Driving defensively on a regular basis is a great way to protect yourself from unnecessary car wrecks from others that aren’t paying attention as much as you are.
While this is a great skill to have now, in post-SHTF times, defensive driving skills could mean the difference between life and death from not only automobile accidents, but from looters and raiders that are trying to get what you have. Learning these skills and putting them into practice now will help you immediately as well as later, so start driving defensively now and protect yourself later.
1. Leave Room in Front of You
This is the simplest item in the list, and the one that whomever taught you how to drive hopefully already instilled into you. Leaving extra room between you and the car in front of you can keep you from rear-ending someone when they make a mistake as well as keep them from trapping you into a bad situation.
In a survival situation, having extra room gives you more of a chance of avoiding a wreck that would almost certainly put your car or truck out of commission for good as well as keeps anyone trying to get you boxed in from doing it. The more room you have the more time you have to react, plain and simple.
2. Watch Your Mirrors
You should constantly check your mirrors so you’re aware of what’s going on around you. In normal driving situations this can keep you from hitting a car that’s moved into your blind spot and in a survival situation this can make sure you’re not being followed. This leads us to number 3.
3. Situational Awareness
Having a strong situational awareness isn’t just useful on the battlefield, but in the car as well. Knowing what’s in your mirrors is a great start, but you need to use this information to build a complete picture of the road around you as well as what was behind you and what’s coming up ahead.
Knowing how many cars are around you, their color, basic model, and drivers in them can keep you safe not only by alerting you if you don’t see one in the mirror anymore, but if the case of an accident, you can have a better idea who’s in the car that might need rescued.
In survival situations, knowing what’s going on around you removes the element of surprise from someone that might want to rob you or hurt you. Remember, if it truly is TEOTWAWKI, your vehicle as well as the fluids in it will be as valuable as gold.
Keeping a solid situational awareness is vital to staying safe and keeping your vehicle moving.
SEE ALSO: How to Navigate Without a Compass 
4. Keep Your Tank Full
This is a tip for you to start following today, and is the easiest one in the list. Keep your gas tank as full as possible. Never let your vehicle get below a half tank of gas, ever. Even a small emergency, like getting hurt and needing to go to the hospital requires you to have enough gas to get there.
If an emergency strikes the last thing you want to think about is if you have enough gas to get there. If something worse happens and there’s no gas pumping, you want to make sure you have as much as possible, since it might be all you’ll have for a while. Keep as filled up on gas as you can and you’ll always be ready.
5. Know How to Fix a Flat
This seems like a simple idea, but you need to know how to fix a flat for your car or truck specifically. To make sure you can do it correctly, practice changing your tire with only the tools in your vehicle and see if you can get it done efficiently. Test each wheel by replacing it with the spare to see if there are any issues getting lug nuts off and back on.
Knowing how to do something is one thing, but knowing you can do it with the specific tools and vehicle available is something else entirely. Along with this, know how to do basic maintenance on the road to your vehicle, including changing fuses, adding all available fluids, and how to use tie-down locations.
6. The Overpass Approach
This tip comes right from the military. In survival situations or in hostile environments, danger can hide in very inconspicuous places. For example, it would be very easy for someone to hide on a deserted overpass and attack you from above without you ever seeing it coming.
You can help abate danger in this situation by changing travel lanes while directly under the overpass or inside of the tunnel. By doing this, the person or persons laying in wait will see you coming in one lane and focus their attack on that lane. Since you quickly switched when they couldn’t see you, the attack should miss or at least be lessened.
This trick works for overpasses, bridges, tunnels, and anything else that someone can attack from above. If you’re afraid today of someone throwing a brick or other object off an overpass at you on the highway, use the overpass approach now and avoid the risk of injury.