7 Defensive Driving Tips to Avoid a Car Accident

Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jun 20, 2017 in Auto Accidents

driver looking in side mirrorYou can never predict the actions of other motorists sharing the roadway. Because of this, driving defensively can help you identify and appropriately respond to threats to ensure your safety.

The Phillips Law Group’s Phoenix car accident attorneys have provided these defensive driving tips that can keep you and others safe on the road.

If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a negligent driver, do not hesitate to contact us for help filing a claim. 

1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

You should be aware of your surroundings at all times while driving. Keep your focus far down the road to identify any erratic drivers, slow traffic, approaching intersections or highway debris.

Remember to analyze every possible situation you may face in upcoming traffic. This will help you anticipate a potential hazard and react quickly if a potentially dangerous situation arises.

2. Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the U.S. Your full attention should be devoted on the road at all times when driving. Focusing on anything other than the road significantly increases your chances of crashing.

While you are driving, avoid distractions such as:

  • Using your cellphone to call or text others
  • Conversing with passengers
  • Searching for objects in your vehicle
  • Adjusting your vehicle’s features
  • Eating or drinking
  • Programming or updating your GPS for directions
  • Grooming yourself
  • Focusing on objects along the roadway

3. Do Not Drive Impaired

Driving requires you to be sober and alert. You should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have been drinking, using drugs or are sleep deprived.

It is illegal in Arizona to operate a vehicle after drinking more than the legal limit (.08 BAC), and consuming just one or two drinks can significantly impair your ability to react or make sound decisions.

Sleep deprivation greatly increases accident risks and causes similar impairment to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you do not receive the recommended seven hours of sleep, you are significantly affecting your ability to react to any sudden dangers that might appear on the roadway.

4. Keep a Safe Distance from Other Motorists

Give yourself plenty of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. A safe following distance should be at least two seconds in good weather with safe road conditions, or three seconds during unsafe conditions.

An easy method to judge a safe distance is to find a fixed object on the side of the road, such as sign or tree. Once the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you has passed, start counting until your front bumper passes the same object.

If you count less than two during that time, slow down to increase the distance between you and the other vehicle.

5. Have an Escape Plan

Every driver should have an escape plan that could be used for any possible scenario involving any sudden danger or unexpected emergency.

To prepare your escape plan, you should constantly observe other drivers, anticipate any possible action they may take and think ahead to how you will react.

Always leave yourself an opportunity to safely maneuver away from any risky situation that could lead to an accident.

6. Use Your Vehicle’s Safety Devices

Safety devices are an important feature in every vehicle that all drivers and passengers should take advantage of.

You should always wear your seat belt and make sure your passengers do as well. If you have a small child in your vehicle, make sure he or she is secured in an appropriate car seat at all times.

If you own a newer-model vehicle, it might be equipped with updated safety features that can alert you to nearby objects or possible upcoming danger. Learn to effectively use and understand any safety system that might be installed in your vehicle and take advantage of the warnings it provides.

7. Drive Safely

The best way to avoid traffic accidents is to drive safely and follow all of Arizona’s traffic laws. This includes:

  • Staying within the speed limit
  • Using your turn signal when changing lanes
  • Stopping at stop signs and red lights
  • Yielding to other motorists
  • Monitoring your blind spots
  • Using your headlights
  • Preparing for any inclement weather
  • Maintaining your vehicle
  • Avoiding road rage and aggressive drivers
  • Keeping a steady speed

Any measure you make to improve your driving will create a safer roadway for all motorists. Following these previously listed tips will greatly reduce your risk of being in a serious traffic accident.

Consult a Phoenix Car Accident Attorney

The Phillips Law Group is ready to help victims of car accidents. We will review your claim to determine if you are able to recover compensation for your losses and pain and suffering.

All of our work is provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we only require payment if we recover damages for your claim.

Call or text 1-800-706-3000 to get started.

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