Defensive Driving Tips

Utilizing defensive driving skills is about more than just navigating the road with ease, it’s about protecting yourself and others from the dangers of careless and reckless drivers on the road. Developing good defensive driving skills takes time, experience, and practice. Experienced Louisville personal injury lawyers share the essentials of defensive driving so that you have the knowledge you need to practice defensive driving techniques every time you hit the road. 

Maintain Focus On The Road 

Maintaining focus on the road is essential for defensive driving. You need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. You can help yourself to stay focused on the road by:

  • Do not use your cell phone or other gadgets while driving
  • Don’t drive while sleepy, if you’re tired, pull over and rest
  • Avoid other distractions like putting on makeup, eating, smoking, etc

Maintain Safe Distance From The Vehicle In Front Of You

Avoid tailgating or following the car in front of you too closely. The amount of space between you and the car in front of you will vary depending on the speed limit, but a good rule of thumb is to leave three seconds of driving time between you and the vehicle you are following.  

There are some situations where you will need more than three seconds of following space between you and the car in front of you, these situations can include:

  • Poor road conditions such as slippery or icy roads, or in construction areas
  • Inclement weather such as rain, fog, snow, or extreme wind
  • If you are behind a motorcycle, large truck, or bus
  • In gridlock traffic, especially if cars are darting in and out of lanes
  • If the vehicle behind you is tailgating you

Drive Predictably And Communicate Your Movements To Other Drivers

Avoid abrupt movements like switching lanes, making sudden turns, or slamming on your brakes, unless necessary for your safety. Additionally, use your blinkers to communicate your intentions to other drivers, this lets them know if you intend to turn or switch lanes. 

Have An Escape Plan

Monitor and frequently scan the lanes around you and behind you as you are driving so that you are aware of your surroundings. This way, when you see a potential hazard ahead of you on the road, you can conduct a quick scan of your surroundings, including your blind spots, so that you can come up with your exit strategy. 

Avoid Driving In Other Car’s Blind Spots

Every car has blind spots, but not every driver checks their blind spots before making a move. You cannot count on other drivers to drive how you drive, so it is best to avoid traveling in other vehicles’ blind spots for extended periods of time.

Keep Your Distance From Drunk, Tired, or Reckless Drivers

If you spot another car on the road that looks like the driver may be drunk, tired, or driving recklessly it is best to keep your distance from them, as they are more likely to cause an accident. Louisville car accident lawyers share some signs of drunk, tired, or reckless driving include:

  • Swerving
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Driving on the center lane marker
  • Tailgating
  • Driving too slow 
  • Speeding

Exercise Caution Before Entering Intersections

Accidents frequently occur at intersections and can be severe. If you are waiting at a stop light and your light turns green, it is best to take a second to make sure the cross traffic is going to stop. Many drivers will speed up to try and make it through a yellow light, but this can often lead to them running a red light. It is always best to check cross traffic before entering an intersection.