Every time you get into your car and pull onto the road, you are not just responsible for your own safety, but also the safety of those you share the road with. Many drivers fail to consider how their driving affects those around them, which can lead to dangerous and even fatal situations. This is why it’s so important to practice defensive driving at all times you are behind the wheel of a car. The National Safety counsel defines defensive driving as “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” To help remind you of your responsibility when on the road, we’ve put together some defensive driving tips to keep in mind.
Check your mirrors often and scan conditions all around you, not just directly in front of you. If you are constantly scanning the road, you’ll be more likely to anticipate potentially dangerous situations and avoid them.
Leave Space Between You and Your Neighboring Cars
You are most likely to collide with the car in front of you, so keeping a safe distance is an easy way to reduce your chances of an accident. Use the 3-4 second rule, which will give you adequate time for you to come to a complete and safe stop.
Do Not Depend On Other Drivers
Never assume the driver next to you is going to move out of the way or allow you to merge. Assume that drivers will run the stop sign, that way you prepared to react accordingly if they do.
Get Rid of Distractions
A distraction is anything that diverts your attention from the road. This includes more than just looking at your cell phone. Adjusting the radio, fixing makeup, eating, or reaching for an object are all dangerous tasks that should be avoided when behind the wheel. Keep your eyes on the road and always stay focused.
If you’re interested in learning more about defensive driving and best practices, contact your local DMV. Many states provide defensive driving courses that can help sharpen your skills and driving knowledge. If you have been involved in an accident or have questions about what to do in the case of one, please contact us at 949-496-7000.