Obey traffic rules and use common sense

Stop light in city

When it comes to defensive driving, obeying traffic rules and using common sense are essential. Traffic rules are in place to help protect you and others while operating a vehicle on the road. Make sure you know the rules and that you apply them to your own driving every day.

Defensive drivers obey traffic rules and use common sense:

  • Speed limits
  • Traffic signs and signals
  • Follow the 2-second rule
  • Signal your intentions
  • Pass with care and only where allowed

We hope you always obey speed limits, traffic signs, and signals. We also hope that you follow the 2 second rule. This means you should always stay at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle in front—and allow more distance at night or in bad weather. How can you tell if you're 2 seconds behind another vehicle? Simple. Just note when the vehicle in front passes a traffic sign or utility pole. Then slowly count 1, 2. If you pass the sign or pole before you've counted 2, you're too close.

Another thing defensive driver's do is signal their intentions. If you're going to turn or want to change lanes, switch on your turning signal in plenty of time. If you plan to stop, tap your brakes a few times to slow down so that the driver behind you can see your brake lights and then he will understand that you're slowing down and may stop. If somebody's right behind you, stick your arm out the window, extend it downward, and wave your hand backward to show you intend to stop. Defensive drivers also pass with care and only where allowed. They slow down when being passed if the other vehicle needs room to pass safely.

Stop light in city
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at losscontrol@markel.com or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.