When it comes to driving, we could all use a few tips to help keep us safer on the roads. As a tactical professional, driving on the job might carry a different set of standards, but some of the knowledge is still applicable to the everyday citizen. Here are a few tactical driving tips even civilians should know to stay safe.
Know the Route
One of the most basic elements of driving is to know where you are headed and more importantly, the planned route. While you may be en route to a location with more than one way to get there, you need to decide ahead of time which roads you are taking to get there. Tactical driving is about knowing the plan to avoid as many surprises as possible. If you already know which roads you are taking ahead of time, you avoid any indecisiveness which may lead to last-minute turns or even an accident.
Tactical drivers are constantly assessing the situation from all angles while driving. This means monitoring what other drivers are doing in terms of watching lane changes as they relate to you, problem swervers who can't keep it between the lines, and the overall road conditions such as random debris like blown tires or other roadway hazards. The driver should focus solely on driving and focus on it fully. In other words, if you are looking at your phone while driving or playing with the radio, there is a lot that can happen in those few seconds where you take your focus away from the task of driving.
Another tip for civilians to borrow from tactical drivers is to just keep going. If you are driving through a sketchy part of town, lock your doors, roll the windows up, and high tail it out of there as quickly as possible without breaking any major speed records or getting a ticket. The bottom line is that a vehicle moving at 60mph is less like to fall victim to a hijacking or other nefarious outcome than one that is driving under the speed limit because the driver is distracted on their phone.
If you are in a situation where you need to remove your vehicle in a pinch as a safety precaution, the ability to reverse is key. While most people think they can reverse, there is a difference between backing out of a parking space under no pressure and a high-pressure situation where you may need to maneuver a bit more in reverse. It is a good idea to practice reversing in a safe location at higher speeds than you are used to and safely add in a few maneuvers or turns in reverse to get more comfortable with this action you may need someday.
Leave Enough Room
You always want to maintain the option of fleeing if necessary. When you get too close up on another cars bumper or other object in your path, you limit your options for escape. Whether you are stopped at a red light or parking at the coffee shop, you should always leave enough room between you and other objects, so you can get away in a hurry. This is why so many people back in to park, so they can simply drive out of the space and save time.
Don't Overdo It
While it is a good idea to take a few tactical driving tips and apply them to your life to stay safe, the key is always safety all around. In other words, don't try to do advanced tactical driving maneuvers, such as 180 degree turns like in the movies, without proper training to do so or you may end up in more trouble than you were in before. It is entirely too easy to flip a vehicle by doing cool stunts that look easy and effortless but are only that way because of extensive training.