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Practice Safety and Defensive Driving

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Photo: State Farm

There are many different types of drivers on the road and, unfortunately, not all of them are good, safe drivers. Some people get into their vehicle and take it out for a drive even when they know the vehicle needs work. Others are newer drivers with minimal experience behind the wheel who venture out into crowded city streets. Practicing safety first and defensive driving are ways to keep you safe.

Importance of defensive driving

You have no control over other drivers on the road and must assume that they will make mistakes. A defensive driver uses that assumption as a means to avoid an accident. For example, a new inexperienced driver doesn’t yet have the timing that is developed over time or the keen eye to spot or anticipate a potential problem. Being proactive and anticipating the worst possible action will keep you safe. For instance, when you stop at a red light and it turns green, look at the other vehicles at the intersection to make sure that they all stop before releasing your brake and stepping on the gas. And, if you see someone with a signal on, don’t assume they are turning. Many people forget to turn them off and drive around for a while before realizing the signal is still on.

Unfamiliar roads

When you vacation or visit a family member or a friend who recently moved to a new location, the roads you travel are not familiar. When driving on unfamiliar roads, you should always reduce your speed and pay attention to posted speed and caution signs. Potholes or winding turns can increase your risk of not only damaging your vehicle but also injuring yourself and anyone else in the car. And, driving larger vehicles like trucks, especially on crowded city streets, often have clearance problems. If you should get into an accident with a truck in a city like New York, there are attorneys, such as Schwartzapfel Lawyers, who can represent you and help you to receive the money you need to cover all your expenses.

Late-night driving

If you find yourself traveling late at night, especially on the weekend, keep your distance from others on the road. Some of the other drivers may have had a few drinks, and others may be a little tired. Either one of these scenarios can cause the drivers to perform poorly and put you at a higher risk of injury through an accident.  The combination of inclement weather and driving after dark can also increase the chances of losing control of your vehicle. So, if at all possible, change your plans and leave after the storm, or if you must travel, drive a little slower and keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Safe driving habits

A new driver with a license in hand tends to be diligent about their signals and obey the laws. However, many people, after the initial probation period, forget about safety and assume others on the road know what they will do. This can create a dangerous situation for other drivers. It’s essential that you come to a complete stop, use the 2-second distance rule and that you use signals 100% of the time. Other safety measures include moving out of the slow lane for approaching traffic from an on-ramp, stopping before the crosswalk and leaving at least 100 feet between you and a school bus or emergency vehicle.

Unfortunately, not every driver on the road pays attention and follows the rules. The good news is that by practicing safe driving and staying on the defensive, you will stay alert and help prevent yourself and others with you from possible injury.

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