Did you know that approximately 1,460 road casualties were reported in the UK in 2020? Being a PCO driver, it is your job to safely get passengers to their destination. However, with you spending more than half the day driving your PCO car around the busy streets of London, it becomes almost necessary to expect the unexpected. In simple words, compared to those who drive less frequently, a PCO driver is more likely to experience or witness a road accident. Therefore, to ensure your safety and that of your passengers, it is essential that you are aware of even the most basic defensive driving techniques. Read on to learn about the importance of defensive driving for PCO drivers.
What Is Defensive Driving?
According to a report by RoadPeace, 15% of road accidents were caused due to reckless driving or being in a hurry, 20% of accidents were caused due to over-speeding or failing to judge others, and 39% were caused due to vision issues. This is where defensive driving comes in. It keeps you alert and minimises the risk of road accidents.
Defensive driving can be defined as a technique of maintaining an awareness of weather conditions, roads, and other vehicles. Simply put, when driving, a PCO driver defensively anticipates the behaviour of other drivers and pedestrians and takes preventive actions to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident; these include reckless motorists on the road, unfavourable weather conditions, and drunk drivers. Practicing defensive driving doesn’t only make the road safer for you but for others as well.
Importance of Defensive Driving
Even though most people widely understand defensive driving techniques, it is vital to learn them and refresh your memory every time you head out to drive. To put it simply, defensive driving makes one a better PCO driver as it doesn’t only teach you how to keep complete control of your PCO car but also reminds you to pay attention to your surrounding and anticipate events even before they occur. By driving defensively, you will also be saving costs related to fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance.
Being aware at all times, staying calm, and avoiding road range are three of the critical principles of defensive driving. Therefore, it is advised that your PCO car should always be well equipped with neon reflectors when driving at night. Moreover, because your PCO car doesn’t belong to you, you must know how to communicate well with others. However, this doesn’t mean that you start flashing people to give them a signal that you are coming. Defensive driving teaches you road etiquette- it teaches you the basic rules of driving and how to communicate with others around you. Some significant benefits of defensive driving are as follows:
1- Improves Your Own Driving Ability
Defensive driving teaches you to drive within your ability and safety range. For example, compared to young drivers, elderly PCO drivers have a good experience, and so to compensate for reduced hearing, eyesight, and lack of physical strength, they opt for driving defensively. They do this by adjusting the time they drive and destination according to their comfort.
2- Knowledge of Rules of the Road
A defensive driver will always be aware of their rights, rules of the road, load restrictions, road markings, and road signs. While following the defensive driving techniques, a PCO driver will remain alert and know how to drive around roundabouts, mountain passes, and intersections.
3- Readiness to Adjust to the Weather and Road Conditions
One of the most important rules of defensive driving is for you to be aware of the ever-changing weather conditions at all times. To be exact, “Never assume road and weather conditions and never take chances.” Defensive driving teaches you to be adaptable to sudden weather and road changes and adjust your driving style accordingly.
For example, even light rain can produce dangerous driving conditions, especially when it mixes with oil spread on the road, making the surface slippery. Therefore, a PCO driver should slow down when driving in the rain.
4- Keeps Your PCO Car Maintained
A good PCO driver will always be aware of their PCO car’s limitations and capabilities. Therefore, they will make sure that the PCO car is in roadworthy condition and is well maintained, with a reliable engine, clean windshield and wipers, an efficient suspension system, and properly inflated tires.
5- Awareness of Protection from Injury
When learning defensive driving, the expert will teach you everything you need to know about different types of accidents and injuries. Basically, defensive driving will prepare a PCO driver for the worst possible scenarios, teaching them to take all safety precautions when driving.
Tips for Defensive Driving
Want to learn defensive driving? Here are some tips to help you become a safer PCO driver:
- Keep an eye on the mirror in your car and scan the road ahead of you. To anticipate problems before they occur, a PCO driver should always keep a check for slowing traffic and hazards.
- Always be aware of what’s on your left, right, behind, and in front of you.
- Drive in accordance with the flow of traffic. Driving too slow in a fast-moving lane can be dangerous. Therefore, follow the speed limit and drive the speed everyone else is.
- Never assume that another driver is going to allow you to merge or move out of the way to give you space.
- Expect the worst-case scenario and adjust your speed and defensive driving technique accordingly.
- Look at the front wheels of the parked cars. Keep a distance from them if they are turned towards the right, as this increases the chances of a vehicle being suddenly pulled out.
- Anticipate lane changes, light changes, pedestrian and vehicle movements.
- Never depend on other others. A good PCO driver always looks out for themselves.
- Before making a turn or switching a lane, always check the blind spot of your PCO car.
Wrapping It Up!
The more time you spend on the road, the better your defensive driving skills will become. Here at G&M Direct Hire, we strongly believe that by adapting the aforementioned defensive driving techniques and bearing in mind these tips, you will be doing everything you can to ensure your safety, your passengers’ safety, and that of your vehicle, and minimise the risk of road accidents. Want to rent a PCO car London? Give us a call or visit our website right away!