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How Can I Drive Defensively?

Getting behind the wheel of a car may be something you do every single day. You may feel very confident in all your skills, techniques, and movements, but be careful before you get too comfortable and let your guard down. Even the most experienced motorists can be involved in car crashes caused by other drivers.

While you can’t control the actions of other drivers, you can control your own vehicle and do everything in your power to stay safe and prevent other drivers from hitting you. This is a practice known as defensive driving, and here are a few techniques that you can follow.

Focus on the Task at Hand

Being a defensive driver means always staying vigilant of your surroundings and road conditions so you can make any needed changes or last-minute maneuvers. To do this, it’s imperative to eliminate distractions behind the wheel so your full attention is on the task of driving.

Don’t Rely on Other Drivers

While it may seem unfair, you should never rely completely on the actions of other drivers. In other words, you can’t guarantee that over drivers will abide by the laws of the road. For instance, just because you have the right of way does not mean the other driver is going to yield to you. Instead, always keep a lookout and rely on your own driving to keep yourself and passengers safe.

Keep a Buffer

Tailgating frequently leads to rear-end accidents, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states are the most frequently-occurring type of collision and make up nearly 30% of all incidents. If you are driving behind another vehicle, you should always have space between your vehicle and theirs so that you have time and room to brake in case they do.

When In Doubt, Always Yield

If you aren’t certain who has the right of way, you should let the other driver go through first. Even if it is your right of way, the other motorist may disagree and it’s better to wait a few seconds than risk a collision.

Let It Go

Road rage is a serious problem on the road and one of the leading causes of serious accidents. Road rage typically manifests in dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, blocking cars, honking, yelling, or cutting off other drivers. If you feel frustrated with another driver behind the wheel, try to let go of the anger by thinking of something more peaceful, listening to a podcast, or practicing breathing techniques.

Unfortunately, you can take advantage of every technique in the “defensive driving” handbook, but if another motorist is driving recklessly or while impaired, there may be little you can do to prevent a collision. If you are injured in an accident caused by another, turn to Huffman & Huffman for help pursuing the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

Contact our Newport News car accident attorneys at (757) 330-3425 to get started with a free case review.