While it is possible to control your competence as a driver, unfortunately, you’ll never be in control of the other drivers on the road. This is why the prospect of driving can be scary to many — it sometimes only takes one bad driver to cause a nasty collision.

In life, there are always things that we simply have no control over, but that does not mean that we should avoid them completely. If you are concerned about bad drivers on the road, the best thing you can do is to be prepared to drive as defensively and as safely as possible. In doing so you will be able to avoid many of the risks associated with driving. The following are some tips for doing this.

Don’t engage in distracted driving

Distracted driving exists in many forms, and everyone drives while they are distracted to some capacity at some point. The obvious things to avoid are physical and visual distractions: never drive while eating, texting or using your phone. You should also avoid turning around to attend to your children when driving. If your children urgently need your attention, it’s safest for everyone if you pull over first.

Less obvious distractions are cognitive distractions. Driving after having an argument with your spouse, for example, can mean that you are distracted by rumination, and you’re not focusing properly on the road. Make sure that you only drive when you are alert, focused and have mental clarity. 

Engage in defensive driving

Defensive driving is a way to have better control of your vehicle in emergency situations. Some situations, such as aggressive drivers, roadway obstacles, and bad drivers, can be unpredictable and unavoidable. By learning defensive driving techniques, you’ll be in the best possible position to face these hazards.

Make sure that you have all the skills you need to prevent a collision, and make sure that you understand your legal rights if you do become involved in an accident.