Defensive Driving

Defensive Driving

Unfortunately there is little information on the Internet regarding defensive driving techniques.  Many of the concepts are common knowledge or intuitive.  However, this is a critical skill and many of the ideas will be revisited here.  There are plenty of defensive driving courses available.

Tips for Everyone –

  • Maintain a speed near the posted speed limit and adjust as traffic and/or road conditions require.
  • Limit or stop distractions, such as cell phones, radio, talking to passengers, and playing with equipment in the vehicle.
  • Scan road/traffic conditions ten seconds ahead of you periodically.
  • Slow down on slick roads, especially if rain has been sparse in your area.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.  This distance should increase as your speed does.
  • Stay away from aggressive drivers, let them pass.
  • Adjust your mirrors and seat settings before you start driving.
  • Understand how your vehicle responds to adverse weather conditions.
  • Keep your vehicle maintenance current, especially tires.
  • Know how to handle emergency situations.

Chasers –

  • Always have at least two people, the driver should concentrate on the road.  The other person should watch the sky.
  • Never park in a roadway, pull as far off the roadway as possible.
  • Watch out for other chasers, spotters, police, fire, media in the storm-scale environment.  Some of these may be parked in bad spots.
  • Never assume someone sees you.
  • Hail is ice and as such is slick.
  • Be careful of chaser convergence and blocked roadways.
  • Avoid damage paths and areas, unless you are qualified to help.
  • Know your storm scale features and be careful of events that would make driving hazardous.
  • Watch out for hail fog and people stopped on the road.
  • Be careful of people that may not know who you are or what you are doing.


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