Millions of people are injured in car accidents every single year.
There is no telling if you will be involved in a car accident when you leave home.
Unfortunately, you can’t control what other drivers do on the road, but you can reduce your risk of getting into a car accident by practicing defensive driving.
Related post: car accident injury FAQs.
In the article below, we will learn what defensive driving is, and tips to help you become a defensive driver.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a safe driving technique that people use to avoid getting into car accidents.
This technique involves being aware of your surroundings at all times, so you are prepared for the unexpected.
Keep in mind that defensive drivers don’t just watch the road in front of them. They also pay attention to what’s going on all around them, including what other drivers are doing.
Tips For Becoming A Defensive Driver
To become a defensive driver, you must focus all of your attention on driving.
That means you need to put away anything that could be a distraction. Defensive drivers do not eat, apply makeup, text, or adjust the radio while they are driving.
This is the only way for them to stay alert at all times while behind the wheel.
Defensive drivers also understand the importance of making themselves seen. Many drivers operate under the assumption that if they can see another vehicle, the other vehicle can see them.
That’s not always the case. To b sure you are visible at all times, you should always drive with your lights on while it is raining or dark outside.
Always use your turn signals when making a turn or changing lanes so other drivers on the road know what you are doing.
Avoid lingering in another driver’s blind spot, especially a large truck.
If you find yourself stuck in a blind spot, speed up or slow down so you can make yourself visible to the other driver.
Defensive drivers that are usually successful assume the worst in other drivers.
This means they never assume that another driver will remember to use his turning signal, check his blind spot before changing lanes, or stop at a stop light.
If you assume the worst in other drivers, you can prepare yourself for the worst in other drivers.
For example, If you come to a four-way stop at the same time as another vehicle and you have the right-of-way, don’t assume that the other driver knows this.
Always pause for a moment to make sure that the other driver does not plan on going through the intersection first.
Get the Big Picture
To anticipate the actions of others and avoid an accident, you need to always be aware of your surroundings and remain focused on the big picture.
Motorists will often focus and fixate on one or two things while driving and miss important information about what’s around them.
If you do not see that the driver next to you is shifting into your lane, you will not be able to react appropriately.
The best ways to get the big picture are to look far ahead of your vehicle and keep your eyes moving.
Instead of just looking at what the car in front of you is doing, look at what the car three vehicles ahead of you is doing.
This allows you to see what traffic is doing ahead of you so you can anticipate having to slow down or prepare to stop.
You should also consistently scan the road and your surroundings. Scan the horizon and look far ahead, to your right and left, and in your rearview mirror.
This will give you the best opportunity to see dangerous situations before they happen rather than reacting to another driver’s actions.
Expect Others to Make Mistakes
We touched on this above, but to be an excellent defensive driver, you need to expect every other car on the road to make a mistake.
You are never by yourself when you’re on the road. This means you are at the mercy of the other drivers.
You will reduce your risk for an accident by expecting that others will make a mistake and doing everything you can to react appropriately.
The bottom line is that you should never trust anyone on the road except yourself.
Similarly, you need to have a clear and alert mind for safe driving.
Driving requires quick instincts, instant reactions, and precise movements.
Anything that impairs this will significantly reduce your ability to react to the situations you will encounter on the road.
You should never:
- Drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, and you should never get behind the wheel if you have had anything to drink. Plan ahead if you are planning to drink by having a designated driver, staying where you are, or calling a cab before you leave.
- Drive under the influence of drugs. Similar to alcohol, drugs can also impair your judgment and ability to react and drive safely. Don’t drive if you have taken any drugs, including some cold medications and other drugs that can make you drowsy or impair your abilities.
- Drive drowsy. Driving while you are tired is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. It slows your reaction time, and if you fall asleep behind the wheel, you can quickly be involved in an accident.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney for Help After a Car Accident
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, accidents still occur. If you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, you may have legal options.
The lawyers with Advanced Injury Care Clinic can help you determine your options and work to help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact AICC today for a free consultation by clicking the button below.