Every time we get behind the wheel of a car, we are putting ourselves in harm’s way. Many drivers perform aggressive moves without thinking twice about the safety of others on the road. It is then that accidents often occur. Defensive driving is one way to decrease the dangers of the road.
Defensive driving is about knowing what to do ahead of time – before something happens. Here are tips for becoming an effective defensive driver:
1. Check the Weather
Much can be determined by the conditions outside. Before you even turn the key in the ignition, you should check your local weather (and that of where you are traveling to) so that you know how much time you will need to get there safely. When conditions are bad, such as heavy snow or rain, it is imperative that you do not go as fast as you ordinarily would, and that you take turns extremely slow.
2. Be on the “Lookout”
You never want to feel like a car – or even a pedestrian – came out of “nowhere.” In order to avoid failing to see who and what is coming, be sure to check your mirrors consistently, and to look all ways when you come to an intersection. When you are able to anticipate where vehicles and people are coming from, you can avoid danger.
3. Brake Ahead of Time
It is always a better idea to brake ahead of time – not when you absolutely must. When conditions are poor, it can take anywhere from two to three times as long for your car to come to a complete stop after applying the brakes. Even when conditions are good, giving yourself more room in between you and the car in front of you allows more time to see their brake lights and react appropriately.
4. Keep Your Cool
Sometimes driving can be very frustrating. Whether someone cuts you off or fails to comply with the rules of the road, you may feel the urge to react negatively. However, it is always in your best interest to avoid engaging in any road rage. If another driver is driving dangerously, it may be smarter to simply get out of the way.
5. Remain Alert at All Times
Despite the desire to multi-task, it is extremely important to pay complete attention at all times. Do not engage with your phone or any other device. Taking your attention away from the road can have devastating effects.
Defensive driving is about anticipating dangers before they happen. Never assume that other drivers are paying close attention or following the laws of the road. As long as you’re prepared, you can increase the probability of getting to your destination safely.
Consult with a Qualified Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver, contact Gauthier Amedee today at 225-647-1700 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.