Defensive driving is about thinking ahead and preparing to keep yourself safe.
Defensive drivers should be on the lookout for possible hazards and have a plan for how to react to them.
If you are unfamiliar with the route you plan to take, look up directions before leaving. Allow enough time to reach your destination so that you are not tempted to drive recklessly to make it on time. If there is inclement weather, give yourself even more time so that you can drive slower to accommodate for hazardous weather conditions like high winds or violent storms.
When you are behind the wheel, all of your focus should be on driving. Anything that pulls your concentration or pulls your hands from the wheel should wait until you are safely parked. Avoid eating and drinking. Avoid messing with the radio. Put your cell phone out of reach. Make sure children are securely fastened in their seats and that pets are properly restrained from reaching the driver.
Pay attention to your surroundings
Put extra distance between your vehicle and vehicles that are driving erratically or swerving so that you have more time to react if they do something unexpected. Stay out of the blind spots of large trucks. When driving at night or through a wooded area, look out for animals darting into the road. Stay aware of what is around you and how those things might cause hazards.
Practicing proper vehicle maintenance helps you prevent many possible hazards. Check that your lights and turn signals work properly. Make sure your windows and mirrors are clean and clear. Keep up with the recommended professional maintenance for your car to help keep it in the safest driving condition.