The pure joy of driving one’s car has been enjoyed by millions of Americans over the years. Ever since the legendary Henry Ford envisioned a “horseless carriage” for every American family, America has never been the same. Its cities are filled with all sorts of wheeled rides while its citizens hop from one location to the next. From the looks of it, Ford’s dream has been realized. The problem is the outcome may not be as ideal as the revolutionary industrialist wanted it to be.
The freedom brought about by all the automobiles available has been largely abused. Many fail to keep in mind how dangerous a car can be and act negligently on the road. The results are telling. In 2019 alone, over 33,000 people died due to motor vehicle crashes all over America. That number has gone up yearly ever since.
The top cause of these accidents may surprise you: distracted driving. Indeed, it takes but some moments away from the steering wheel that fatalities happen.
The good news is you can put to a minimum such road risks. Practicing “defensive driving” can certainly be of great help in making all that happen. To a large degree, defensive driving is to expect the unexpected. It’s being proactive so accidents can be prevented best. Worry not, if that has confounded you. Here’s a lowdown on what to do to become a defensive driver.
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Follow the Basics
You can argue all you want. But the rules put in place on the road are meant to protect motorists from getting into accidents. As much as youngsters would think that it’s limiting them, it’s actually making sure they’re out of harm’s way when driving on the streets of America.
Take for instance texting while driving. While only 24 states ban handheld cellphones when driving, texting is a no-no in all but a handful of states. And that’s but timely. If you’re driving, it takes but a few seconds of inattention for your vehicle to endanger lives — yours including.
The same holds true for speed limits. Speeding is the second leading cause of road accident deaths. So when you go beyond the speed limit, you increase your chances of meeting an untimely accident.
Defensive driving means you follow the traffic rules to the letter. It’s not just for your good but for everyone you meet along the way.
Observe Three Second Rule
Haste makes waste. On the road, that can mean haste creates accidents. That’s exactly why observing the Three Second Rule is spot-on to minimize accidents. Simply put, it means you pass an object on the road no sooner than three seconds after the vehicle right in front of you passes it. It’s a concrete example of a precautionary measure in defensive driving.
Please know that getting the services of an experienced personal injury attorney is paramount should you or anyone in the family meet an accident. That way the accident can be assessed best and you’d be protected from wrongful claims. Even better, the lawyer will ensure you get your due from the insurance company should you be admitted to a hospital. As accidents can happen anytime, getting in touch with a reliable lawyer is best before any untoward road mishap happens to you.
As tempting as it is to horse around when behind the wheel, don’t. If you want to keep a conversation with the people riding with you, make sure your eyes don’t veer off the road in front of you.
Defensive driving means you should as much as possible not get distracted while navigating the road. Set your smartphone aside. Nothing is as important as the lives in your vehicle. When you read or send a text, you take your eyes off the road for as long as 5 seconds. At 55 mph speed, that number of seconds can send your car a football field forward. That distance is enough to ram a motorcycle crossing your way.
Give Way to Aggressive Drivers
Aggressive drivers are nothing but trouble. There’s a whole lot of them: swervers, tailgaters, and drivers who easily give you the finger. Avoid any confrontation with them at all costs. Instead, let them have their way. They’re bad news and an altercation with them would only escalate.
So if, by any chance, you meet aggressive drivers on the road, keep calm. Don’t trigger their anger. A good solution for you is to slow down and let them drive away and have the road.
Stay updated with traffic rules and regulations. Things are changing pretty fast especially with the virus. Aim to keep yourself in the loop. It’s the goal of a defensive driver to be informed as much as possible. That way, trouble on the road can be averted. And everyone goes home in one piece — safe and sound.