There are approximately 6 million car accidents in the United States each year. While some people walk away without injuries, that’s not always the case. About three million people are injured in accidents each year, and in many cases, the accidents and injuries are due to impaired or distracted driving. Defensive driving is a technique that reduces the likelihood of getting in a traffic accident. There are many different ways to engage in defensive driving. You need to use all the techniques so you will stay safe on the road.

Stay Focused & Don’t Drive Distracted

You can’t be defensive if you’re distracted. You need to pay attention to the road and other drivers at all times. Don’t use your phone, play with the radio, or get into an involved discussion with the occupants in the car. If something takes your focus off driving, you could get in an accident.

Be Mindful of Other Drivers

You cannot control what other drivers do. People will make lane changes without signaling, slam on their brakes for no reason, and more. As a defensive driver, you need to expect the worst from other drivers. Scan the road as you drive, looking for potential threats. 

Yield as Needed

You understand the rules of the road, and you know when you have the right of way. What happens when another driver thinks he or she has the right of way? As a defensive driver, you need to yield. You might get to your destination a few seconds later, but that is preferable to getting in an accident.

Keep a Safe Distance

Tailgating leads to lots of accidents. When the weather is nice, you need to put at least two seconds of driving time between your vehicle and the car in front of you. That means it would take you two seconds to catch up to that vehicle if it stopped. If the road conditions are poor, double the time so you will have extra time to stop.

Deal With Tailgaters Safely

Unfortunately, some people will tailgate you. As much as you might want to slam on the brakes, this is very dangerous. Increase your speed slightly to add more distance between your vehicle and the other driver. If possible, move into the right lane to let the tailgater pass you. 

Watch Out for Blind Spots

You need to know your blind spots when driving and use extra caution when changing lanes. If a vehicle is in your blind spot, you could sideswipe it. Consider getting blind spot mirrors to avoid this problem.

Don’t Drive When You’re Not Sharp

You know better than to drive when you’re drinking, but what about after taking over-the-counter medications? Certain medications can slow down your response time, making you more likely to get in an accident. The same is true if you’re tired. Make sure you only get behind the wheel when you are in full control of your senses and your reaction time is normal. 

Drive the Speed Limit When the Conditions Are Ideal 

The faster you go, the longer it takes to slow down and stop. It also makes it more difficult to avoid accidents. Drive the speed limit when the conditions are good. If you are driving in snow or rain, slow down. Remember, the speed limit is only recommended when the conditions are ideal. You want to stay in control at all times, and that means slowing down when necessary. 

Stay Safe on the Roads

You don’t want to become a statistic, so incorporate defensive driving strategies when you’re behind the wheel. These strategies won’t just protect you and the people in your vehicle. They will also help you keep others safe on the road.

If you’ve been the victim of distracted or drunk driving, please don’t hesitate to give us a call to have one of the personal injury attorneys here at Friedman Law Offices review your case.