You cannot guarantee that you won’t get into a car accident. You only control half of the equation; your safety also lies in the hands of those around you — the car full of teens who are laughing and joking, the college student sending a text message, the business professional making a phone call, the blue-collar employee speeding to work because they’re running late.
How do you avoid risks like these? The best thing you can do is to practice defensive driving, which means doing things like:
- Planning for the unexpected
- Always being aware so that you can react quickly
- Never assuming cars around you will follow traffic laws
- Keeping a safe following distance
- Never breaking the speed limit
- Avoiding distractions
- Carefully watching other cars, especially at key danger points like intersections
- Taking the weather into account on every drive
- Looking for red flags, such as a distracted driver who weaves around in the lane or an impatient driver who tailgates you
Essentially, defensive driving means being especially mindful of the potential risks that you face and the mistakes that other drivers make. You cannot keep them from making these mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a surprise. An alert driver can react quickly and may be able to avoid an accident.
Naturally, though, you cannot prevent all accidents, no matter how safe you are. Make sure you know what legal steps to take if you suffer catastrophic injuries that will change your life forever. If they were someone else’s fault, you may be able to seek out financial compensation.