You can’t decide what other people do on the road. That’s something you figure out the first time you see some crazy, irrational move that puts you and your passengers in danger and kicks in the road rage. The fact is, there are a lot of dangerous situations you face behind the wheel that you simply can’t control.
Defensive driving is about what you can control. The things you can do as a skillful, responsible driver to mitigate the risk posed by people who don’t seem to value their lives quite as highly as you do. These are techniques meant to keep you out of harm’s way, so that you can avoid accidents before they become inevitable.
Remember, being in the right doesn’t undo an accident. So here’s how to be better than right:
- Watch the other cars and drivers: Good driving is fundamentally about situational awareness. You need to know what’s going on around you – and not just where to stop and where to turn. You should be noticing everything that could affect your ride, including the behavior of other drivers. Is that Volvo weaving a little? Make a mental note and keep your distance. Is the pickup truck going too fast? Move out of the way and let him get to his ticket on time. Is that old Lexus moving very slowly? Don’t dart around them too quickly, the driver’s reaction time might be low. Predicting how drivers will behave seems tricky at first, but in practice you can tell quite a lot from very little. The guy tailgating you in a red corvette, for instance, might just be the kind to try to pass you on the right.
- Move in a smooth, predictable way: Even if you’re executing a legal maneuver, give the other drivers more than enough time to deal with the change. They may be distracted, with a phone or a daydream, and could easily miss a subtle cue. So don’t make it subtle: signal, move evenly, and do your best to telegraph where you’re headed and when. Sharp, sudden accelerations may be fine for you, but the other drivers aren’t in your head, and they may be far too deep into theirs. Don’t give them a chance to make a mistake, because it’s a mistake that will affect you.
- Don’t cut corners: Don’t cut any corners while driving, like not signaling or rolling through stop signs. These are the kinds of bad habits that lead inexorably to worse incidents. You need to stay sharp as a driver. Being lulled into a false sense of security because you do it so often is almost as bad as being inexperienced. Don’t take your skills or your safety for granted. It only takes one accident to change everything, and since you’ll be driving a long time, complacency is not your friend.
Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law
If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law. We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed. We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly. Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling 877-BICE-877 or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney.