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Brent Bowen

Fairfax, VA

(540) 434-5344 x1012

Gardner Insurance Agency

10432 Balls Ford Road, Manassas, VA 20109

(703) 257-2820

Brent Bowen

Fairfax, VA
(540) 434-5344 x1012

Gardner Insurance Agency

10432 Balls Ford Road, Manassas, VA 20109
(703) 257-2820


Master These Driving Skills to Stay Safe on the Road

Mastering key skills will not only keep you safe and prevent unnecessary damage to your vehicle but could also potentially get you a discount on your auto policy.

Driving is an essential part of our daily lives, and while having car insurance provides peace of mind in the event of an unexpected emergency, no one wants to experience a crisis on the road in the first place. The good news is that by mastering key driving skills, you can significantly reduce the chance of an accident and keep yourself and your passengers safe. So whether you’re a seasoned driver or you’re just about to get your license, let’s explore some skills that will help you stay safe and enjoy a worry-free journey on the road. 


Get to Know Your Vehicle

  • Make sure you know the function of each part of the vehicle and how to use it. Before you start your journey, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s layout and controls.
    • You should feel comfortable using all of these parts before hitting the road:
      • Dashboard controls
      • Steering wheel and seat adjustment
      • Mirror adjustment
      • Turn signals
      • Headlights
      • Safety features, such as airbags and seat belts
      • Wipers
      • Emergency lights
      • Parking brake
      • Ignition
      • Gas and brake pedals (especially anti-lock brakes)
      • Warning indicator lights on the dashboard (such as low fuel, oil, and temperature indicator)
  • Also, make sure you know where the vehicle’s registration, insurance card, and car manual are located.


The Rules of the Road

  • It’s crucial that you know the meaning of each sign and light signal you may encounter on the road. These can quickly give you important information, such as upcoming hazards or specific rules you must follow.
  • Make sure you’re familiar with the rules of right of way. Cutting ahead of other vehicles is not only frustrating for your fellow drivers, but can be very dangerous.
    • Also, keep in mind that pedestrians always have the right of way, especially in parking lots and other areas with high foot traffic. Don’t assume pedestrians will stop for your vehicle- always stop for them.
  • Maintain the proper speed. It’s obviously dangerous to drive significantly over the speed limit, but it can also be precarious to drive considerably under the limit. Try to maintain a speed within 5 or so miles of the limit and keep up with the flow of other traffic.
  • Yield to emergency vehicles. If a police car, ambulance, or fire truck has its flashing lights and sirens active, you must pull as far right as possible to make way for the vehicle. Furthermore, if you see a police or other emergency vehicle pulled off to the side of the road, and you are driving in the lane next to it, you are required to “move over” to another lane, if it is safe for you to do so. This is known as the Move Over Law in Virginia and is meant to prevent first responders from getting hit by moving vehicles while doing their jobs.


Advanced Skills

  • These skills require more practice but will help you to become a much safer driver.
    • Defensive Driving: Remaining aware of your surroundings and anticipating potential hazards is a fundamental skill. You should always maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles, scan the road ahead for hazards, check blind spots when changing lanes, and be prepared to react to unexpected situations.
    • Driving in Different Weather: Become comfortable driving in different weather, such as rain, windy days, fog, light snow or sleet. You should avoid driving during storms or natural disasters, but if you encounter unexpected weather conditions, you need to be prepared to respond appropriately.
    • Driving at different times throughout the day. Driving during a bright sunny day can be hazardous, as the sunlight may shine directly into your eyes, but driving at night also poses its own dangers from reduced visibility and the potential for artificial lights to cause distractions. You must be comfortable driving in different levels of light.
    • Different passengers and diverse vehicles. You may be comfortable driving alone, but if you have family or friends joining you in your vehicle, you must be able to remain focused on the road and avoid letting passengers distract you. Furthermore, if you or your family also own more than one vehicle, you should gain experience driving all of them, so long as you are covered by insurance on each vehicle.


Mastering these skills will not only keep you safe and prevent unnecessary damage to your vehicle, but could also potentially get you a discount on your auto policy.

  • For Youthful Driver Training, drivers under 21 who successfully complete a driver education course can save up to 5% on their auto insurance.
  • For Mature Driver-Crash Prevention, drivers 55 or over who have completed a Mature Driver Motor Vehicle Crash Prevention Course within the last 36 months may qualify for a 5% discount on their liability and collision premium.


At Rockingham Insurance, we want you to enjoy your time on the road accident-free. If you’re looking for an auto policy that keeps you safe wherever you go, reach out to a local Rockingham Insurance agent today. Wherever you are, we’re here.

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