Staying vigilant and alert of careless drivers, adapting to dangerous driving situations, and having knowledge of traffic-related dangers are some good reasons why taking defensive driving courses are essential for every driver. People who invest time in learning how to drive defensively are less likely to be involved in road accidents. It may not be possible for a driver to avoid every dangerous situation, but having the knowledge and skills to deal with them can avoid inconveniences associated with an accident, and can potentially save lives.
What is Defensive Driving?
It is a driver safety course that teaches safe driving techniques and provides tips for road safety to help prevent traffic accidents. Some important safety tips for defensive driving include:
- Avoid driving when in an impaired condition, such as under influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving tired and exhausted.
- Keeping a check on emotions to avoid road rage.
- Thinking ahead of possible issues on the road and adjusting yourself to avoid a possible accident.
- Avoiding distractions including eating or using mobile phone while driving.
- Staying up-to-date with weather conditions before planning a long road trip.
- Not expecting that other drivers won’t be distracted or follow traffic rules.
- Always use the vehicle’s safety gear.
- Safety driving instructions for emergency situations.
At its core, defensive driving aims to teach the driver to have more control over their vehicle, and allows them to realize how other drivers and road conditions can affect them.
Best Practices for Effective Defensive Driving
Always Check your Blind Spots
You should always check over your shoulder before changing lanes to ensure there is no other vehicle in your blind spot. Moreover, determine whether your vehicle is in other driver’s blind spot, as they may not check over their shoulder before shifting lanes.
Consider the Big Picture
It is important that you keep your eyes on the road and read the movements of the vehicle in front of you. In addition, you should utilize your peripheral vision to try and predict any possible dangerous movements. If you are driving behind a SUV, truck, or any other vehicle you can’t see past it, you should light a signal and shift lanes after making sure it is safe to do so. It is advisable to scan and keep in check several cars ahead of you to plan your movements. This will help you stay prepared if suddenly the vehicle ahead of the car in front of you begins to slow down or hits the brakes.
Avoid Tailgating at all Costs
Never follow too closely to the vehicle in front and discourage other drivers from doing so behind you. When driving, make sure that you keep safe distance in such a way that you can easily see the rare tires of the other car, or give a 2-second count distance. If the driver in front of you is driving well below the speed limit, be patient and wait until it is safe for you to signal, switch lanes, and comfortably pass them.
In some situations, accidents are nearly impossible to avoid regardless how much you try because the other driver may be at fault. If you have been in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness, you should file a claim against them to recover damages. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.