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Defensive driving means safe driving: the art of driving to avoid preventable accidents and avoid contributing to others being involved in accidents.
A preventable accident is one that you as a professional driver can prevent by being alert to what other road users are doing and taking the appropriate action. This applies to the driving of any vehicle but is particularly important with large goods vehicles, the drivers of which are often protected from the consequences of their own mistakes.
With lighter vehicles – especially motorcycles – drivers or riders are much more vulnerable in an accident and so instinctively tend to drive defensively for their own protection. Take particular care when passing cyclists and cars towing caravans; give them a wide berth as turbulence caused by a lorry passing too close can be very dangerous. Be extremely careful when turning left, to ensure that there is no cyclist on your nearside who could be caught under your wheels.
Concentration – Observation – Anticipation
You must maintain constant concentration to observe any possible problems or driving errors by other drivers. You must be ready to adjust your own driving in good time to prevent yourself being involved in an incident. Constantly search the traffic scene around you and make yourself aware of what is happening as far ahead of your vehicle as you can see.
REMEMBER – 2 seconds at 56mph = 50 metres travelled.
You should always be able to stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.