Defensive driving is driving in a way which avoids risky situations. In short, it is making sure that you are driving safely while remaining aware of unsafe drivers on the road around you.
2010 – 2011 saw roughly 32,000 deaths in motor vehicle accidents nationwide. To avoid becoming one of those fatalities, you should take any measure you can to increase your safety on the road.
To practice good defensive driving techniques can limit your chances of being in a traffic accident.
Here are some useful tips on how to drive defensively on US roads:
Seat Belt Check. Before turning the car on and pulling out, make sure you and all of your passengers are safely secured. Adults, children, pets — everyone should be safe while you drive. Do seatbelt checks.
Watch Your Speed. Keep a steady, safe pace. Maintain the speed limit. Driving too fast is obviously a danger but remember that driving too slow is also not safe.
Intoxication. It may be stating the obvious, but you driving under the influence is severely dangerous. Roughly 40% of all fatal car accidents involve alcohol.
Distracted Driving. It’s a hot button issue right now. People are driving distracted at higher rates than ever, and this practice is leading to more and more car accidents. Do your best to refrain from using your cell phone for any reason, including texting, calling, emailing, surfing the web, or plugging in GPS coordinates.
Be Aware. Watch the other drivers on the road. If someone is swerving or riding on the dividing lines, maintain a safe distance. Don’t take the chance that the driver near you on the road is intoxicated, driving while distracted, or simply not paying attention. In fact, if a driver is behaving erratically, you should consider choosing a different route.
Avoid Road Rage. Letting another anger you on the road — or angering another driver on the road — can put you and others in danger. The situation could escalate to physical violence; but even a minor case of road rage can distract you from the road enough to cause an accident. It is best to ignore hostile drivers.
To see why safe driving practices are so important, read some of the other articles on the Carpey Law website. Articles like “Early 2012 Car Accident Fatality Projections Show Increase” and “10 safety Tips in Avoiding a Trucking Accident” are full of helpful tips.