There are a little under a quarter of a billion drivers in the United States according to a recent study.
You read that right. BILLION. With a B.
So with all these drivers on the road, between the ages of 16 to 85 (and over), there is the definite potential of getting into an auto accident. In fact, each year in the U.S., about three million people (yup, million with an M) are nonfatally injured in vehicle accidents.
And here’s the sad part — a lot of those accidents could have been avoided altogether if they had applied some basic defensive driving tips.
So, in the interest of all motorists out there, we have compiled a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to defensive driving below.
1. Put the Phone Away
Or, at least, get a hands-free holder and connect your cell phone through some sort of Bluetooth device. Everyone pretty much knows that texting and driving are potentially fatal, but did you know that even talking on the phone while driving can be a major distraction? You need your eyes and ears to be focused on the job at hand, and if you split driving between catching up on the latest phone call, you could notice that driver slamming on their brakes ahead of you a little too late.
If the phone call can’t wait, pull over to a safe spot and take care of it then. Your fellow drivers will thank you for it.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Knowing who is around you before and during your drive is essential to following defensive driving techniques to the tee.
For example, before backing out of your spot, look behind and around you (utilizing your mirrors) before backing out. Even cars that come equipped with rear backup cameras can not prevent you from backing into someone coming at top speed down the lane.
And while yes, TECHNICALLY the other driver shouldn’t have been driving through the Walmart parking lot like it was the Indy500, that will be little consolation when you have to contact your insurance or auto accident lawyer later.
3. Do Not Drive When Extremely Tired
We know it can be tough when all you want to do is get home and go to bed. But driving while sleepy can be very hazardous and completely distract you from driving as you would in normal conditions.
4. Do Not Drive Immediately After Consuming Alcohol
While some would assume that this goes without saying, scores of auto accidents are caused each year by drunk driving. Even if you think you ‘feel fine’ or have a high alcohol tolerance, don’t even think about driving. There are too many options with driver apps available (think Uber, for instance) to ever be able to excuse driving after drinking.
5. React to Unsafe Drivers
If you are on the highway and see someone swerving in and out of lanes or driving in an erratic manner, give them plenty of room. It’s better to get to your destination a few minutes late than try to hurry past them and end up in an accident.
6. Be the Example in Good Driving
We’ve all done it — we are in such a hurry, we forget basic things like clicking in your seatbelt or tailgating too close because we are late. But try to be aware of the way YOU drive.
For example, be mindful of the speed limits and give other drivers the right of way if possible. Also, don’t forget to use your turn signal!
Using Defensive Driving Tips Can Go a Long Way
It may not seem like much, but making sure you are driving defensively can impact your history with (or lack of) auto accidents. Keep these valuable defensive driving tips in mind whenever you’re out on the road and you will arrive at your destination safely.
But what if, despite your best efforts, you’re still involved in an automobile accident? Call 777-JOHN. We can help you!