A Guide to Staying Safe Behind the Wheel

driver with both hands on the wheel

There are many dangers on the road, and it’s not always possible to avoid negligence. However, there are things that you can do to protect yourself as much as possible. It’s vital for you to recognize what defensive driving techniques you can utilize to stay safe.

Of course, negligence is not always predictable, nor is it easy to avoid when it happens, but these driving tips give you the best possible chance of staying safe. Below, we’ll explain some of the things you can do to protect yourself, your family, anyone else in your vehicle, and others on the road.

If someone is negligent and causes you harm in a crash, call our firm at (719) 249-6240.

Keep Your Focus on the Road

Cell phones, loud music, passengers, food and drinks; there are several distractions that exist that can take your focus off the road. In these situations, it’s easy to lose track of the things you should be doing while driving. As such, part of defensive driving means keeping your focus on the road and observing the following:

  • Adhering to posted speed limits, traffic signs, and road signals
  • Paying close attention to vehicles around you using your mirrors and checking blind spots
  • Following road markings regarding turns, yields, etc.

Avoid any distractions. If it’s an emergency, pull off to the side of the road first.

Give Enough Room to Vehicles Around You

It can be difficult to give room to the vehicle behind you, but if you end up in a rear-end accident because someone is driving too close to you, it is the other driver’s fault. To best protect yourself, though, it’s vital to remain far enough back from the car in front of you so you can stop in time.

Typically, it’s safe to be about one car length back for every 10 miles per hour you’re driving. For example, if you are driving at 60 miles per hour, you would want to have six car lengths in front of you, which should be enough time to suddenly stop should the vehicle in front of you slam on their brakes.

Similarly, you want to ensure you have enough space if you are merging lanes. If you merge into a lane with a vehicle too close behind you or on another vehicle’s bumper, it increases the potential of a crash. It can also incite anger and potentially lead to road rage—a situation you never want to experience.

Scan as Far as You Can

Dangers on the road can also present possibilities for a severe car accident. Scan the road conditions as far as you can given the weather and other factors. For instance, if you’re traveling on the road after snow falls, you want to be able to see any icy patches on the road well before they become a threat.

You should also look for debris, stopped vehicles, and other hazards that can lead to a severe crash.

Never Rely on Other Drivers

As we mentioned, it’s impossible to predict negligence. You should never expect that another driver is operating his or her vehicle with your safety in mind. Just because you’re exercising defensive driving doesn’t mean other drivers will, and it’s easy for them to cause an accident because of negligence.

Because other drivers can be the biggest problem, make sure you do the following:

  • Stay in the center of your own lane
  • Stay out of other driver’s blind spots
  • Stay in an open space when possible to have an escape plan

If you can, keep your sides clear so there’s an open space should you need to change lanes quickly.

At Gaddis, Herd, Craw & Adams, P.C., we know that negligence can happen. If you suffer an injury in an accident because of someone else’s actions, it’s vital to protect your rights to pursue compensation. Working with our Colorado Springs car accident lawyers can help position you in a way that helps you pursue a favorable outcome.

Call us today at (719) 249-6240 and we’ll provide you with a free consultation to help you better understand your rights and options.

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