Defensive Driving Tips

Driving is such an important part of American life. Whether it is the daily commute to work or just a Sunday drive for fun, Americans are fond of their cars and serious about driving. Fortunately, innovations over the past years have made U.S. roads and highways safer for all of us. Unfortunately, if you’ve been out on the roads, you know that not everyone drives well. Some people speed aggressively. Others wander into another lane because they aren’t paying attention. Drivers may follow too closely, make sudden turns without signaling, or weave in and out of traffic.

While you cannot control the drivers who are aggressive, distracted, intoxicated or inconsiderate – you can be aware of the dangers and avoid them by fine tuning your defensive driving techniques. Here are a few tips to follow next time you head out on the road.

  • Stay Focused and Alert – There’s a lot to think about when a driver gets behind the wheel such as speed, traffic laws, signalling, road conditions, directions and the list goes on. Make sure all other “thinking tasks” such as eating, drinking, talking on the phone and most definitely, texting are not on your “To-Do” List while driving.
  • Anticipate - Watch other cars on the road and be aware of speeders and aggressive drivers. Be prepared to slow down, swerve or change lanes if you notice such drivers near you. Check your mirrors frequently and scan conditions 20 to 30 seconds ahead of you. Keep your eyes moving. Also, keep an eye on pedestrians, bicyclists, and pets along the road.
  • Keep a Safe Distance – Since the greatest chance of a collision is in front of you, using the 3- to 4-second rule will help you establish and maintain a safe following distance and provide adequate time for you to brake to a stop if necessary. But this rule only works in normal traffic under good weather conditions. In bad weather, increase your following distance an additional second for each condition such as rain, fog, nighttime driving, or following a large truck or motorcycle.
  • Think Safety First – Always wear your seatbelt and require that passengers do so as well. Maintain a speed that is appropriate for the road you are on. Keep your windshield and windows clear of snow, leaves or other debris. Make sure your tires and brakes are maintained and checked regularly.
  • Be a Role Model – Don’t let an aggressive driver make you react in a way that could put you or your passengers at risk. Most states including Massachusetts offer Defensive driving Courses that may even lower your insurance costs. Check with your local RMV for more information.

If you have been injured in a car accident, call Brabant & Huynh LLP at 617-934-0913 for your auto accident and get a free Claim evaluation. We are located in Quincy and Dorchester and serve the greater Boston area. We will be glad to help you evaluate your case and ease the burden of going through the process.