The roadway can be a scary place, which is why it is crucial for all drivers to understand the best defensive driving techniques. Defensive driving consists of various types of driving techniques that actively work to prevent incidents from occurring by being aware of your surroundings and understanding how to respond to changing environments. Speak to a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia today if you’ve been in an accident and need legal representation.
Look Far Forward and Keep a Safe Distance
Defensive driving is all about focusing on the roadway around you. The best way to do this is by looking pretty far ahead in front of where you are currently driving to scan for any potential hazards. This can include other vehicles or any other type of obstacle or dangerous situation that could arise. For example, you could be half a mile away from an intersection and still notice whether or not there may be heavy traffic approaching. Just being aware of this as you approach is one step in the right direction. Always maintain a safe distance from any potential hazard you see coming up.
Focus on the Bigger Picture
Defensive driving is all about focusing on more than just your immediate surroundings. Yes, you do need to be aware of the vehicles, pedestrians, obstacles, and anything else around your immediate area, but you should also focus on more than just that. When you focus on “the big picture,” you are making an attempt to be aware of the potential actions of other drivers around you. You can be in control of yourself, but you cannot control the actions of others. However, you can be aware of the actions of others in order to adjust properly.
Make an Escape Plan
After you become accustomed to driving on the roadway, one of the best ways to ensure your safety is to always have an escape route in mind. Essentially, do not trust any other driver but yourself, and always be ready with a plan in mind to get away from potential hazards. If you see that you are about to be boxed in by other vehicles, find a route that could help you get out of that boxed-in situation. This may include you changing lanes, slowing down a bit, or even slightly speeding up (not over the speed limit) to get away from a dangerous situation.
Maintain Adequate Following Distance
Drivers must always leave a good distance between themselves and any vehicles in front of them. The distance required in these situations will vary depending on your driving speed and the roadway conditions. For example, if you are traveling at 60 miles an hour on a highway, you will need to leave more distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you than if you were traveling at 20 mph on a city roadway. Additionally, if the roadway conditions are hazardous, maybe due to weather or debris on the roadway, you should leave even more distance between yourself and other vehicles on the roadway.
Reduce Your Distractions
You need to reduce your distractions when you get behind the wheel, just ask a Philadelphia injury lawyer from our firm. This means not texting or calling, not playing with the touch screen in your vehicle or the radio, and not reaching for other objects inside the vehicle. Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic collisions each year across the country and here in Pennsylvania. If you are focused on anything other than the roadway, this completely defeats the purpose of defensive driving. You cannot be a defensive driver if you are distracted inside of your own vehicle.