. Best of all, it is so easy and convenient to use. Simply turn the ON button when you open the app to activate the read-out-loud the moment you start driving.

Driving 101

Driving 101 App is unlike the usual driving safety apps out there so it deserves to be given some spotlight. This app is all about giving you knowledge. There are so many things to remember and so many concepts to take heart when you want to master defensive driving. This app helps provide all the information you need on the road such as safety practices across different road conditions, defensive driving methods, emergency vehicle tips, and plenty more.

Driving 101 is created as a one-stop news feed for everything about driving safety. If you are one of those drivers out there who’ve been driving for years, it would be best to brush up on road safety tips every once in a while just to refresh your memory or emphasize what you already know. Driving 101 is the best refresher app. There is plenty of information in Driving 101 that you may also be learning and reading for the first time.

Rather than paying for a refresher course online to improve your knowledge about defensive driving, you can just download this app which also provides tips and up-to-date information on a daily basis. The information and write-ups are helpful and very interesting – some of the favorites include essential items needed in a car, tips on how to choose an auto repair shop for your car maintenance, and how to recover when you are in a skid during winter.


iOnRoad app is one of the most impressive and most advanced driving safety apps today. It has been downloaded so many times and has received multiple awards. iOnRoad is basically an app that turns your smartphone into a collision-avoidance system. You know how high-end cars have functions such as motion detections that aid the driver when parking? These expensive cars also have collision avoidance systems that come with the hefty amount you pay for. With iOnRoad, even the entry-level vehicles can have access to collision avoidance technology.

To utilize iOnRoad, you would need to mount your mobile phone into your dashboard so the phone has the view of the road ahead. It uses augmented reality and uses your phone camera to see what is right in front of you. As you drive, the app captures what it sees live and calculates whatever information you have (including your car speed!) and alerts you if you are close to colliding. With this help of the app, you can hit the brakes in time as it will calculate everything and will tell you if you are too close. It warns you to slow down if you are speeding through audio and visual alerts.

Another impressive thing about iOnRoad is that it also monitors your vehicle’s alignment. It is able to detect if you are slowly getting off your lane, even if you don’t notice it. This happens if you get distracted or start to feel sleepy. As an additional feature, iOnRoad is able to detect speed signs as you pass them on the road. It can help you avoid that dreaded speeding ticket as the app will warn you if you are faster than the limit.

TrueMotion Family Safe Driving

TrueMotion app targets the parents, especially those with teens who have just started driving. It is an app that will allow you to see your whole family’s driving information and safety. This is every parent’s best friend as it will let you know the current location of your family member whenever they are on the road and if they have arrived safely to their destination. It will also inform you which road they’ve taken to get there. The best feature of this app is that it will give you data if your child has used their mobile phone while driving, as well as information on their vehicle’s speed and more. It’s like having eyes and insight on your child’s driving even when you’re not with them inside the vehicle.

You can invite other family members and even friends to your app family. The app also provides scores and rankings based on each member’s performance so you will know who the poor performers are and can do something about it. This app can help improve the driving of your “low performing” members. You can get the chance to mentor and reorient them on road and driving safety until you see their scores improve.

defensive driving

Basic Concepts on Defensive Driving

If this is the first time you are hearing about the concept of defensive driving, today is the perfect time to know about it. Defensive driving is one of the most basic things they teach in driving schools. It is the most essential knowledge to have whenever one steps in the vehicle to drive. When choosing to be a defensive driver, it is about protecting and saving lives.

Defensive driving is all about anticipation. It is being aware and alert with what’s going on with your vehicle and all your surroundings. It is about anticipating and preparing yourself with possible dangers on the road. Defensive driving prepares the driver from any dangers on the road.

In sports, the defense is necessary in order to protect yourself and your team from the opponent’s attacks.  For driving, you need to protect yourself from crash and collision. You proactively control your actions to ensure that you stay as far away from threats as you possibly can.

In order to grasp the concept better, here are some of the most common concepts of defensive driving. The best scenario would be all drivers out there master defensive driving so roads all around the country will become safer for all commuters.

Know and Follow ALL Traffic Laws and Rules

Traffic laws and rules are not meant to be learned and memorized only so you can pass your driver’s exam and get your license. Each law or rule is created as a guide when you are out on your own every single day. There are so many things to learn and to memorize. If you are driving to a different state or country, it is not unusual that they have another set of road laws that you may not be familiar with. Before driving in a new territory, read up on their local road rules.

Since there are so many road rules and regulations to keep in mind while driving, it is important to focus on them alone. Try to brush off personal woes and tasks whenever you drive as it can leave you distracted. It is critical that you are 100% focused or more when you are driving. Eyes and mind on the road at all times. Being equipped with complete knowledge of road signs and markings, speed limits, rights of way and driving etiquette can keep you away from danger and harm.

Having a Way Out

In defensive driving, one of the most common concepts is to make sure you always have a way out. When driving in a highway, for example, you position yourself in such a way that you can maneuver your vehicle away immediately as soon as an accident happens ahead of you. Usually, defensive drivers do not sandwich themselves between two cars as there is no escape route in this scenario. Defensive drivers also make enough space for their vehicles in approaching road lane mergers. Basically, it requires positioning yourself similar to having a safety bubble from all other road elements.

Whenever on the road, defensive drivers always prepare their way out. They plan their movements and anticipate the worst-case scenario. As they say, safety should be of utmost priority as preparedness, in this case, can literally, save the lives of many.

car lights

Let Others on the Road See You

Whenever there are road mishaps, you’d often hear drivers say that they didn’t see the other car coming. So many road collisions happen because a driver failed to see an approaching vehicle or a vehicle nearby. Defensive driving would require you to make your presence felt out there. In short, you need to be seen and heard by surrounding vehicles. Having proper tail and headlights and utilizing them is one of the best ways to announce you are incoming. Your car honk is there to catch the immediate attention of other cars.

You’d be surprised that letting others see you on the road is as challenging during the daytime as it is in the dark. At night, car lights are brighter and easier to see but during the day, drivers tend to take the sunlight for granted. In order to let nearby cars know you are there, use your signal lights. You can bring down your windows and gesture to other cars if needed. Check your blind spot before decisions such as changing lanes or merging. If you need to get past a blind spot, do not linger too long in that area. Do not also stay at the blind spot of another driver.

It is safe to assume that not everyone there is as knowledgeable as you when it comes to driving and road safety. You cannot find out for certain how surrounding cars will react at any given time but you can learn to anticipate their actions.

Keep Distance at All Times

Keeping a safe distance does not only mean you should keep away from any large vehicle or truck. Defensive driving calls for keeping a certain distance between you and any vehicle out there to ensure your safety. Defensive driving teaches you the concept of the 3-second rule or keeping 3 seconds away from the vehicle in front of you. Add another second if you are driving in bad weather or if you are trailing a large truck.

The best way to measure the 3 seconds is if you can look at the car in front of you and looking at a point that he just drove past by. Count how long it took for you to reach the same point. Keeping it 3 seconds is the safest but if you are under 3 seconds, slow down.


Remove All Distractions

There are a hundred ways for a driver to be distracted, especially when traffic and the long drive becomes boring. Safety starts the moment the driver decides that there should be zero distractions as soon as the engine vehicle starts. It is a surprising trivia that a sleepy driver out there is as dangerous as a drunk driver. Do not attempt to drive when you are not well-rested. If you are in the middle of traveling and your eyes start to droop, pull over at the nearest stop so you can stretch or better yet, take a nap. Ensure that you are also careful with medicine intake as some drugs can also make you sleepy and unfit to drive.

The mobile phone is one of the top causes of distractions on the road. Texting, calling, or checking a social media notification can result in an accident in a matter of seconds. Commit to keeping your mobile phone inside your bag or inside your compartment to avoid temptations. If you have a music player, set up the playlist before you drive. Same also when it comes to any driving or traffic-related phone applications. If you need directions, set it up before you start your vehicle.

Other forms of distractions include food, putting on makeup, and taking a sip from your drink. These things can wait so drivers should discipline themselves to focus on nothing else but the road.

Utilize Your Car’s Safety Tools

One of the most brilliant tools in driving is your car’s mirrors. Mirrors are one of the best things that can help you be aware of your surroundings. Before going out, check to see if your mirrors are positioned perfectly. Adjust it as it needs to be at a perfect angle from your viewpoint. As you are seated, glance at your side and rear mirrors a couple of times before starting your vehicle to ensure that you are all set.

Seatbelts are necessary for the driver and all the passengers. As a driver, make it a requirement that all your passengers can ride with you only if they agree to wear their seatbelts. Ensure that children’s car seats also pass the standards of road safety.

Do not forget that having a well-conditioned vehicle is also a key part of defensive driving. It is a safety necessity that you operate your vehicle that is at top shape. Losing your brakes in the middle of driving or halting because of a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere is unsafe so it is best to have regular vehicle maintenance.

Your Attitude Matters

If you aim to become a good defensive driver, you need to possess qualities that will help you avoid any road altercations. One of the best and most important qualities is patience and respect towards other drivers. You also need to be considerate and cautious about your actions on the road. More importantly, you need to show cooperation and respect. Whenever there is an aggressive driver, learn to let go and give way. Even if faced with a rude and disrespectful driver, learn to take the high road and choose to ignore. Remember, the goal of driving is to go from point A to point B as safely as possible. Do not let angry heads get in the way of your driving goal – to reach your destination safe and sound.


A Step Towards Safer California Roads

There are people who absolutely cannot avoid picking up their phone while driving. This kind of habit is understandable. Mobile phones are addictive. Entertainment and social media are always just within reach. Everything you need to do is made easy with your mobile phone. There are people who can’t live without mobile phones.

For people who have a hard time controlling their use of mobile phones, they know for a fact that they are using them even when they are behind the wheel. Even those who are not mobile phone addicts, it is a challenge to shut off all distractions when driving. When on the way to work, there are emails that are very difficult to ignore. If you are waiting for an urgent text message, it would take self-control not to read it while driving the moment the notification pops out.

There are zero excuses to use your mobile phone when driving. No matter what the reason is,  it can cause accidents and collisions. Taking your eyes off from the road even for a few seconds can bring grave consequences. What’s worse is when you take your hands off the wheel to answer an SMS. Hands-free devices such as Bluetooth enabled devices and hands-free headphones are available in the market catering to the needs of drivers. However, even these devices are not recommended because it can take your concentration off the road. Even if your eyes are focused on what’s in front of you and your hands are behind the wheel, your mind might be someplace else.

There is a constant petition by families of the distracted driving accidents victims to come up with laws that give harsh punishments to who use their mobile phones behind the wheel. The recent move of the state of California to give stricter punishments to those caught using their mobile phones has got everyone rejoicing because it would mean safer roads for all commuters. 

California has proposed the bill called The Assembly Bill 47 that will punish all distracted driving-related offense. They are campaigning to avoid driving while “intoxicated”. When you are caught picking up your phone or just basically distracted because of your device, a point will immediately be added to your driving record. These points can take a hit, especially when it comes to licensing renewal. Accumulated violation points can possibly result in your license revocation.

Under Assembly Bill 47, the first violation will add a point to your driving record plus a 20 dollar fine. The second violation would have a bigger fine and so on. According to studies, the age group most likely to violate this bill belongs to the 25-39 years of age. It’s surprising that they do not expect teenagers to violate this law. The 25-39 age group is composed mainly of employees, parents, and businessmen. They are the ones who usually juggle work, family and social life. They are known to send at least 50 texts a day.

The aim of this bill is to have safer roads for all drivers and passengers. It should not be viewed as something negative. It should be taken as a challenge especially for those who simply cannot stop using their phones even when driving. The proponents of the bill are passionate about harsher punishments because of the reason that distracted driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Drunk driving has grave punishments set in place. There are studies that texting while driving is the leading cause of accidents on the road these days. One out of five drivers texts even if they’re behind the wheel and 34 percent of drivers admit that they do text. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t drive when you’ve consumed alcohol, but no one takes “intexticated” as seriously.

If you are one of these drivers who want to break this dangerous and illegal habit, here are some tips that can help you follow this bill easily, and of course drive safer every day

Put your phone on silent mode or keep in away from reach

They say out of sight is out of mind right? If you do not see your phone anywhere near you while driving, you would forget about it. It might, however, call your attention the moment it makes a sound so best if you can put your phone on silent mode to avoid distraction with any notification.

The moment you step on your vehicle, place your phone inside your bag. There are some who would go to the extent of putting it inside the compartment. If you absolutely cannot help it, put your phone in the trunk. It is not recommended however that you leave your smartphone in the house as you might need your phone for emergencies. 

There are those who would need navigation apps, especially when traveling to a new place. If this is the case, you need to mount your phone on your dashboard. Before starting your engine and leaving your starting point, input the data needed to reach your destination. Make sure it is up and ready so you do not need to touch your phone during your transit.

In instances wherein you absolutely need to use your phone like in situations such as emergencies, stop over to the nearest safe place to call or text. It will not take you a long time to find a stopping point, could be a gas station or a vehicle bay. See to it that you are properly parked and in a complete stop before picking up your device. 

Use the help of safe driving apps

Developers are coming up with innovative mobile phone apps that help you enjoy your smartphone and put it into good use. There are hundreds of cool and brilliant apps that will help you have a safe drive, some of which is to ensure that you do not use your phone while you’re driving. There are apps that will allow you never to miss out even when on the road, especially if you’re the type who is always afraid of not being able to answer back to an SMS. There are apps that will send an auto reply that you are driving and would answer back immediately when you reach your destination. There are also apps that would read out an SMS message for you so you won’t need to glance at your phone.

If you are a parent, you need to lead by example and let your child see how you do not use your mobile phone whenever you are behind the wheel. You need to always emphasize to your child that choosing not to text can save lives. There are apps who can also help ease the worries of parents especially if they have children who have started driving. You can utilize an app that will disable all outgoing and incoming texts messages the moment the car is in motion, which is best for teens. There are family apps that would alert family members within your driving circle the moment one uses their phone while driving. They can also provide driving safety stats for the parents. Moreover, there are apps that will let your family circle know your current location and the moment you’ve reached your destination. You do not need to constantly send an SMS message to your loved ones anymore just to let them know where you are as an app will do this for you.

Commit and Make it a Way of Life

The dangers of using your mobile should not be taken lightly. If you are not fully convinced about how a 3 letter SMS can be dangerous, take time to brush up on news and articles about accidents caused by “intexticated” drivers. Make yourself aware of the consequences and commit to never texting while on the road again. Take to mind and heart the risks of texting and how it can take your life and others in a matter of seconds. Be proactive in talking to friends and family about this way of life and encourage them to do the same. If you know a driver who texts all the time, talk to them and inform them about what you know. Conduct an intervention and help them break this bad habit.

When at work and out on the field, let your workmates know how serious with this commitment and inform them that if you are not able to attend to work right away, it is because you are on the road. If you are unable to respond to a work email immediately, let them know that work is important but so is road safety and following the law. Stopover and work at a coffee shop nearest you if you absolutely need to respond to a work-related concern.

If you have passengers, set a good example by turning off your mobile phone before you leave. You may also assign your passenger to be your designated texter who can answer a message for you while you drive.