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How Defensive Drivers Give Right-Of-Way

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

How Defensive Drivers Give Right-Of-Way

Tony McGlinn
July 9, 2006

Defensive Driving is all about thinking ahead so that you forsee potentially dangerous situations and adjust your driving behaviour to compensate for those situations.

Any situation where a vehicle is maneuvering close to another vehicle will cause a defensive driver to be especially alert. Defensive drivers drive with the assumption that other drivers may make mistakes, so even if it is clear that the other vehicle should give way, or give right-of-way as it is called in many places in North America, a defensive driver does not assume that that will always happen.

The laws on giving way in different driving situations varies from place to place, so I will not try to explain them here. As defensive driving includes preparation for a safe trip before the trip starts, the defensive driver will understand what the give way rules are in the places that will be visited during the trip. However, during the trip the defensive driver will not assume that other drivers have gone to the same effort.

In any situation where a vehicle has to give way, the defensive driver proceeds only when it is clear that there will not be any conflict. Defensive drivers are concerned about safety, not who has the legal obligation to give way.

When you are driving defensively you are careful to ensure that other drivers do not have to brake or maneuver to avoid you, you do not assume that other drivers will see and avoid you and you only proceed when you are sure that there will not be any conflict.

Vehicle safety is not an accident! By learning defensive driving, and practising defensive driving techniques whenever you drive, you should avoid being involved in a preventable accident.

After 20 years of accident free defensive driving experience, Tony makes his safety secrets available to the public for free at Defensive Driving online.

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