Top 5 Defensive Driving Tips
There’s no argument that there is risk any time you get behind the wheel of a car. This is especially true, as so many drivers are in a rush to get somewhere, often failing to follow correct road etiquette – or even the law. It is this behavior that often causes accidents to occur.
Fortunately, by driving defensively it can help to minimize your odds of getting into a crash. You can think of defensive driving as being proactive and planning for mistakes to be made before they actually transpire. Here are some important tips for defensive driving.
1. Give Yourself Extra Time to Travel
Whether the weather is bad or the roadways are crowded, it is always best to have an idea as to what you are getting yourself into before you get behind the wheel. When there is inclement weather such as rain or snow, or there is a lot of traffic, it is necessary to give yourself some additional time for getting from point A to point B. Knowing that you will have to take turns very slowly or that you will have to drive under the speed limit can help you to plan ahead.
2. Don’t Drive Distracted
Drivers often fail to avoid accidents because they also fail to pay attention to everything that’s going on around them. In order to avoid hitting other vehicles or pedestrians, you must always look all ways at intersections – even with a green light – and should continuously check your mirrors. By seeing potential hazards you will then be more likely to avoid them.
3. Don’t Follow Other Vehicles Too Closely
When you are dealing with poor road conditions, such as ice, it can take you up to three times as long to come to a complete stop after you put your foot on the brakes. But while this is true during times of inclement weather, it is also true when the weather and conditions are good. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about one-third of all traffic accidents are caused by speeding. Leaving a safe following distance and allowing yourself to begin braking a bit early can help to prevent you from slamming on the brakes and rear-ending the car in front of you should they suddenly slow down.
4. Keep Up wth Your Vehicle Maintenance
Taking care of your car through regular oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks can help to reduce the likelihood of breaking down while on the road. Should you notice that something is wrong with how your vehicle is operating, it is very important that you remain calm. If possible to do so safely, slow the vehicle down, put on your turn signal, and pull onto the shoulder of the road or into the breakdown lane.
5. Yield to Other Drivers
Even the most experienced drivers sometimes experience forgetfulness regarding who has the right of way in specific situations. Alternately, sometimes you know that you have the right of way, but the other driver believes that they do too. In either of these situations, it is important to simply yield to the other motorist. Although understandably frustrating, giving in to the other driver may cost you time, but the alternative could also cost you your life. There’s no contest.
Never assume that the other drivers on the road are being attentive or will behave, as the law requires them to. But though you cannot control other drivers, you can control how you operate your own vehicle and can, therefore, take the proper precautions to prevent accidents and injuries.
The Goss Law Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, The Goss Law Firm can help. To learn more or to schedule a FREE consultation, call the Kansas City Lawyers at the Goss Law Firm at 816-527-8658 today.