You never know how other drivers are going to behave. That’s why the best way to avoid a car accident is to be a defensive driver when you are behind the wheel.
The accomplished Savannah car accident attorneys of The Nye Law Firm have compiled a list of seven essential defensive driving tips. Using these strategies will help you avoid dangerous situations that could cause car accidents that result in severe injuries or deaths.
1. KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
You should always be scanning your surroundings so you can quickly detect hazards and monitor reckless drivers in your vicinity. Scanning your surroundings includes:
- Checking rearview and side mirrors often
- Surveying traffic and road conditions at least 20 to 30 seconds ahead of your current position
- Paying extra attention to pedestrians, animals, bicyclists and motorcyclists who are sharing the road with you
If you spot a reckless driver who is weaving through traffic, speeding or violating traffic laws, you should pull over, change lanes or slow down to avoid them. Keeping your distance will give you a better chance to monitor the other driver’s actions and provide more time to react if a dangerous situation arises.
2. AVOID DISTRACTIONS
Unfortunately, many drivers are struggling to keep their eyes, hands and attention on the task of driving. They are focused on their smartphones, car stereos, conversations with passengers or other distractions. That is why distracted driving is one of the nation’s leading causes of automobile accident fatalities.
Avoiding each of the following forms of distracted driving will significantly lower your risk of an accident:
- Talking on a cellphone
- Having conversations with passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming or putting on makeup
- Adjusting the stereo
- Programming the GPS
- Looking for items inside the vehicle
3. ANTICIPATE THE ACTIONS OF OTHER MOTORISTS
Even though Georgia has some of the safest drivers in the Southeastern U.S., you never know when one of them is going to make a dangerous maneuver that puts you at risk of an accident.
That is why you should always watch other drivers and try to anticipate what they are going to do next. This way, you are less likely to be caught off guard by their actions and will have a better chance of maneuvering away from danger.
4. PLAN AN ESCAPE ROUTE
You cannot predict every action another motorist will take. It is best to plan for the unexpected in addition to anticipating other drivers’ movements.
You should plan an escape route for possible traffic scenarios, such as:
- Abrupt stops
- Sudden braking ahead of you
- An accident ahead of your vehicle
- Another driver running a traffic signal
5. NEVER DRIVE WHILE IMPAIRED
Consuming drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel is illegal and very dangerous. These substances slow your reaction time, which is a critical element of defensive driving.
Alcohol and other drugs also impair motor skills and decision making capabilities, both of which are key factors in keeping yourself safe on the road.
You should never operate a vehicle if you have been drinking or using drugs. Designate a sober driver before you go out or call a cab or rideshare service to take you home.
6. DRIVE AT A SAFE SPEED
Speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. Speeding gives you less time to hit the brakes or maneuver away from another car or other obstacles.
If you are in ideal road and weather conditions, you should travel at the posted speed limit. If there is heavy traffic, rain or other inclement weather, you should slow down. Speeding in these situations puts you at higher risk of an accident.
7. FOLLOW AT A DISTANCE
Give yourself ample time to stop by following other vehicles at a safe distance. You should allow three to four seconds of space between your car and the one in front of you.
You can measure the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you by counting the seconds between when the other car passes a fixed object and when you pass the same object. Start counting when the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you passes the fixed object. Stop counting once your front bumper reaches the object.
You should leave a few more seconds of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you in poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or fog. You should also increase following distance at night and when you are behind large trucks or motorcycles.
CONTACT A GEORGIA CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY FOR ASSISTANCE
Driving defensively will help you avoid a collision, but you cannot count on other drivers to take these same precautions.
If another driver causes a collision and you suffer injuries or lose a loved one, you may be able to obtain compensation from this person for your medical expenses and other damages.
A an experienced Savannah personal injury lawyer at The Nye Law Group can manage every aspect of your claim, working to secure all of the compensation you deserve. Learn your legal options by scheduling a free, no-obligation case consultation with our experienced lawyers.
We work on contingency, only receiving payment if we recover compensation for you.
Call 855-856-4212 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to set up your free consultation.