The number of car accidents on Atlanta roadways and the injuries and deaths they cause result primarily from driver error. The latter could be distracted driving, drunk driving, tailgating, running red lights, etc. All these are preventable if drivers obey traffic rules and practice safe driving.
However, most drivers on the road are quick to disregard safety rules and engage in dangerous behavior. This is where defensive driving techniques come in. This driving style has several benefits, and road safety agencies advise drivers to practice it when behind the wheel. But, can it prevent car accidents?
This article provides the answer to this question. If you find yourself a victim of a car accident you did not cause, contact the legal team at The Weinstein Firm immediately.
What Is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a practice where drivers consciously reduce the dangers associated with driving. Motorists use safe driving techniques to address identified hazards predictably. These techniques are beyond the standard traffic laws and procedures.
It includes improving one’s driving skills by reducing risks and anticipating situations likely to cause accidents. Safe driving techniques also help drivers to make informed decisions while moving based on road and environmental conditions.
Awareness is a crucial component of defensive driving. Indeed, not every driver on the roadway is concerned about safety. Even if they are, mistakes still happen that might cause a car accident. As a result, you must be aware of your surroundings as you cannot trust other drivers to make good decisions.
Can Defensive Driving Prevent a Car Accident?
To a large extent, drivers can prevent car crashes by practicing defensive driving. However, this depends on what you do and don’t do on the road. Keep in mind that with defensive driving, you do not focus only on yourself but on what everyone else is doing. This helps you anticipate danger and prevent it.
Below are defensive driving strategies you can employ to avoid a car accident.
When driving, look far down the road to check for any hazards. The frequency of traffic crashes would be less if drivers had better situational awareness and planned ahead. For example, suppose you see a pothole down the road. Then you can reduce your speed or direct your car to a better part of the roadway. It is dangerous to have tunnel vision when driving, so be alert and ready for anything.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
You should always prepare for emergencies on the road. Factors outside your control can change a routine driving situation into an emergency at any time. For instance, a dog or a child may run out into the street, causing you and other drivers to slam their brakes. In such a situation, you stay relaxed and calm to avoid crashing and find a way out for yourself.
Maintain Proper Following Distance
Tailgating is one of the common causes of car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Drivers must maintain a safe following distance, even more so than driving at a safe speed. This is because you can go 120 miles per hour and not hit anyone if there’s enough space between vehicles. However, keep in mind that speeding also causes crashes. So, the faster you go, the larger the following distance. At the very least, there should be a three seconds gap.
According to the NHTSA, over 3,000 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2019. The advancement in technology means more things distract drivers. Common distractions are texting, calling, checking GPS, etc. You should manage distractions and limit them when driving.
Make Yourself Visible
Avoid driving within blind spots, especially if you’re following a large vehicle like a semi-truck. Instead, have direct eye contact with other drivers using your headlights or flashers. If needed, blast your horn for a few seconds until you are sure the other driver is aware of your presence.
Know the State Traffic Laws
The final part of most defensive driving classes covers state traffic laws. While it is a refresher for most people, others are not unaware of the provisions of the law. Therefore, study Georgia road rules. It will not only keep you from crashing, but you will also spare yourself the burden of paying for traffic tickets and becoming a traffic offender.
Contact The Weinstein Firm Today!
Again, even if you practice defensive driving, car accidents may still happen. But, if you didn’t cause the crash, our Atlanta auto accident lawyers can help you get maximum compensation from the at-fault party. Contact us at The Weinstein Firm today for a free case review.