Having a car accident is something that can be scary, dangerous, and costly. Even something small can have a great deal of impact on a driver, for their mental health, as well as minor injuries and escalating costs. Some accidents can’t be avoided, but there are some things that you can do to make sure that are someone who drives more defensively. When you do this, you will be more prepared and ready to slam on the brakes, than someone who doesn’t drive in this way.
Of course, if you do get in a car accident, then there is help out there for you. Make sure that you talk to friends and family, and get back out there as soon as possible. You don’t want one experience to ruin driving for you. You could also speak to someone like a car accident lawyer, which is important, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. But how can you drive defensively? Here are some things to think about.
Follow speed limits
Speed limits are there for a reason, so it is imperative that as a defensive driver, you follow the limits that are set out. Speeds are lower in residential areas to reduce the damage that could happen as there are likely to be more pedestrians around. Speed limits are higher on the freeway because although people are driving faster, there are fewer distractions. So check the speed limits where you are driving; ignorance isn’t an excuse. It is also worth noting that you need to be able to safely take corners and be able to do so smoothly. So Just because a speed limit is in place, it doesn’t mean that you have to be driving at that speed all the time.
One of the reasons why people have accidents is because they are distracted. So if you are wanting to drive defensively, then you should make sure to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Even something that you might consider small, like eating when driving, can be a big distraction if you can’t fully have control of the wheel with both hands. Loud music can be a distraction if you are focused on the music and not the road, so you should think about how you drive and what works best for you. Focus on the road and your surroundings, not on something else.
Keep your car maintained
This is less about your driving style and more about your duty as a car owner. If you want to keep yourself and others safe, then it is so important to make sure that your car is worthy to be out on the roads. More accidents are going to happen if you are driving around a car that is damaged or not properly taken care of, or doesn’t have fully inflated tires, for example. So check your car regularly, and get it serviced and maintained when it needs it.
Keep your distance
Some drivers do just drive really slowly in front of us, and it can be so frustrating. However, if you get too close, it can make an accident much more likely to happen. The space that you give yourself between your car and another car is the space that you have to react with, and it won’t be very much if you are right there behind them. So a number one rule of defensive driving is to give yourself plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the license plate of the car in front of you. If you can’t, then you are too close.
Beware of blind spots
All cars and all drivers have blind spots. Cars are fitted with mirrors that can help with all of this, but there are some areas that are blind, and if you aren’t careful and paying attention to the road, then it could be problematic. So take some time when you are driving to check your mirrors and be wary of your surroundings. If there are pedestrians around, then make a mental note of where they are and if you can see them anymore. Things can change in a split second, being if you are driving defensively, then you can be more aware of what is going on.
You can’t guarantee 100% that things are going to be fine out on the road. But as long as you are doing your bit to be 100% safe as you can, then it will make a difference.