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Save Your Life and Avoid Auto Collisions through Defensive Driving

6 simple steps you can take to keep yourself safe on the road and avoid accidents

Being a good driver is not the only key to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe while on the road. In addition to worrying about how you're performing behind the wheel, you also need to pay attention, and even be able to 'predict' how other drivers will react on the road. This is known as defensive driving.

Defensive driving, as defined by the National Safety Council, is "driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others." You can also think of defensive driving as being able to anticipate the chance of an accident occurring and taking the appropriate steps to reduce that risk.

Defensive driving tips

Being a defensive driver does not have to be difficult—there are simple steps that you can take to make sure that if you're involved in an accident, you and your loved ones will be safe.

  1. Always wear a seatbelt

    Wearing a seatbelt drastically lowers the risk that you will be seriously injured or killed if you're involved in an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that around 11,000 people (who would have died) live each year by wearing a seatbelt in a crash.

  2. Give other vehicles space

    This is especially true if you live in a larger city. Under normal driving conditions, you should give the vehicles around you a buffer. This means that under normal driving conditions, you should give the cars around you a 2-second buffer and under adverse conditions (rain and/or snow) you should allow a 3-4 second buffer. The same is true if you're following a motorcycle or semi.

    An easy way to measure your following distance is to choose a stationary object in front of them, count out the seconds between the time they pass the sign and you pass it.

  3. Follow the posted speed limit

    Speeding increases the chance of you being involved in a car accident. In fact, NHTSA statistics states that almost 1/3 of fatal collisions were speeding-related. For this reason, you should always drive the speed limit or lower if the conditions are poor.

  4. Learn how to deal with aggressive drivers

    While it may be tempting to swear at or flip the bird at aggressive drivers, it is much safer for you to remain calm if you're cut off or tailgated. Not only do these reactions drag you down to their level, but they can also raise the risk that you'll be involved in an auto collision. Be on the safe side and vent with a friend after you're out from behind the wheel. Moreover, you can also (safely) take the drivers tag number and contact the Tennessee State Patrol or your local police department.

  5. Stay focused

    After speeding, becoming distracted behind the wheel leads to an increased risk of being involved in an accident. (Read here for common causes of distracted driving). In order to make sure that you're a responsible driver behind the wheel, you should keep your focus on the road. This means either waiting to make phone calls (or pulling off the road in the event of an emergency call) and not doing anything else while driving that could pull away your focus (i.e. putting on makeup or eating).

  6. Make sure your car receives routine maintenance

    Another way to make sure you're safe on the road is to make sure your car receives routine maintenance. This includes making sure your tires have proper traction, your brakes are not too worn and your airbags are fully functioning.

Even if you're the best driver on the road, accidents happen. However, by following some of these tips, you can lessen the damage done to you and your loved ones in the event of an accident.

If you are involved in an accident that was beyond your control and need assistance building a case, please contact auto collision lawyers at Tennessee's Gilreath & Associates today. And to learn more about keeping yourself safe from auto collisions and obtaining compensation for injuries and damages, visit our blog and Tennessee Personal Injury Guide today!

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