Why Defensive Driving is So Crucial When You’re On the Road
By Space Coast Daily // October 2, 2020
Statistics by the WHO (World Health Organisation) show that around 1.35 million individuals become fatal victims of road accidents, and an additional 20 to 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries.
These numbers are very scary as it shows the great amount of frequency of road traffic accidents as well as the large impacts this can have on people’s overall lives.
Although being safe on the roads is something that is always taught when learning how to drive, long-term drivers often tend to become too comfortable whilst on the road and adapt certain behaviours that can prove very dangerous. For example, speeding, being on the phone whilst driving, easily getting distracted.
We all play an important part in avoiding car crashes, and we should implement defensive driving into our daily routines in order to maximise our awareness on the roads. In this article, we will explain what defensive driving, why this is important and how you can become a defensive driver yourself.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is the process of becoming more aware of your surroundings whilst on the road. We cannot always prevent accidents from happening, particularly if it is the other person’s fault. However, this process will allow you to become better at reading other drivers and guess what they will do before they do it. It sounds a bit like having a superpower, but the more you practice it the better you will get at it.
This is important to do, as for example, if you know a car will overtake at a high speed, you can see it coming and slow down or give them enough space in order to overtake you. Another example is knowing that a vehicle will change lanes in a risky manner and without signalling. Being able to predict these hazardous situations, will allow you to protect yourself from being involved in accidents.
How Can I Become a Defensive Driver?
Seek Legal Representation
Being a defensive driver will certainly increase your chances of remaining safe on the roads whilst decreasing the likelihood of you being involved in an accident. However, it is important to note that unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid this situation, as some drivers act recklessly.
If you are involved in a car accident that was a result of another driver’s negligence, you must hire a legal expert in your local area in order to support you. If you live in Florida, a Brooksville Car Accident Lawyer may be able to guide you through the legalities of the process. Injury attorneys can help you seek a personal injury claim, which is designed to help you with additional costs of recovering from an accident.
Follow Basic Traffic Rules
One of the most evident tips we can give you, is to follow the basic traffic rules. They have been developed and implemented so that roads are safe to use and to avoid car accidents. One of main reasons for road traffic accidents is the failure to follow these basic rules. This includes meeting the speed limits in place, respecting traffic lights and stop signs. A defensive driver will understand why these rules are in place and will strictly follow them in order to maintain the safety of every road user.
Keep Your Distance
Defensive drivers avoid having to quickly react to a dangerous situation that other negligent drivers may put them in. One of the best ways to achieve this is to make sure that you keep your distance from vehicles in front of you, in case anything happens that causes them to suddenly break. If you do not keep your distance, you may not have enough time to react, causing you to crash into them. This is particularly important in adverse weather conditions where the roads may be wet and slippery.
As mentioned above, drivers tend to accept distractions when they have been driving for a long time and are confident in their skills. However, it does not matter how long you have been driving for, you should avoid any distraction that will take your eyes off the road, even if only for a few seconds. This includes loud music, the use of your phone, eating in the car and conversations with passengers in the vehicle.
Avoid Road Rage
Road rage is an issue that we come across pretty much every day – it can be easy to feel stressed when facing long queues of traffic, particularly if we are late and then take this stress out on another driver who makes a mistake. However, a defensive driver should not engage in this kind of behavior as it will not benefit anyone. The best thing to do is to stay calm and continue your journey.
Being a defensive driver is essential to maintain the safety of all road users and avoid accidents. Make sure that you follow some of the tips discussed above in order to implement them on your daily car journey.