Most people have heard of defensive driving, but many do not know much about it.
Defensive driving involves driving in a way that anticipates roadway hazards and unsafe driving behaviors by other drivers – and using that information to avoid potential collisions.
Why Practice Defensive Driving?
In short, driving is probably the most dangerous thing you’ll do in the average day.
Why? Drivers are more distracted than ever. Distracted driving is especially problematic in Houston and Dallas. In fact, Houston was recently ranked the most distracted city in the United States.
Traffic congestion, reckless drivers, drunk drivers, and dangerous roadway conditions add to the dangers motorists face.
Defensive Driving: The Basics
Defensive driving isn’t difficult, but it requires concentration and intention.
Here are 4 ways to start implementing defensive driving practices:
- Be aware of your surroundings: Avoid tunnel vision while driving. Be aware of surrounding cars, pedestrians, stop lights, road conditions – anything in your environment that may affect how you drive.
- Assume other drivers are going to screw up: On the road, assuming that another driver is going to make a mistake could save your life. For example, when you’re approaching a four-way stop, assume that the driver to your right is going to run the stop sign. It probably won’t happen, but if it does, you’ll be prepared.
- Plan an escape route: When driving – especially when surrounded by other vehicles or driving on a busy highway – it is important to plan an escape route. Ideally, you’ll safely maneuver your way out of a group of cars traveling at the same speed. It may be necessary to reduce your speed, change lanes or allow other vehicles to pass you.
- Be seen: Avoid driving in another vehicle or truck’s blind spot. Position your car where it can be seen.
Remember: You can’t control other drivers, but you can control how you react to them. You can also control your own driving behavior. Obeying traffic laws, avoiding distracted driving, and engaging in defensive driving can help you stay safe on the road.
If you have been injured in a car accident, learn about your legal options in a free consultation by calling (713) 222-7211.