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How To Be a Defensive Driver

Alvine Weidenaar, Personal Injury

Close to 20,160 people died in Motor Vehicle crashes in the first half of the year 2021. Most of the other non-fatal road-related crashes leave behind a trail of destruction and injuries. It’s every driver’s core responsibility to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users.

Accidents do happen, even to the most cautious of drivers. As such, defensive driving is a critical technique for any responsible driver. 

Defensive driving strategies help drivers avoid the risk of accidents or minimize the degree of injuries/damages when the inevitable happens. 

Nowadays, most states offer comprehensive defensive driving courses for drivers. The initiative is an excellent incentive towards minimizing the rate of road accidents. However, you can still learn a few tips, techniques, and strategies from us as well. Here, we review the basics of defensive driving that every driver should have before stepping on the gas. 

What is Defensive Driving 

Defensive driving refers to the conscious practice of motorists to reduce the dangers that exist while on the road. These are different techniques and strategies that drivers should have that minimize the likelihood of a collision or incident. Drivers who practice defensive driving always anticipate dangerous scenarios caused by adverse road conditions or errors by other road users. 

Apart from going through regular driving courses, drivers should also go through defensive training to reduce the current rates of road-related accidents. Even then, some defensive driving techniques include some basic do’s when driving. 

Safety Belts Save Lives 

Defensive driving starts at the individual level. Actions that may seem mundane and inconsequential are often the most critical considerations in defensive driving. Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal road accidents by 50%. These necessary fittings also minimize the risk of severe injuries by 45%. The statistics confirm the need to always have your seat belt on while on the road. Some car models have intertwined seat belts and airbags systems. Without a seat belt on, the car may fail to react following an accident

Know Your Speed Limit 

It almost sounds like a broken record to restate that speed kills. However, speed does indeed cause most fatal road accidents. Most serious accidents involve a speeding vehicle. The reality is that a speeding car is always hard to control. Speed control is among the most significant emphasis in defensive driving. 

The adrenaline rush that comes with hitting the gas can be enticing. Nonetheless, whether you are driving alone on a lonely stretch or on the highway, keeping comfortable driving limits is a lifesaving defensive technique. 

Always Keep a Safe Following Distance 

Accidents happen in a blink of an eye. Within split seconds, you could quickly ram onto the car ahead. And therefore, you should never follow blindly. Always maintain a clear and sufficient distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. The space will allow you to stop in time if the driver ahead makes a sudden stop. 

It’s also important to know the stopping speed of the vehicle you are driving. The three-second rule is the standard car -following- rule in the United States. The span gives you a chance to react and avoid any contact in case of an abrupt stop by the car in front. 

Be Cautious of Blind Spots 

Blind spots are a common defensive driving concern for most drivers. The blind spot is an area outside your field of vision as a driver. These are spots you can’t see, whether looking through the windows or even the rearview mirror. 

Such spots pose a considerable risk to the driver and other road users. It’s critical to check your blind spots regularly. Further, it would help if you also tried always to remain clear of other drivers’ blind spots. Drivers should also use the shoulder check technique to ensure they can capture all the blind spots more so when changing lanes. 

Avoid Distractions 

Most of the accidents on American roads are a consequence of a slight distraction. That slight minute of split attention to make a call or pick a call could be the dealbreaker. Any activity that may take your attention away from careful driving should wait. Drivers who prefer to multitask when driving could be considered safety risks to other road users. Defensive driving teaches drivers to eliminate any possible distractions when on the road. 

You are the Only Sane Person on the Road

Defensive driving prepares drivers always to anticipate the unexpected. Anything can happen while on the road. The drivers you share lanes with have battles and issues you know nothing about, and so while cruising on the highways, always assume that you are the only sane person. The assumption allows you to make rational decisions even when the other drivers make irrational choices while driving. You will go for many years without accidents if you learn to expect the unexpected while on the road.

Always Be Aware of other Hazards 

Accidents could be caused by other underlying factors that may not necessarily be human error. Such issues include risks associated with acts of God, such as heavy downpours. You should always avoid driving through still water. It’s also important to drive at a slower pace to prevent skidding. Drivers should also have their lights and indicators on to ensure that oncoming traffic sees you as you approach. 

What to Do in case of an Accident

These defensive driving tips are essential to help keep you and other road users safe. Even then, accidents happen, and when they do, you may be stranded on the next course of action. Calling in a car accident lawyer should be the first step after an accident. Car accident attorneys are experienced at handling accident cases and can help you make claims to your insurance on top of handling other legal matters that may emerge. 

We care about you. And that is why our team is always eager to jump into your defense in case of an accident. We understand that accidents can be traumatizing, and that’s why we offer our unreserved professional support during such periods. Contact us today for a speedy legal process and other related issues. You can also take advantage of our free consultation

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