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Defensive Driving is the Key to Avoiding a Car Accident

There are statistics that say that every American will be in at least one car accident in his or her life. While that may be true, that is no reason to not to do everything you can do to avoid an accident. Many people practice defensive driving in order to decrease their chances of being involved in a car accident.

Defensive driving is simply doing your best to anticipate potential problems and avoid them before they happen. It involves being vigilant and staying focused on the road at all times. Defensive driving is a 4-part process that involves evaluation, anticipation, decision-making, and implementation.

Evaluation

Evaluation involves monitoring your environment while you are driving your car. That means scanning the road both ahead and behind you once every fifteen seconds. When driving in the city, you should be looking at least 2 blocks ahead. When driving on the highway, you should be aware of what is going on about one-half mile ahead of you. Don’t forget to check to the sides and behind you. Not all potential dangers are ahead of you. By constantly scanning the environment around your car, it is possible to anticipate potential threats and avoid them.

Anticipation

Anticipation is expecting and preparing for the worst possible outcome. For example, you notice an aggressive driver ahead of you. He is darting in and out of traffic in an attempt to get somewhere quickly. What would you do if he startled someone and caused the other driver to change lanes abruptly or fly off the road? How would you react? You never want to be forced into a reaction. You want to anticipate what could happen and plan your actions accordingly. Anticipation will allow you to make the right decisions and avoid an accident.

Decision Making

Each decision you make when behind the wheel has the potential to be a life or death decision. That may sound dramatic, but when you consider the speeds at which you are traveling, you will realize it is true. In defensive driving, the right decision is always the safest decision. While the right decision may not always be apparent, you always have 4 options when you are driving. You can slow down or stop, steer left of right, communicate with the other driver (use your horn), or do nothing.

Implementation

Once you have performed all the necessary steps, implementing your decision is the easiest part. You scanned your environment and noticed a fallen tree limb ahead of you. You anticipate that if you stay in the lane, you will hit the tree limb and wreck your car. You decide that the proper course of action is to change lanes. Now, you implement the decision by steering into the other lane and avoid the potential accident.

Practicing defensive driving will greatly reduce your chances of being in an automobile accident, but sometimes, despite your best efforts, accidents happen. If you have sustained considerable damages to your property and person, you may need to retain the services of a car accident injury attorney. Our attorneys are happy to help you with the process of filing your claim and receiving compensation for your losses. Just fill out our FREE Car Accident Claim Evaluation Form, and one of our attorneys will contact you shortly.