Automotive

Share your Safe & Defensive Driving Tips and Techniques

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 17th, 2020 1:47 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2017
68 posts
281 upvotes

Share your Safe & Defensive Driving Tips and Techniques

Let's keep our communities safer, maximize our fuel economy and reduce road accidents.

I'll start off with my tips:

  • Always maintain a safe following distance. If you're stopped at a red light, and you can't see the rear tires of the vehicle in front of you as well as a small portion of the road, you are following way too closely.
  • Get a dash camera. It's 2020. Don't be that person still driving around without one.
  • Make sure your dash camera's SD card is working properly on a regular basis. Once a week, take it out and go through recent footage on your phone or computer.
38 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Aug 6, 2017
854 posts
1449 upvotes
I try not be in people’s blind spots because many drivers don’t check.

I always reverse in a parking spot.
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2017
1152 posts
974 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
If you can, park by curbs and hug them to distance yourself from other people more. This is only good for precision drivers, otherwise you risk curbing wheels. Or if you have a back up camera. And/or you have a fancy car that auto levels the mirrors to point downwards whenever you are in reverse.

The more you brake, the more you should consider adjusting your driving style. Braking = a waste of forward kinetic energy. Momentum driving is good for the wallet and environment. There is more to pollution than emissions. Brake dust and tires wearing themselves in to the pavement are all huge forms of particle matter pollution that people overlook. I love a good burnout or spirited side lateral G's but that's just the reality.

Be aware of surroundings. Give yourself a cushion always. Have an escape route in hairy situations. If none, hang back. Try to stay away from clusters of vehicles going varying speeds.

Save money - play it like a game. I recently got caught off guard by a camera that sent me a ticket in the mail for $120 over a 10kmh discrepancy because I didn't see any speed limit signs during a very rainy/overcast day. I was doing whatever I thought the limit was right on the dot, but that didn't turn out to be the limit on that particular stretch, or they had lowered the limits when they installed cameras to really generate that revenue. Makes me sick. They easily catch us when we let our guard down/are disadvantaged.

There's no point rushing to places in moderate to heavy traffic. Enjoy the journey. Put on podcasts or call up someone on hands free bluetooth to maximize time in the vehicle and use as office space if your commute is long. Vehicles make great office space in that way - and will be full blown mobile offices once they are self driving with more modernized tech trickling down.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 15, 2009
1819 posts
570 upvotes
-Safe distance (try to leave one car space in front of you while driving)

-when changing lane and turning, give left or right indicator 2 or 3 sec. prior to changing lane.

-for short trip use radio less to focus on driving and braking distance.

-if your driving through intersection in orange light, please use horn to notify everyone.

-adjust speed (slow) at intersection stop light.

-drive slow in school zone

-check your left mirror and center mirror or right mirror and center mirror before making lane change to avoid blind spot car.

-drive according to speed limit to avoid speeding ticket

-avoid driving behind heavy truck trailer.

-avoid using high beam at night as well as those super bright Silverstar light bulb or is it blue light they call them. Faded headlight can use a headlight restoration kit.

-keep your headlight and rear light clean during winter (snow). Might as well keep license plate clean and light bulb on top of the license plate.

-keep windshield, windows and rear window clean so other driver can see through it to avoid accident.

-use proper tire for proper season. Winter tire for winter, all season tire for summer. Make sure tire is not older than 10 year, I think there is a ticket for this. Use recommended tire pressure for vehicle. Make sure lugnuts are torqued to proper spec. 80 ft-lbs
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2007
4428 posts
4343 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Watch out for roller...........
******************************************************
Bright side of RFD: Often find good deal
Dark side of RFD: Tons of stuff that I don't need but still got them because of RFD
******************************************************
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2007
4428 posts
4343 upvotes
Richmond Hill
MasterMK wrote: -Safe distance (try to leave one car space in front of you while driving)

-when changing lane and turning, give left or right indicator 2 or 3 sec. prior to changing lane.

-for short trip use radio less to focus on driving and braking distance.

-if your driving through intersection in orange light, please use horn to notify everyone.

-adjust speed (slow) at intersection stop light.

-drive slow in school zone

-check your left mirror and center mirror or right mirror and center mirror before making lane change to avoid blind spot car.

-drive according to speed limit to avoid speeding ticket

-avoid driving behind heavy truck trailer.

-avoid using high beam at night as well as those super bright Silverstar light bulb or is it blue light they call them. Faded headlight can use a headlight restoration kit.

-keep your headlight and rear light clean during winter (snow). Might as well keep license plate clean and light bulb on top of the license plate.

-keep windshield, windows and rear window clean so other driver can see through it to avoid accident.

-use proper tire for proper season. Winter tire for winter, all season tire for summer. Make sure tire is not older than 10 year, I think there is a ticket for this. Use recommended tire pressure for vehicle. Make sure lugnuts are torqued to proper spec. 80 ft-lbs

Most of your point make total sense, but this one????

-if your driving through intersection in orange light, please use horn to notify everyone.

Really?
******************************************************
Bright side of RFD: Often find good deal
Dark side of RFD: Tons of stuff that I don't need but still got them because of RFD
******************************************************
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2004
2566 posts
1286 upvotes
Hometown
Most important tip that will likely get you honked at from behind by hurridiots. (idiots always in a hurry because they can not manage their time, so time manages to make them do dumb stuff to catch up. Soccer Moms are legendary for this....)

When at a stop of any kind and about to pull into traffic. If a vehicle is approaching and is signalling they will turn so you will not have a conflict. Do NOT trust the turn signal. Wait until you see the TIRE turning in the direction of the signal. Indicators can lie but tires do not.

Admittedly this could add 5 or 10 seconds to your stop, but it will SAVE you from an insurance claim and expense.
Last edited by Canuck2fan on Jul 16th, 2020 5:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 15, 2009
1819 posts
570 upvotes
cheapshopper wrote: Most of your point make total sense, but this one????

-if your driving through intersection in orange light, please use horn to notify everyone.

Really?
I was taught this in driving school in Montreal by an instructor who taught me driving. (popular one in downtown area near Forum where Montreal Canadian used to play hockey)

My thinking is, other in the intersection won't press accelerator as well as pedestrian and cyclist will be alerted.

Usually orange light mean get ready to stop, but sometime speed of vehicle will be such that your going to make it in green light and light abruptly changes. If you slam on the brakes, it could cause damage to vehicle and you have to think about vehicle in the back (accident).
Banned
Feb 7, 2005
4498 posts
1186 upvotes
Don't use the what route do they use at this test center thread .

Put the cellphone in the trunk so it won't be tempting you .

Leave 10 minutes early for work . So you don't need to drive like an idiot to get to work on time .

Drive with the flow of traffic . I know most guys weaving in and out are doctors trying to get to hospital to save a life .

Hate to break it to you . Your 3 series 328 BMW is not a race car .

Your AWD car still loses traction in bad weather .
<sig removed> by moderators . Yet no moderator told me they removed or why ?
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6789 posts
2551 upvotes
BC
MasterMK wrote: ....... pedestrian and cyclist will be alerted.
Might work for pedestrian who is about to anticipate the light and step out prematurely,
but for a cyclist already in the intersection trying to clear it your horn could cause him/her to make a startled move and lose control.

It's OK for tractor trailers with longer stopping distances to do this when necessary, but not cars as a rule.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2009
5043 posts
3237 upvotes
If i drive through a neighbourhood with kids playing all over the streets, I put on Wu-Tang or NWA or tool or rage against the machine really really really loud so they stay away.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 15, 2009
1819 posts
570 upvotes
macnut wrote: Might work for pedestrian who is about to anticipate the light and step out prematurely,
but for a cyclist already in the intersection trying to clear it your horn could cause him/her to make a startled move and lose control.

It's OK for tractor trailers with longer stopping distances to do this when necessary, but not cars as a rule.
If your going in orange light, other side has red light. If cyclist has entered the intersection most likely driver will see him and apply brakes appropriately. The horn is maybe a way of alerting them pedestrian to not take a step and cyclist not to pedal at that moment. Maybe it is also letting the driver know to slow down and drive according to speed.

Many people probably have driven in orange light. I heard of one individual who got a ticket when he drove through orange light at night in Brampton. I guess speed becomes crucial at night, which cops are looking out for. I think they are putting out speed camera in Ontario that would give ticket out automatically. How are they going to enforce this, I have no clue?
Last edited by MasterMK on Jul 15th, 2020 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
2458 posts
3260 upvotes
Barrie, ON
Check your blind spot by turning your head, taught since the beginning of time. And for the love of god set your mirrors up properly. Your side mirrors are not to look at the back of your own vehicle lol.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6789 posts
2551 upvotes
BC
MasterMK wrote: ..... If cyclist has entered the intersection most likely driver will see him and apply brakes appropriately. The horn is maybe a way of alerting cyclist not to pedal at that moment. .....
I was referring to a cyclist going in the same direction as you and needing to clear the intersection quickly - the same as you.

As a cyclist, having a car behind you sound its horn can make you jump. If there is a good reason to do it, fine. But some drivers do it when they see one of their friends or something.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 15, 2009
1819 posts
570 upvotes
I am thinking, it's a way of freezing people on left and right side of intersection which driver may not have clear view of since he's driving straight forward. Driver cannot anticipate there move, by doing this stop them for a brief period.

In Canada we use horn less frequently in car, but if there is tool in car why not use it. The horn is not just to let they guy ahead of you to move on green light.

In third world country, horn play's a very vital role in commute. Some area don't have traffic light, some cars don't have left and right indicator. So they improvise by horn. One horn probably means going right, two horn probably mean going left. This is what I heard anyway.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 10, 2005
10970 posts
4256 upvotes
1. Make it a habit to go the speed limit. Becomes second nature. Vice versa is also true constantly speeding is a bad habit that could be hard to break.
2. Do not drive in someones blind spot.
3. When making a left turn always do it from the far left side of the lane. If you do it from the right side it screens on-coming lefter turners
4. Do not tailgate.
5. Be aware of where you are on the road at all times in relation to other drivers behind, in-front and beside you. Make it a habit to not drive next to or directly in-front or behind other drivers.
6. Check first THEN signal when changing lanes - not the other way around.
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2004
2566 posts
1286 upvotes
Hometown
BeaverLiquor wrote: How is having a dash cam a tip or technique?
Actually, when I have mine in the car I am just ever so slightly aware of the fact that it sees all. If I were to CAUSE a crash and did not remove it and a cop saw it and wanted to view the footage....

I could say no, but sadly my parents did this horrible thing to me. They gave me a conscience so I would not be able lie to the cop or refuse to let them view the footage. Which could exonerate me or rightly pin the blame on me...

So having one makes me just a little bit more aware that if I do something stupid, that I could BE the problem. Also reviewing the footage of one from time to time can show you that YES you are the world's gift to driving perfection or like most of us that you have work to do to get better.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12790 posts
7485 upvotes
Brampton
MasterMK wrote: -Safe distance (try to leave one car space in front of you while driving)

-when changing lane and turning, give left or right indicator 2 or 3 sec. prior to changing lane.

-for short trip use radio less to focus on driving and braking distance.

-if your driving through intersection in orange light, please use horn to notify everyone.

-adjust speed (slow) at intersection stop light.

-drive slow in school zone

-check your left mirror and center mirror or right mirror and center mirror before making lane change to avoid blind spot car.

-drive according to speed limit to avoid speeding ticket

-avoid driving behind heavy truck trailer.

-avoid using high beam at night as well as those super bright Silverstar light bulb or is it blue light they call them. Faded headlight can use a headlight restoration kit.

-keep your headlight and rear light clean during winter (snow). Might as well keep license plate clean and light bulb on top of the license plate.

-keep windshield, windows and rear window clean so other driver can see through it to avoid accident.

-use proper tire for proper season. Winter tire for winter, all season tire for summer. Make sure tire is not older than 10 year, I think there is a ticket for this. Use recommended tire pressure for vehicle. Make sure lugnuts are torqued to proper spec. 80 ft-lbs
You really should have had a separate line for each item on that line.

The bolded section is not correct.
You use your headlight system as appropriate for the conditions and situation.

Where I drive at night high beams (Aka Driving/main beam) is the default and you switch to low beams (dipped beams) when you see someone. Driving where I drive with dipped beams all the time would put you at a higher risk of animal strikes.

The italic section is the part most new drivers never get right. You do not slow when you cross/approach an intersection, you scan the intersection and prepare to stop. Meaning you heighten your situational awareness for what's going on in the intersection.
I hate when I see people slam on the brakes and actually slow down when approaching the intersection.

Also you don't just check your mirrors when you're about to make a lane change/turn. You should be constantly scanning your mirrors.

1 Car length is not adequate distance. That's almost tail gating someone. You're better off using the 3 second rule. That way you account for increased stopping distances at higher speeds. What is the 3 second rule. You pick a point on the road where the car in front passes you should pass that same point 3 seconds after the car in front has passed it. That's the ideal spacing but good luck keeping it in the GTA.

Lug nuts should be torqued to manufacture specifications, not some number you made up. Some trucks require torquing them up to 120 ft/lbs

Sounds like driving is a lot of work right? It is. But I don't expect people these days to understand that.
So I'll just say this: Just put your phone down and it's a good start.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 30, 2006
5722 posts
1064 upvotes
Make sure if you're turning right on a red, you stop at the line first before you turn, then slowly edge out. So often I see people either roll right through or stop at a position where their car is already past where the pedestrian crossing part is. I've seen close calls where the right turn car buds their head in where people are still blatantly crossing. I've been honked at for not rolling straight through a right turn on a red. Even in cases where there doesn't appear to be a car coming, I rather be sure and also check if a pedestrian is crossing.

Top