While it is virtually impossible to prevent all auto accidents from occurring, there are plenty of things you can do while driving to minimize your chances of an accident. In many cases, accidents happen when another driver does something unexpected, leaving you without enough time to react. To prevent these types of crashes, it is smart to try to anticipate what other drivers might do so you are prepared to act if necessary. This strategy is known as defensive driving. Try these tips to keep yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle as safe as possible while on the road.
Keep Your Gaze Several Cars Ahead
When you drive, most of the time, you likely watch the car directly in front of you in your own lane. This way, you notice their brake lights right away when they begin to slow down, alerting you that you need to slow down or stop as well. However, if the car in front of you needs to slam on their brakes to stop suddenly in heavy traffic, you may not have enough time to stop before hitting them.
Instead of watching the car directly in front of you, look several cars ahead. The faster you are going, the farther ahead you should watch. With this technique, you’ll be able to see brake lights coming on farther up the road, so you can begin to slow down earlier, before you need to hit the brakes hard.
Deal With Tailgaters Safely
We’ve all had the stressful experience of being followed by a tailgater. This is another driver who follows you very closely, leaving little space between their front bumper and your rear bumper. If you need to stop suddenly, it is very likely that they will not be able to stop in time. This may result in them crashing into the back of your car.
To defend against tailgaters, stay out of the far left lane unless you are using it to pass someone. Even that won’t keep all tailgaters away, though. If you find yourself with a tailgater behind you, change lanes so they can pass you. If you aren’t able to change lanes or are on a one-lane road, try this defensive driving technique. Allow the car in front of you to pull away from you, increasing the distance between you. Now, if you need to stop, you’ll have plenty of room to do so gradually and likely, the tailgater will have enough time to stop as well. Additionally, the tailgater will have room to go around you if they choose to do so.
Avoid Blind Spots Whenever Possible
Without additional side mirrors, blind-spot detection, and other safety features, most vehicles have blind spots on both sides. These blind spots usually cover the space to the side of the vehicle, towards the rear. You may notice these blind spots as you drive, which is why it is always a good idea to glance back over your shoulder before changing lanes. This ensures there isn’t another vehicle in your blind spot.
You can wind up in someone else’s blind spot as well. If they don’t notice you before they change lanes, you could be in for a crash. Do your best to avoid driving slightly behind another vehicle in the next lane over, as much as possible. Either speed up or slow down slightly to get out of the blind spot so the other driver can see you more easily. Keep in mind that semi-trucks and other large vehicles have larger blind spots than smaller cars, so you’ll need to take extra care around them.
Know What to Do in Case of an Accident
With these basic defensive driving techniques, you can minimize your risk of getting into an auto accident, even if you can’t prevent crashes entirely. Even if you are an exemplary driver, it is always still possible for accidents to happen. Regardless of whether the accident is your fault or that of the other driver, you need to know what to do after an accident so that you are prepared. If you are not at fault, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim to get compensation for your injuries and subsequent medical expenses.To learn more, reach out to Andrew Pickett Law today. My firm will be happy to evaluate your case and let you know what to expect if you choose to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit in Florida. Call today for a free consultation 321.503.4014.