Accidents on the road harm and kill thousands of people every year. In most cases, an accident can be avoided if you drive with caution and care. Understandably, you'd be sceptical.
Suppose the accident occurs because of another driver's negligence, bad weather, or other uncontrollable circumstances. The answer, of course, is Simple. Accidents can be significantly reduced, if not entirely avoided. Keeping yourself and your passengers safe on the road is a matter of adhering to the rules of the road, as well as practising defensive driving techniques.
Defensive driving is a notion that has been around for a few years and has helped drivers become safer and more proactive. "Defensive driving" encompasses much more than just driving slowly and cautiously. Drivers can avoid unnecessary traffic accidents on the road with this method.
Defensive driving is the practice of anticipating all possible dangers and risks when driving and ensuring that you drive in a manner that protects both yourself and your passengers. To avoid being involved in an accident, it is beneficial to become familiar with and employ the principles of defensive driving.
5 Rules of Defensive Driving
Keep an Eye on the Traffic around You:
Even if you are a skilled driver, the people around you may not be. It is critical to pay close attention to the traffic in front of you and the vehicles behind you, and passing you. Accidents can happen from any direction, and focusing just on the vehicle in front of you means you're blind to the risks lurking around you.
Speeding vehicles and drivers can be unpredictable, and if you are just focused on what is ahead of you, you may miss them and end up in an accident. Every minute, check your mirrors to make sure you're keeping a safe distance from the cars in front of you, behind you and to the sides.
Aside from checking your side and rear-view mirrors, ensure no potential hazards are hiding under your vehicle's A-pillar. Learn all of your vehicle's blind spots, and make sure to check around pillars, obstructions, and other objects to ensure that you are aware of your immediate surroundings.
Look Out for Blind Spots:
The mirrors in your vehicle, specifically the rear-view, driver's side, and passenger side mirrors, are the primary tools for seeing what is behind and to the side of you when driving. However, while you're travelling on the highway and a vehicle passes you in another lane, you may lose sight of the car entirely at one point. This is a blind spot, and every car has a few.
Blind spots vary according to the type of car you are driving. For instance, a vehicle has blind spots on the sides, near the rear. This implies that even with the mirrors adjusted properly, you will not see anything in these locations. Certain cars may be unable to see what is right behind them. When the driver is seated very high in the car, they may be unable to see anything very close to the ground in the front or near the sides in the front.
In most circumstances, your car's blind spots are large enough to obscure other oncoming vehicles, and your mirrors may not display a vehicle changing lanes. As a result, you must utilise your peripheral vision to see approaching traffic and identify the optimal moment to change lanes.
At Intersections, Take Extra Care:
Crossroads represent the most dangerous part of driving for many drivers since they bring together multiple vehicles travelling in different directions. There are several reasons why individuals get into accidents at intersections. Still, the most common are running red lights, turning when they shouldn't, not paying attention to the road, and even being in a rush.
When approaching an intersection, slow down, never run a yellow light, and come to a complete stop when the light turns red. Before you cross the street, ensure no vehicles are running the red light and that all traffic has been halted.
Look for Space:
Avoid being "boxed in" by intentionally creating space around your vehicle and never allowing yourself to become trapped. Adequate space allows for the passage of time and the avoidance of collisions. Maintain a following distance of at least two seconds at all times. You should adjust your driving position in traffic as needed to prevent driving into other people's blind spots. Allowing yourself to be tailgated is unacceptable; instead, change lanes or increase your speed to urge tailgaters to pass you.
Avoid whiplash injuries by leaving enough distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you on highways and backcountry roads. When you come to a complete stop near another vehicle, you risk a rear-end collision.
Look to Avoid Distractions:
According to studies, the most common cause of automobile accidents is distracted driving. Distractions such as chatting on the phone, eating, drinking, fiddling with your navigation, entertainment, or stereo system, or any other activity that takes your focus away from the task of safe driving, must be avoided at all costs.
Research says using a cell phone while driving causes a 23-fold increase in the likelihood of an accident. Do not engage in any activity that could jeopardise your ability to drive safely and avoid an accident.
Please get in touch with our driving school if you're interested in taking a defensive driving course to improve your driving skills and knowledge. Many states maintain a list of approved driving course providers supported by the state, and many of these participate in online programmes. These courses are expensive, but the investment is well worth it if you want to be a more informed and safer driver.