California Accident & Injury Attorneys
An Easy-to-Follow Guide on Driving Defensively

An Easy-to-Follow Guide on Driving Defensively

From the most experienced motorists to novice drivers, everyone who gets behind the wheel can benefit from driving defensively. Defensive driving practices help motorists operate a motor vehicle in a manner that utilizes safe driving strategies and prepares them to anticipate hazards that happen around them.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 94% of serious crashes are due to dangerous choices or errors that people make when driving. By implementing defensive driving techniques, you can keep yourself safer and reduce the risk of getting into an accident.

Plan Ahead

Defensive driving happens even before you get on the road. Get ahead of the curve by checking weather and traffic conditions, putting the address of your stop in the GPS, and picking your music all before pulling out of your spot. If you know it’ll be rainy one day, you can give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely, rather than feeling rushed. Eliminating the chances of these distractions will help you stay focused while driving.

Always Scan Your Surroundings

Take a trip down memory lane to when you were studying for your driver’s test, do you remember how often you’re supposed to check your mirrors? Driving experts recommend scanning your mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds. After years of driving, a lot of people forget the importance of this. Far too many people utter the words, “That car came out of nowhere!” or they slam their brakes when traffic suddenly comes to a halt. A significant part of defensive driving is to anticipate where surrounding vehicles will be a few seconds ahead so that you can respond quickly. As well as continuously glancing at your mirrors, try to get in the habit of taking a look down intersections as you approach them.

Focus on Driving

If you are driving 55 mph and look down to send a text for about 5 seconds, you’ve covered the length of a football field. You may think that you are an expert in multitasking while driving, but thousands of crashes happen every day that involve a distracted driver. A distraction counts as any activity that takes your attention away from driving, which can include anything from literally taking your hands off the wheel or taking your mind off driving.

Tips to prevent distracted driving:

  • Store loose possessions in a secure place, so you are not tempted to reach for them while you’re driving.

  • Eat meals before getting on the road.

  • Put aside your electronic devices— unless it is absolutely necessary for an emergency.

  • If another activity needs your attention, pull over to a safe spot, and proceed.

  • If you are drowsy, pull off the road.

Give Others Space

Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you— more than you may anticipate. By leaving yourself this cushion, you will have more room to stop in case there’s an abrupt roadblock, and this will also give a heads up to the people behind you that you are stopping.

Maintain Your Vehicle

To ensure that you are safe on the road, you must keep your vehicle in tip-top condition. By keeping up with regular maintenance, you lower the risk of a part malfunctioning while you’re on the road and potentially causing an accident.

Seek Compensation After a Car Accident in Newport Beach

Despite your best efforts to drive safely, a collision may still happen. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you may pursue a personal injury, in which you can receive compensation for your medical costs, future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. At Manning Law, APC, we have recovered millions for our clients, and we’re prepared to help you too.

Call our Newport Beach car accident lawyers at (800) 783-5006 to schedule your free consultation today!


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