Seven Defensive Driving Techniques for the Regular Commute

When you’re on the road for long periods of time commuting to and from campus or work, the possibility of an accident increases exponentially. Avoiding fender benders usually comes down to constant vigilance while driving. To protect your car and yourself while in transit, employ the following defensive driving techniques to stay safe.

Maintain Distance between Vehicles
The first and most important rule of safe driving is avoiding tailgating situations whenever possible. Unless you’re pulling out of a parking space, always keep a solid three-second following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

When in Doubt, Let Followers Pass
Maintaining proper distance between yourself and a following car is difficult, but not impossible. If an aggressive driver is on your tail, pull over into the first available turnoff until they pass. Doing so will drastically reduce your chance of a collision. Remember to always stay in the right lanes unless passing a slower driver on the freeway as well.

Make Yourself Highly Visible
If your car is equipped with daytime running lights, make sure they work properly. While you’re at it, clean your car or truck regularly so that reflectors sparkle even in low-light scenarios so you’re easier to see.

Keep a Close Eye on Problem Drivers
The greatest threat to your safety on the road is an unpredictable driver who lacks your caution and respect for the rules. If you see another car repeatedly crossing the center line, following too closely, or making hasty lane changes, get as far away from it as possible.

Know Your Car’s Handling Characteristics
Whether your car boasts front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive, you should know how it will react in a near-crash scenario. Practicing evasive maneuvers in an empty parking lot can save you from having to call an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney in the future.

Signal Your Intent Early and Often
When in doubt, your turn signal should be activated at least a second or two earlier than usual. While it may seem like overkill, there will be no ambiguity regarding where you plan on going and you can avoid a lot of near misses this way.

Tailor Driving Patterns to the Terrain
If you’re driving in an unfamiliar area with a lot of hills, stay at or below the speed limit. Take special care to watch the sides of the road in dense urban areas to avoid T-bone accidents as well.

Like it or not, it’s nearly impossible for the average driver to predict every potential road mishap that could occur. The good news is, the defensive driving practices covered in brief here will improve your odds of staying accident-free.