You know, driving isn’t just a daily chore; it’s a way to get around, reach your job, and explore your surroundings. But there’s a shadow that looms over this otherwise essential activity – car accidents. They can happen to anyone at any time and bring a ton of trouble, like injuries, vehicle damage, and even legal headaches.
But there’s a way to reduce your risk of accidents and their potential aftermath. It’s called defensive driving.
To give you an idea, here are six ways defensive driving can keep you safe and sound.
Stay Informed, Stay Safe
Before getting into defensive driving, let’s talk about who can assist you if an accident does happen, a car accident lawyer with some experience. They are the experts who can help you navigate the legal side of things if you find yourself in a tight spot.
On the other hand, you can also look into a personal injury lawyer if you got hurt because of someone else’s negligence on the road or anywhere else.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Defensive driving starts with something as simple as keeping your focus on the road. Distractions, like texting, talking on the phone, or fiddling with the radio, can lead to accidents. It’s what we call “distracted driving.” These activities take your attention away from the road and significantly increase your chances of getting into an accident.
So, let’s avoid this. Put your phone away, set your GPS before you start driving, and keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Ever heard of tailgating? It’s like driving way too closely behind the car in front of you, and trust me, it’s a recipe for disaster. Why? Because it doesn’t give you enough time to react if the car in front suddenly stops or swerves.
To steer clear of accidents, maintain a safe following distance between your car and the one in front of you. This gives you the precious time you need to respond to any unexpected moves and avoid rear-end collisions.
Use Your Mirrors Effectively
Mirrors in your car are like your extra set of eyes on the road. You’ve got three of them: the rearview mirror and two side mirrors. Adjust them properly so you can see the whole area around your vehicle. Remember to check your mirrors regularly to keep an eye on the positions of other cars, especially when changing lanes or merging onto highways. Being aware of what’s happening around you can help you avoid sudden lane changes or being surprised by other drivers.
Anticipate the Actions of Others
Defensive driving isn’t just about your actions; it’s about predicting what other drivers might do. Keep an eye out for signs that a car may suddenly change lanes, slow down, or make a turn. Watch for brake lights, turn signals, and other clues about a driver’s intentions.
Being prepared for the unexpected actions of others allows you to react quickly and avoid potential accidents.
Adapt to Road Conditions
Road conditions can change faster than you think, going from clear and sunny to rainy, icy, or foggy in no time. To drive defensively, adapt to these conditions. Slow down when the weather takes a turn for the worse, increase your following distance, and be extra cautious.
Use your headlights when visibility is reduced, and avoid sudden moves like slamming on the brakes or making sharp turns. By adjusting your driving style to match the road conditions, you reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle.