How to Drive Defensively on the Road

The vast majority of automobile accidents are preventable if all drivers took a more defensive posture while on the road. While you can’t control how other people are driving, you can take some important steps to minimize your risk, and contribute to a safer overall driving experience. The following are some proven defensive driving tips that can help to keep you and your family safe.

Leave Plenty of Room Between Cars

One of the most important things you can do while on the road is leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead of you. The specific amount of room will depend on a variety of factors including how fast you are traveling, the road conditions, and even the condition of your own vehicle. Leaving 3-5 car lengths between you and the car ahead of you is a good place to start, but additional space will be needed if adverse conditions are present.

Know Your Surroundings

What is going on directly in front of you is the most important thing, but it is also important to know your surroundings. Being aware of what is on either side of your vehicle will make it so you know whether you can change lanes to avoid a hazard, if necessary. Even knowing what is going on behind you can help you in making good driving decisions.

Understand Limitations of Large Trucks

One of the biggest dangers on the road is the large trucks. Semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles are particularly dangerous because when accidents occur, they can be disastrous. Being aware of the limitations that these large vehicles have will allow you to drive defensively to avoid problems. Large trucks, for example, have big blind spots that need to be avoided. They also have very wide turn radius and will require additional distance to stop. Knowing this, don’t try to cut them off on the freeway if they are too close to you. Keeping these things in mind will allow you to avoid accidents.

Don’t Let Emotions Drive You

Finally, make sure you keep your emotions in check whenever on the road. “Road rage” is a very real thing and can result in serious accidents. No matter how other drivers are acting, you need to keep your cool and drive safely at all times. If you are having emotional issues in your personal life, you also need to make sure to keep them off the road.

Defensive driving techniques can go a long way toward keeping yourself and everyone else on the road safe. By following these tips, and always putting safety first, you will be positioned in a way to not only avoid causing accidents, but also to be able to take steps to prevent accidents that would be caused by other drivers who are being careless. However, if you or someone you know does end up in an accident with another vehicle on the road and is injured, call John M. Totten for help. We have handled many kinds of Alabama personal injury cases, and we are ready to help you with yours. Call us at (256) 233-2025 or contact us here.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.