As soon as you pull out onto the road, you are responsible not only for the safety of yourself and your passengers, but also for the safety of the other drivers on the road. The National Safety Council defines defensive driving as, “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” Many drivers get behind the wheel without being conscious of the risk that is involved, and how their driving techniques affect the safety of others around them. The next time you get behind the wheel, keep these defensive driving techniques in mind.
Being mindful of what is happening in front of you will be your first line of defense every time you get behind the wheel. You can’t control the decision of other drivers, but your reaction could determine what happens next. Not all accidents are avoidable, but being cautious and keeping your eyes on the road at all times can only help to prevent an accident from occurring.
A simple technique that some drivers seem to easily forget is to create space between your car, and the car in front of you. This will give you more time to react should the car in front stop short. Keep at least a two-second distance between you and other cars at all times. Do your best to avoid being tailgated by changing lanes or adjusting your speed accordingly.
Be Aware of Traffic Holes
Gaps in traffic give the illusion that there is a space that needs to be filled. This can cause reckless drivers to speed ahead and make unsafe maneuvers to fill the empty space to get ahead in traffic. When cars rush to fill these spots, they often forget the proper signals and common safety tips of changing lanes. Watch out for cars on the road making these unsafe decisions.
Make Predictable Decisions
Many accidents happen when other drivers can’t predict what you are going to do next. These dangerous decisions can end in life-threatening accidents. Always follow the rules of the road. This includes maintaining the proper speed and using the correct signals to communicate to other drivers what direction you are headed. Give other drivers enough warning to react to the decision you are going to make, then make the appropriate maneuver. By making safe, rash decisions you are helping to keep the surprises to a minimum and create a safer driving experience for everyone.
Every decision you make from the minute you buckle your seat belt, to the minute you put your car in park affects the lives of everyone sharing the road. While not everyone will make the best decisions, following these techniques will ensure you are doing your part of having the safest driving experience, every time.
Have you been injured in an accident involving a reckless or distracted driver? Discuss your options with one of the expert attorneys at Owen, Patterson & Owen. Call us at 800.676.5295 or contact us to schedule a meeting.