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Defensive Driving Techniques

Staying safe on the road can be a challenge. The unexpected can happen at any time, so drivers need to stay alert and constantly ready for anything.

While expecting to never be involved in a car accident is unrealistic, there are some techniques you can use to reduce your risk of a wreck. Read on to learn about defensive driving techniques that are designed to help you stay safe on the road.

Driving Defensively

You have a better chance of staying safe on the road when you follow these defensive driving techniques:

Be Focused

If you’re not focused on the road while you’re driving, what are you focused on? It can be easy to get lost in thought on the road, but it’s important to remind yourself to snap out of it if you find that your mind is wandering. Since driving is primarily a thinking task, it’s crucial to remind yourself to keep your focus on the road at all times.

Be Alert

Since the unexpected can occur at any time on the road, it’s vital to your safety that you are always alert enough for driving. Be sure to get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel. Additionally, never drive while you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When you’re tired or intoxicated, your reaction times slow significantly. You’re more likely to be unable to properly react to changing road conditions if you’re not as alert as you should be.

Leave Lots of Space

When there is a car driving ahead of you, it’s important to leave enough space between your vehicle and theirs. Following too closely can result in a rear-end crash, which is almost always the following driver’s fault in the eyes of the law.

A good rule to follow when it comes to driving distance is to leave at least one car lengths distance between your car and the one ahead of you for every 10 miles per hour (mph) of your speed. For instance, if you’re driving at a rate of 40 mph, you should leave no less than four car lengths distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Double the driving distance if the roads are wet.

Expect the Unexpected

Weird, unexplainable things happen every day, even on the road. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for anything while driving, at any time. The last thing you want is to be caught off-guard by a vehicle in a place they shouldn’t be.

Remember: No One Is Perfect

People make mistakes all the time—it’s just human nature. However, you can protect yourself from other drivers’ unexpected maneuvers by being ready for them at all times. You may be able to predict what other drivers do before they do it if you’re paying close attention.

For example, if you’re driving on the highway and see a car in the lane to your right that is going 65 mph and you notice a truck will be merging onto the highway up ahead, there’s a pretty good chance that the car to your right will attempt to merge into your lane. Get ahead of this instance by moving over into the lane to your left (if possible). If you’re in the lane furthest to the left and your position is still threatened, then you should either slow down to let the car pass or speed up to get out of the way of the car to the right. Never attempt to overtake a car that’s trying to get into your lane.

Always Leave Yourself a Way Out

If you’ve ever had someone drive in your blind spot for an extended period of time, you know how frustrating and dangerous this can be. That’s why it’s important for you to do your best to stay out of other drivers’ blind spots as well. When you hang out in someone’s blind spot, they may not know you’re there. This is problematic because when the driver attempts to change lanes, you’ll be in their way and they may not be aware of it. Avoid the chance of getting hit by moving out of other vehicles’ blind spots as quickly and safely as possible.

Avoid Speeding

Speeding is the leading cause of car accident deaths in the United States. When you speed, you significantly increase your risk of getting into an accident and dying as a result. This may sound dramatic, but it’s the truth. Speeding may be tempting at times, but it’s never worth it. Slow down so that you reach your destination safely.

Neglect Your Distractions

While smartphones are a revolutionary invention, they pose significant risks to drivers. Keep your smartphone out of your way while you’re driving. If you need to, place it on driving mode so you aren’t distracted by notifications as they come in. Not only is it illegal to be on your phone while driving, but it’s also extremely unsafe. Avoid the risk of getting into an accident over your smartphone by keeping it put away while you’re on the road.

Avoid Aggressive Behaviors

The following are aggressive driving behaviors that should be avoided at all times:

  • Speeding
  • Excessive lane changes
  • Overtaking other vehicles
  • Throwing up hand signals
  • Tailgating

Aggressive driving can easily heighten tensions for nearby drivers and should always be avoided. Additionally, if a driver near you is exhibiting aggressive behaviors, do your best to stay away from them. Always let aggressive drivers pass when they want to get ahead of you—don’t challenge them.

Call Us: We Can Help

If you find yourself in the need of legal help for your car accident case, our attorneys at Harmon Parker, P.A. are here to help. Our team has helped countless others in similar situations attain the justice they rightly deserved. Don’t hesitate to contact our team with your case right away.

Call Harmon Parker, P.A. today at (813) 452-4144 to learn more about how we can help you recover over a free consultation.