What to Read Next

Ask the Car Chasers: Driving defensively

Jeanine Ibrahim
1 April 2013


From the moment teenagers hit the legal age, driving becomes a privilege that gets taken for granted. As people become more comfortable in cars, operating them daily for the most mindless tasks, it becomes second nature.

That, however, is when things can get dangerous.

According to Perry Barndt, a car "artist" at Flat 12 Gallery and star of CNBC Prime's "The Car Chasers," becoming lax behind the wheel is one of the most ill-advised things a driver can do.

Barndt is also a stuntman who has appeared in movies like "Terminator 2, "Due Date" and "Predator." He's performed his fair share of car chases, 180's, and near misses, so he knows a thing or two about crashing cars.

"You have to remember all this is very choreographed. It's done by professionals. It's done on a road that has been locked down. And we control the environment," Barndt said.

"It's much different in the real world," he added. "When you're going drive in the real world you got to drive defensively.

Conventional wisdom says it's not just one individual's actions behind the wheel that keep roads safe, but also those of other drivers. In order to stay safe, motor operators must stay alert, aware, and in the moment when behind the wheel.

Barndt offers three basic defensive driving tips he suggests all drivers should follow to ensure their safety.

Rule #1: Do Not Tailgate

The stuntman says the first thing to consider is how closely you follow other cars on the road. He says most people do not leave enough room between their car and the car in front of them. If the person makes an abrupt stop and you're too close, you could easily hit them in the back and have an accident.

"Here's the deal. Figure one car length for every ten miles an hour," Barndt said. "So if you're doing 55 miles an hour you should have six car lengths between you so that if something happens to the car in front of you, you have time to stop or react."

Rule #2: Avoid Distractions

The number two item Barndt says drivers are all guilty of is being distracted. People fidget with the radio, eat, or — especially nowadays with so many mobile devices easily at hand — talk on the phone.

Perhaps even worse is texting, something authorities say is extremely dangerous to do while driving, and many cities and states are moving to outlaw.

"Don't play with the radio. Don't text. Pay attention to what you're doing," Barndt said.

He says keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times is essential to being a safe driver.

Rule #3: Look 300 Feet Ahead of You

The third act many are guilty of is not looking far enough ahead while driving. To drive safely, motor operators have to look past the hood of their car. Barndt recommends you watch 300 feet ahead of you.

If eyes are scanning the area beyond your immediate surroundings, drivers can be ready if another car makes an unsafe move – like backing out of a driveway unexpectedly, or merging suddenly on the highway.

A motorist can anticipate what might happen before it does, and that's one of the most important factors in defensive driving.

"You have to be a defensive driver. Always look ahead," Barndt said. "Try to keep your eyes on the road as much as possible and try not to be preoccupied."

Tune into The Car Chasers on CNBC Prime Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Samples That Are F R E E

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Free Samples Sites- Why You Should Pay Attention

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Buying Medicare Supplement Plan F? Read This First

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Navy Seal Flashlight Should Be Banned From Public?

Controversial Classified Military Technology Has Just Been Released To The Public. Get This Flashlight Before It's Banned Or Sold Out - Limited Supply

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Why Women Are Flocking to This New Shopping Site

This startup features big names like Coach, SmashBox, and Kate Spade - and unlike Amazon, Gilt or HauteLook it's fast, fun and really exciting.

Controversial Flashlight Should Be Banned?

A Controversial decision to ban this new military flashlight just released to the public could take effect soon. They are selling out quickly, see why

G700 Millitary Tactical Flashlight

Get 75% Off World's Coolest and Brightest Flashlight. Check it Out Today!