What Does Defensive Driving Mean?

June 7th, 2021

Every time you get behind the wheel of your car or truck, you take your safety into your own hands. While you may be a good driver with an excellent driving record, accidents can still happen when other drivers aren’t as cautious. What can you do to increase the chances of a safe trip each time you head out on the road?

When dealing with dangers like tired or drunk drivers on Louisiana roads, replacing casual driving with defensive driving can help keep you, your family, and other drivers safe. By knowing and putting into practice a few defensive driving techniques, you can lower the risk of being involved in a crash.

What is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving is an alert way of driving that can keep you and others safe. It is a set of skills practiced regularly that allows you to prevent collisions caused by others due to inattentive driving, intoxication, aggressiveness, or poor weather conditions.

These intentional safe driving strategies will help you recognize hazards before they result in crashes, and help you to respond accordingly. You’ll begin to hone your skills at anticipating actions and situations and making decisions quickly to safeguard yourself and your family.

Examples of Defensive Driving

While many of these defensive driving techniques seem like common sense, others may not have crossed your mind yet. Examples of defensive driving techniques vary, but here are a few to consider putting into practice:

●      Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Continuously scan the road conditions 20-30 seconds driving distance ahead of you. Always be aware of what is happening around you by occasionally checking your rearview and side-view mirrors. Whenever you notice any driver driving erratically or aggressively, give them a lot of room by slowing down to get away from them or pulling over temporarily. Also, be on the lookout for motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

●      Follow a 3-4 Second Rule

To avoid a collision with a vehicle in front of you, practice a 3-to-4 second rule to help you establish and keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. This will allow plenty of time to apply your brakes if that car stops suddenly. If you are driving at night or in inclement weather, increase the following distance between you and the other vehicles even further.

●      Don’t Assume Anything About Other Drivers

While you may believe everyone learned the same rules about driving, you can’t expect them to follow each one. Never assume a driver will act in a certain way, like slowing down and allowing you to merge in front of them. Remember that distracted, careless, or reckless drivers often run stop signs and lights. Prepare for careless drivers by watching how other cars approach stop signs, lights, curves in the road, or other hazards and make a plan for the worst-case scenario.

●      Always Have an Alternative Path

As you drive, look for alternative paths to take if a car cuts you off, an accident occurs up ahead, or you see an aggressive driver coming up fast behind you. You always want to have a way out, or an escape route, to avoid a potentially disastrous situation.

How Defensive Driving Differs from Aggressive Driving

Driving defensively differs significantly from aggressive diving. While you stay focused on safety, aggressive drivers are more concerned with getting where they want to go quickly. They often speed and weave in and out of traffic recklessly.

Aggressive driving often leads to disastrous crashes, with many involving fatalities. Even with defensive driving, you may not always be able to avoid these irresponsible drivers. If you experience an accident with an aggressive driver, you’ll need experienced guidance and legal advice from an experienced Louisiana auto accident attorney.

Staying mindful when driving and practicing defensive techniques increases your safety while driving. While you can’t control the actions and habits of other drivers, you can look out for yourself and your family, which at the end of the day is what is important.

Contact Your Louisiana Auto Accident Attorneys

If you find yourself or loved ones involved in an auto accident in Louisiana due to the fault of another, you need the advice of an experienced auto accident law firm. Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers has years of extensive experience handling auto accident cases and will give yours the attention it deserves. Give our law office a call today and schedule a free initial consultation to get started.