Did you know that 3,700 individuals die every day in car accidents? These accidents kill tens of thousands and injure millions every year.
However, as you look at the statistics, such as Virginia’s crash data, realize that you reduce or eliminate your own crash risks by adopting several defensive driving techniques.
When you drive the same route every day, especially without incident, you can become complacent. However, defensive driving requires that you always remain vigilant. Never assume that a route or trip is safe just because it usually is.
Scan ahead for risks
Remain focused on the road, and watch for hazards, including poor road conditions, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles. Expand your vision by sitting up straight and keeping both your hands on the steering wheel. Stay aware of your surroundings and predict risky areas or situations, such as weaving drivers, unsecured cargo or construction areas, and distance yourself from these risks.
Distracted driving is one of the main causes of accidents. Therefore, eliminate as many distractions as you can. Put your cell phone away so you are not tempted to check it, reduce the radio volume and avoid filling your vehicle with people if you do not have to. Also, plan your route, as well as an alternative or escape route, so you can focus on the road.
Keep adequate distance between you and other drivers, and avoid driving in others’ blind spots. Avoid participating in any form of road rage, and turn on your signals well in advance of turns and lane changes. Start slowing down early.
Do not assume that others on the road will drive cautiously or respectfully. Stay on the defense to reduce your risk of incidents.