It’s easy to think about the rules of the road from your own perspective: watch your speed, stay in your lane, use your turn signal, and avoid distracted driving. What about the other drivers out there on the road, though? Be aware of your surroundings to keep yourself safe.
It might sound obvious, but many new drivers focus on the one car in front of them rather than the whole roadway ahead. If the car in front of you comes to screeching halt, it might be too late for you to stop in time to avoid an accident. Be aware of all the traffic, especially those in the lane ahead of you. If you see a car stop or suddenly slow, you can adjust your speed and avoid a collision. Look ahead and be aware.
Keep a Safe Distance
One of the simplest and most effective defensive driving strategies involves keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you. It’s easier to “look ahead” (as mentioned above) when you allow ample space between your vehicle and those ahead. You can then make adjustments as you drive depending on what other vehicles are doing, whether or not road construction is present, and a variety of other potential issues. A safe distance will help you avoid causing an accident or being on the receiving end of an accident. For example, if a pedestrian jaywalks across the road you can be prepared to stop instead of running into the person (and needing to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer).
Plan Ahead for an Easy Escape
What will happen if a car blows out its tire right in front of you or if someone cuts into your lane out of the blue? It’s advisable to have an escape plan. This is especially true on the highway when travelling at high speeds. As you drive, keep your focus on the action in front of you but also make sure that you are actively making predictions about what the other drivers on the road are doing. You need to be able to anticipate moves.
For example, if that semi driver cuts into your lane and doesn’t see you, can you move to an adjacent lane or is someone else there? If someone else is there, you should fall behind the semi or speed up and pass the semi instead of staying sandwiched in between both vehicles, likely causing an accident.
Interested in learning more about defensive driving strategies? Dealing with the aftermath of a driving accident? Contact Michelle Linka Law for legal counsel and advice at 416-477-7288. We have offices at 95 Mural St #600, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3G2, Canada.