Taking to the road is more dangerous than many people realize. In fact, some studies estimate as many as two million people are injured in car accidents in each year. That means that you have about a one in 366 chance of being in a wreck for every 1,000 miles you drive.
That’s scary, especially considering that many of these wrecks result in serious, sometimes even catastrophic injuries. Recovering from those injuries can take a significant amount of time, too, and the process can be painful, exhausting, and expensive. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take out there to try to keep yourself safe and avoid this sort of outcome.
Are you implementing these defensive driving practices?
Defensive driving is the best way to protect yourself while out on the road. Here are some ways that you can engage in effective defensive driving, which very well may protect you from being involved in a serious accident:
- Avoid distractions: This seems obvious, but we all need reminders from time-to-time. Put down your cell phone and keep your eyes on the road. Also, try to remain cognizant of other distractions, such as reaching for something on the floorboard and talking and interacting with passengers.
- Expect the worst: To truly be defensive while behind the wheel, you should anticipate that other drivers will act erratically and in an otherwise unpredictable fashion. This will ensure that you remain alert and ready to implement defensive maneuvers should the need arise.
- Stick to the speed limit: Speed is a factor contributing to many crashes. By slowing down, you can decrease the amount of distance that you need to safely bring your vehicle to a stop. This, in turn, could allow you to avoid a rear end collision that would otherwise have catastrophic consequences for you and your family.
- Keep a safe distance: One of the best ways to avoid a rear end collision is to allow sufficient distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to allow for three seconds between the two vehicles, which should give you enough time to stop or maneuver out of the way if the car in front of you slams on the brakes.
- Regularly check your blind spots: Defensive driving requires a lot of awareness. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles can quickly get lost in your blind spot if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s a good idea to regularly check your mirrors to ensure you know when someone is in your blind spot and when it’s safe to change lanes. This is especially true if you drive a larger vehicle with larger blind spots.
- Take weather into account: You should modify your driving practices when the weather is bad. After all, wet roads can reduce your traction and decrease your visibility. So, feel free to slow down and take your time when driving in poor weather conditions.
What should you do if you’re involved in an accident?
We hope these tips help keep you safe out on the road, but the sad truth of the matter is that there’s only so much you can do to prevent an accident. If you end up involved in a wreck despite your best efforts to avoid one, then you should seek immediate medical attention and do your best to preserve evidence, including taking pictures of the accident scene and speaking to witnesses.
Then, you might want to consider taking legal action against the individual who caused your accident. If you can present persuasive legal arguments against them, then you might be able to impose liability and recover the compensation that you need to focus on your recovery while remaining financially stable.