Regardless of what you've done in the past, with the right mindset you can become a better defensive driver in the future. By doing so, you reduce the risk of an accident, which will put you in a better place every time you get behind the wheel.
There is more to defensive driving than saying that you'll pay attention to the road. You need to take action in order to reduce the risk of trouble. Here are five things you can do:
- Watch everything: In addition to the road, keep an eye on other drivers and pedestrians. A wide view provides you with an overview of everything that's happening around you.
- Plan in advance for risks: For example, as you move toward an intersection, think about what you'll do if another driver doesn't stop at a red light. This way, if something does go wrong, you can make the right decision in a split second. This can be the difference between avoiding an accident and being part of a crash.
- Slow down: This is an easy one. The faster you drive, the less time you have to react. So, when you slow down, you give yourself more time to make decisions. Know the speed limit and stick to it.
- Alter your driving when traffic patterns change: There's a difference between driving 70 miles per hour on the highway and creeping slowly through a construction zone. Adjust your driving style to match traffic and road conditions.
- Leave more space: Even when traffic is moving slowly, it's never a good idea to drive too closely to the vehicle in front of yours. You want to give yourself plenty of time and space to stop in the event of an emergency.
If you get into the habit of doing these things, you can rest assured that you'll become a better defensive driver. However, this doesn't mean you have control over other drivers.
Another person could cause an accident, such as by texting and driving, which results in damage to your vehicle and injuries.
If this happens to you, call 911 for help, receive medical treatment, review evidence from the accident and file an insurance claim. As you do these things, continue to learn more about how you can hold the negligent party responsible for causing the accident.