Defensive Driving Techniques Still Essential to Avoiding Car Accidents


May 31, 2011

Defense driving today is even more important than ever before. With so many drivers being distracted by the use of electronic devices and other things, it is a driver's responsibility to keep an eye open and be prepared for any potential problems while behind the wheel of the car.

Defense driving will never go out of style. It is more or less a natural thing for human beings in that it is like using survival skills and instincts that we already possess. The dangers might be different than if we were out in the wilderness or being confronted by unfamiliar surroundings, but in all of these situations we need to be alert and absolutely aware of what is happening at any moment in time.

Driving requires that a person be acutely aware of what is going on around one’s vehicle. The idea that you can look down, drift off in a daydream or be fiddling with gadgets while behind the wheel of a mass of steel going at high speeds, is completely unrealistic. A driver needs to be focused on what is happening close to his or her vehicle, but he or she also needs to be aware and thinking about 10-12 seconds ahead.

Defensive Driving Tips

Anticipating potential problems or situations while on the road is the key to staying safe. By scanning around and looking for hazards, vehicles changing lanes, vehicles drifting, vehicles making unexpected sudden stops, construction zones and cyclists and pedestrians, it provides time to react so one can avoid a collision. Most collisions are totally avoidable if a driver is aware and makes the right choices. Here are some tips to protect yourself while driving:

  • Leave plenty of room to visually see ahead of you and to give yourself a safe stopping distance in case of an emergency. According to experts, it can take about 400 feet to process something and stop your vehicle when traveling at 50 mph. At 30 mph, it is about half that distance.
  • Driving at night requires different technique than during the day. Your vision is limited to what your headlights illuminate. They will generally let you see about 400 feet ahead in clear conditions. Therefore traveling at 50 mph is recommended.
  • In bad weather conditions where it is pouring down rain or snowing, you will only be able to see probably about half the normal distance. Slow down according to how far you can see in front of you. If you can't see, you should pull over.
  • When negotiating curves or going up hills you cannot see around, it is important to slow down until you know what is on the other side.
  • Use at least the "Four Second Sight Distance Rule" when driving (and lengthen the time frame as prudent based on weather conditions, traffic, etc.). Pick out a sign ahead that you can see. Start counting down, one-one thousand... If you reach the sign before you reach four seconds, you are traveling too fast.
  • Speed limits are posted for a reason. Respect them as they can warn you of hazards that you cannot see.
  • When changing lanes, you should not exclusively rely on your mirrors. It is safer to also look over your shoulders and out your side windows.
  • Always signal to let other drivers know what you are doing.
  • Have a plan of action if there is an emergency in front of you. Know where you can pull over or how to maneuver your vehicle in case you encounter trouble.

Obviously, drivers do not go out in their vehicles planning on getting in accidents. Sometimes drivers become distracted and unfocused and fail to think clearly about driving. Even if a driver is focused, attentive, and driving defensively, accidents still can happen. If you are injured in an auto accident involving another driver whom you believe to be at fault, then contact us for a free case evaluation.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know that the adage "an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure" is all too true. These simple tips can help protect you from other drivers and make your driving experience a safe one. Regardless of how safe you drive, sometimes accidents cannot be avoided.

If you are involved in a Georgia auto accident, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law to learn how one of our experienced Georgia accident lawyers may be able to help you get your life back together after an accident. We have been protecting the rights of auto accident victims throughout Georgia for over 27 years. Our Georgia car accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.