Providing Practical Ways to Avoid Being Involved in Car Accidents
While it may not be practical to expect that you'll never be involved in an incident on the road, there are some measures you can take to help you avoid car wrecks.
Defensive Driving Techniques
Defensive driving techniques are safe driving practices that, when properly implemented, can help you avoid collisions. To prevent accidents, a defensive driver should:
Focus At All Times
You must constantly keep your eyes on the road while driving. Taking your eyes away from driving can have detrimental impacts even for a few seconds.
While driving, you must consider many things, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Road conditions
- Your speed and locale
- Traffic laws
- Road signs
- Road marks
- Following directions
- Awareness of what's going on around you
- Checking your mirrors
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Never drive when you're too tired or under the influence of alcohol or certain medications. You need to react to changing conditions on the road at all times quickly. For instance, if someone in front of you slams on their brakes because a child ran into the street to retrieve a runaway toy, you need to be able to react and slam on your brakes to avoid hitting the vehicle ahead of you and subsequently, the child in front of them.
Alcohol and drugs impact your reaction time and your judgment. You'd be very wrong if you'd think driving tired isn't as dangerous as driving under the influence. Studies show that sleepy driving has just as many negative consequences as driving under the influence.
Always Remember That People Make Mistakes
No one is perfect. People make unpredictable maneuvers on the road for all sorts of reasons. Don't be caught off guard by an unexpected action from another driver. Be aware of what the other drivers around you are doing at all times. You should know if a vehicle is coming up on one of your blind spots before they arrive there.
Leave Plenty of Space Between Vehicles
When following another vehicle, you must leave enough space between your car and theirs to react to unexpected situations. A good rule is to go at least one car length distance for every 10 miles per hour (mph) of your speed. For instance, if you're traveling 60 mph, you should leave no less than six car lengths between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
While it may be tempting at times to drive above the speed limit, the truth is, this is extremely dangerous. Speeding is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States, so it should always be avoided.
Posted speed limits should always be followed under ideal road conditions, but you also need to use your common sense. If it's pouring rain outside with 50 mph winds and low visibility, you shouldn't go 60 mph on the highway, even if that's the posted speed limit. Driving too fast for your current circumstances is extremely dangerous, but receiving a citation for it is also possible.
Always Leave Yourself A Way Out
You should never box yourself in between vehicles. For example, if you're traveling on the highway and there are cars in front of you, behind you, and to both sides of you, you don't have a way out if an unexpected circumstance should occur. Additionally, never drive in someone's blind spot. Should they need to switch lanes suddenly, you don't want to be in their way. Always position your vehicle to have the best chances of seeing others and being seen.
Contact Us Today To Learn More Defensive Driving Techniques
If you find yourself in an injury-sustaining accident, our attorneys at Whiting Hagg & Dorsey LLP are here to help. Our team is highly experienced in personal injury law, and we have helped many other people just like you. Don't wait —contact our firm with your case right away.