As drivers, we all have a responsibility in making sure the roads stay as safe as possible. However, we know that this is not always the case. Sometimes, accidents just happen, and it is some truth to being at the wrong place at the wrong time. More than 90 people die in car accidents everyday. Additionally, 3 million people in the U.S. are injured every year from car accidents. That's why defensive driving is so important. Being a defensive driver simply means that you use driving strategies that will minimize or avoid the risk of accidents. These six (6) tips will help you be a safer driver.
Think Safety First
Safety is the number one tip on our list. It's essential to think safety at all times. Getting in a habit of locking your doors immediately after you enter your vehicle, always wearing a seatbelt, and leaving plenty of space between you and other cars are all great tips when it comes to safety and driving.
Respect other Drivers
Respect for other drivers can go a long way. Respecting other drivers space, time, and property matters. Not following too closely to another vehicle or cutting a vehicle off in a turning lane can avoid several situations. Do not drive too slow in front of a vehicle, that is something that really can aggravate any driver, including me! Do not side-swipe a vehicle or damage the vehicle in any capacity. Keep the peace on the road and show respect for all drivers.
Plan Ahead for the Unexpected
Some things are out of our control and we have to roll with the punches, but there are a few options you can do to help plan for the unexpected. Leaving early enough to beat the traffic and having an alternate route for travel are great examples.
Be Attentive on the Road
FOCUS! Your eyes and ears are alert and your focus should always be on the road while driving. Your eyes are constantly moving between all 3 mirrors, your blind spots, and the road. Driving is so important, there's so much at stake, so it deserves your full attention. Keep your eyes far ahead of your vehicle, spotting out erratic drivers, accidents, intersections etc.
Do not Depend on other Drivers
Anticipate the worst case scenario with other drivers. Respect other drivers but do not assume that they will follow all the rules and stop at red lights. First and foremost you have to look out for yourself. Expect for other drivers to make a mistake. Drive with caution.
Cut out Distractions
While driving, it is important to have your full attention on the road. The law in Atlanta allows an individual to sue any driver who inflicts personal injury as a result of distracted driving. Distractions includes but is not limited to the following:
- cell phone usage
- text messaging
- navigation system usage
Any activity that breaks your focus and diverts your attention should be avoided.
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