Young boy with goggles and driving cap with a pug in front in a red toy car on an open road with mountains behind

Defensive Driving Tips

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.

Read on to learn more about defensive driving techniques.

Driving Defensively

Defensive driving techniques are safe driving practices that, when properly implemented, can help you avoid collisions. The following are some defensive driving techniques:

Focus At All Times

It’s crucial that you constantly keep your eyes on the road while driving. Taking your eyes away from driving, even for just a few seconds, can have detrimental impacts.

While driving, you must consider many things, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Road conditions
  • Your speed and locale
  • Traffic laws
  • Road signs
  • Signals
  • Road marks
  • Following directions
  • Awareness of what’s going on around you
  • Checking your mirrors

Be Alert

Never drive when you’re too tired or under the influence of alcohol or certain medications. You need to be able to quickly react to changing conditions on the road at all times. 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.

Clearly, alcohol and drugs impact your reaction time and your judgment. If you’d think driving tired isn’t as dangerous as driving under the influence, you’d be very wrong. 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 all the time, 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, it’s crucial that you leave enough space between your car and theirs to react to unexpected situations. A good rule to follow is to leave at least one car lengths 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.

Avoid Speeding

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 own common sense. If it’s pouring rain outside with 50 mph winds and visibility is low, you shouldn’t go 60 mph on the highway, even if that’s the posted speed limit. Not only is driving too fast for your current circumstances extremely dangerous, it’s also possible to receive a citation for it.

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 suddenly switch lanes, you don’t want to be in their way. Always position your vehicle in such a way that you have the best chances of seeing others and being seen.

We’re Here to Help

If you find yourself in an injury-sustaining accident, our attorneys at Whiting Hagg Hagg Dorsey & Hagg, 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.

If you or a loved one is involved in a car crash, our lawyers at Whiting Hagg Hagg Dorsey & Hagg, LLP can help you receive the settlement you deserve. Give us a call at (605) 250-3003 or fill out an online contact form.

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