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What does it mean to be a defensive driver?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

One of the best ways to stay safe on the road is to become a defensive driver. This is common advice, but not everyone knows exactly what it means. It’s important to consider the steps you can take to improve this area of your driving if you are not doing so already.

Essentially, defensive driving is staying alert and having a focus on safety above all else. Your goal is to get to your destination safely, even if that means changing the way that you drive. Defensive drivers know they can’t control all of the various factors on the roads, but they address the ones they can.

Anticipating mistakes

The key to defensive driving is anticipating the mistakes that the drivers around you are going to make. When they do, you may be able to avoid an accident if you are a defensive driver. You see the signs early and react quickly. 

For example, you may be keeping a three-second following distance from the car ahead of you, as you should. But another driver may cut into that gap. A defensive driver will quickly back off to maintain the three seconds of spacing, even though it can feel frustrating to have to do so.

Defensive drivers will also understand key times to watch vehicles that may cause accidents. An example of this could be if you are coming toward a vehicle that is waiting to turn left. The driver of that vehicle is supposed to wait for a gap in traffic, but they have to make a judgment call about when the gap is big enough. If you see that vehicle starting to move into your lane when you don’t think they have space to do so, you can adjust your own speed to avoid the crash.

You can still be injured

Being a defensive driver is an excellent choice and can keep you safer, but other drivers can always cause accidents and injuries. If you have been injured in a crash, you need to know how to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages and much more.