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
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
Was this helpful?