We have all heard the term “defensive driving” either as part of a driver’s education course or used by a parent when we were learning to drive for the first time. Most of us know it simply as an encouragement to drive careful and be cautious of others. But defensive driving is really more of a specific technique for driving a vehicle. Practicing defensive driving skills can greatly reduce your risk of being in a dangerous car accident.
There are several key components of defensive driving, all of which encourage driver awareness and anticipation of potential dangers. If you are already expecting the unexpected, you will be mentally prepared to take the action needed to stay safe.
What Do Defensive Drivers Do to Stay Safe?
Defensive drivers control their speed. Respecting speed limit laws will dramatically reduce your risk of an accident. As speed increases, reaction time decreases. Using a responsible speed allows you more time to see hazards in the roadway and gives you the opportunity to avoid them.
Defensive drivers maintain a safe following distance. Georgia law requires that drivers keep a reasonable distance between themselves and the car in front of them. Failure to do so means you do not allow yourself enough time or distance to stop and puts you at-fault for the crash.
Respecting and yielding to other drivers is one of the more difficult skills a defensive driver must master. The defensive driving technique is all about sitting back, waiting, and observing other drivers from a safe distance. When we see another driver on the road driving aggressively, pushing his or her way into crowded lanes or using excessive speed, it is natural to want to stand your ground or maybe even increase your speed to try to compete with them or stop their behavior. But defensive drivers see the big picture, and recognize that staying safe and accident free is always more important than confronting an irresponsible driver’s offensive behavior.
Defensive drivers stay focused. Recent studies have shown that distracted driving greatly increases your risk of causing a crash, but it also almost completely eliminates your chances for avoiding a crash or a hazard created by roadway debris or another driver. Cell phone use is the number one source of distraction for drivers today, but the using car radio, eating, grooming, and using navigation systems can also shift your attention from the road. Making a conscious effort to refuse all distraction behind the wheel allows you to concentrate on driving defensively and stay accident free.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Car Accident in Georgia?
Car accidents often have devastating and expensive consequences. Should you or someone you love find themselves involved in a car crash caused by an irresponsible driver, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help to you receive the financial compensation you need to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and long term recovery health care. Bey & Associates is committed to working toward keeping every driver in Georgia reach their destination safely. Contact our experienced legal team today for a free, zero-obligation consultation of your case.