Texas Defensive Driving Tips for Every Driver

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Tips for Safe Driving on Texas Roads

Simply obeying the speed limit and road signs doesn't necessarily make you a safe and responsible driver. The key to being the best motorist you can be is by executing defensive driving techniques - decisions and actions on the road that prevent accidents from occurring, and developing reactions to immediate dangers that can save lives, including your own. Texas defensive driving starts with understanding the basic road laws and regulations especially applicable to Texas. Some of these include:

  • Right on Red - this Texas law makes it legal for drivers to turn right from the right-hand line while at a red light (unless otherwise posted). As such, you should be aware of drivers turning right into your lane, especially if they don’t seem to be paying attention to your speed. By being on the lookout and driving defensively, you’ll prevent yourself from rear-ending their car, or prevent them from T-boning the side of yours.
  • Don’t Mess with Texas - this law alludes to the preservation of Texas' natural beauty and landscape. If drivers are caught littering, they will be subject to a citation and a fine. As a defensive driver, you should also be on the lookout for drivers breaking this law, to ensure that you don't get hit by flying trash or debris that will impede your vision.
  • Drinking and Driving - Texas has a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence. Not only should you never get behind the wheel after drinking, but you should also be proactive and aware of other drivers who may have. Defensive driving is all about predicting the actions of others, and reacting quickly to them. If you see another driver swerving or performing late reactions to stop lights and road signs, call 911 immediately.

Techniques to Save Your Life

Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and often you only have a split-second window to react before you're involved in one. By keeping these additional Texas defensive driving tips in your pocket, and making them a daily habit, you'll be far likelier to avoid crashes and fender benders.

  1. Follow the 3 second rule. Leave at least 3 seconds' worth of distance between yourself and the car in front of you. This way, if that car stops short, you'll have time to apply your own brakes, or swerve out of the way to avoid hitting them.
  2. Always check your blind spots. This means not only looking in your side- and rear-view mirrors before changing lanes, but also looking over your shoulder to make sure that no cars are hidden in spots you can't see.
  3. Watch the brake lights of cars up ahead of you. If the car directly ahead isn't paying attention, they could likely not stop in time to cause an accident; and if you're only paying attention to them, you won't have enough reaction time as well. By watching the behavior of traffic far ahead, you'll be better prepared to anticipate the actions you'll need to take.
  4. Keep your radio at a lower volume. When you blast your music, you leave yourself deaf to the sounds of car horns, emergency vehicles, or motorcycles coming up behind you. Make sure you can still hear the sounds of the road - often they will be your only warning of an impending situation.
  5. Constantly scan the road. Being hyper-aware of the behavior of other drivers can help you spot potential hazards and avoid those threats. You can also be the difference between a safe drive home and a deadly crash when you're able to spot and report reckless drivers or someone driving under the influence. While maintaining your own safe driving, try to capture their license plate number and report their behavior as soon as possible.

By following these Texas defensive driving tips, obeying the law at all times, and being calm and composed in any conditions, you'll ensure a safe and happy journey each time you take to the roads!

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