Since car accidents are one of the most common causes of injury and fatality among young people, with more than 5 million accidents logged each year, it is vital to learn defensive driving skills when driving a vehicle. You may know how to drive, but is that really enough? Apart from being a skilled driver, you should also know how to handle other variables that can affect you on the road.
What are these other variables? The first would be other drivers. The second would be road conditions. Then there are factors such as the weather, special events and holidays, and other circumstances like rush hour traffic.
The key is accepting that driving defensively is the best way to reduce your chances of being in a car crash. This way of driving ensures maximum avoidance of possible catastrophes, and will pave the way for a smoother, more pleasurable ride.
Defensive driving can save lives but how does one drive defensively? There are courses available to learn the skills but for now, here is a breakdown of the basics:
1. Keep focused on the road
The vehicle you own is a weapon – be aware of its power and the responsibility you hold because of it.
Be completely in the moment – this helps you avoid accidents and any other mishaps on the road. This is by far the best thing you can do, not just in driving, but in life in general! On the road, however, this is your number one responsibility.
Being in the moment means keeping your eyes on the road, looking at your side and rear view mirrors from time to time, and making sure that everything is in order. You will naturally be able to observe road hazards, signs, and other significant things that need your attention such as someone stepping out onto the road. But more importantly, by always keeping your focus on the present moment, you are more sensitive to the maneuvers of other drivers around you as well. You will be able to predict their next move, and act accordingly. You will be able to more clearly see how your timing relates to theirs, and how you can avoid collisions or any other accidents in the process, improve your engine lifespan by reading these effuel reviews.
Leave the communications and browsing on your phone for another time. Being behind the wheel means dropping those things for now so you can concentrate on what is more important.
2. Defensive driving instills the habit of ensuring that you are always in control of your vehicle.
You are in charge of the one thing you can control fully – yourself. Defensive driving means that you should make sure you are completely fit to drive – that you are in the proper emotional and mental state; that you are completely sober and not under the influence; and that you are not posing any risks to yourself as well as other drivers on the road.
3. Defensive driving means erring on the side of caution.
Defensive driving skills mean drilling it into your head to not take any chances. It is best to err on the side of caution, and always think safety first. These skills guide all your decisions as you drive, always noting that it’s better to get there in one piece than to get there as quickly as possible, risking possible accidents in the process – it’s simply not worth it. Late is better than an accident.
In case you do get into an accident despite defensive driving – say because you were t-boned by a drunk driver – there are good car accident lawyers such as Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. who can help represent you if you are struggling to get a fair settlement.