defensive drivingAs personal injury attorneys, we see a lot of car accidents and hurt individuals. While it would be impossible to completely protect yourself from harm while driving, you can take measures to increase your safety on the road.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, we encourage you to learn about your legal options. We recommend taking a defensive driving course to receive in-depth instruction, but here are a few tips you can begin using today.

Keep Your Eyes Moving & Look Far Ahead

After years of driving, or even hours of sitting in traffic, people tend to zone out and stare directly in front of their cars. No matter how long you’ve been driving, it is important to stay alert. Scan the road far ahead in order to anticipate traffic flow changes or potential hazards, and continually look in your rearview mirrors to see what is happening around you. New drivers often make the mistake of looking at the car immediately ahead of them. But if a traffic jam is approaching a few cars up and you don’t notice it, you may react too late when the car in front of you slams on its breaks.

Eliminate Distractions

Everyone knows that being distracted while driving can lead to accidents. However, many people don’t act on this knowledge. When you’re driving, you should focus on driving, nothing else. Common distractions that lead to wrecks can include:

  • Talking on your cell phone
  • Texting and driving
  • Listening to loud music
  • Eating
  • Arguing with passengers
  • Applying makeup
  • Holding animals

Don’t Follow Too Closely

This is another tip you’ve probably heard before, but it’s worth repeating. Maintain a safe following distance. You need to give yourself plenty of room to slow down if the car in front of you brakes suddenly. In normal driving conditions, a two to three second buffer is a good rule of thumb. If it’s raining or if other conditions make driving more difficult, give yourself even more room.

Approach Intersections with Caution

Even when you have a green light, you can never predict when another car might run a red light. Before traveling through an intersection, look left and right to ensure the roadway is clear. At stop signs, never assume other cars will act predictably.

No matter how safe you are, you can’t control other drivers. These defensive driving tips will protect you, but in the event of an accident first seek medical attention and then contact the attorneys at WHGM.