Being a safe driver means always following the rules of the road—including driving at or under the speed limit, never driving while intoxicated or drowsy, and regularly maintaining and repairing your vehicle. But sometimes it’s not your own driving that puts you at risk—it’s the driving of other motorists that you encounter on the roadway.
At Matt Hardin Law, many of our clients were injured in car accidents that weren’t their fault. Some car accidents are simply unavoidable, but cautious and defensive driving can reduce your chances of being involved in an accident and even reduce the severity of your injuries if you are involved in a collision.
What Are the Top Defensive Driving Skills to Know?
To help keep you and your family safe the next time you head out on Tennessee’s roadways, our Hendersonville car accident lawyers put together this list of the top defensive driving skills:
Give other vehicles plenty of room
When driving on the interstate or another roadway with heavy congestion, it can be tempting to drive closely to the vehicle in front of you. However, if you’re following too closely and the driver slams on his or her brakes, an accident may be unavoidable. Put several car lengths of space between you and the vehicle in front, and move over if you notice a vehicle behind you is following too closely. The more room there is between you and other vehicles, the more time you’ll have to react and prevent an accident from occurring.
Yield the right of way to impatient drivers
If you’re at a four-way stop and it’s your turn to go but another driver seems intent on beating you to the punch, it’s best to yield the right of way to him or her. Although most people follow the established rules of the road, sometimes you’ll encounter other drivers who simply disregard traffic laws. In those cases, do your best to allow them to take your turn at an intersection or pass you on the road. Challenging impatient drivers can lead to car accidents and even violent road rage incidents.
Minimize lane changes on congested roadways
Changing lanes is unavoidable at certain times while driving—especially if you’re approaching an exit or need to put space between you and an erratic driver. However, it’s best to avoid it if possible in heavy traffic. While you may appear to have a clear lane to merge into, other drivers can also merge into the same lane from the other side of the road. Because neither you nor the other driver can see each other, you may enter the lane at the same time, causing a potential car accident at high speeds.
Monitor the area around your vehicle regularly
Even if you’re not planning on changing lanes, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of regularly checking your mirrors, including your side and rear-view mirrors. Keeping an eye on the traffic behind and around you can help you anticipate speeding drivers, emergency vehicles, or heavy traffic approaching and give you plenty of time to react, including moving out of the way.
These are just a few of the defensive driving tips that can make your trips safer and less stressful—especially on Tennessee’s highways and interstates. By driving cautiously and anticipating possible hazards, you can increase your safety and the safety of those around you as well.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s carelessness, you could be eligible to pursue compensation for your accident-related expenses, such as your medical bills, lost wages due to disabilities, and pain and suffering. Get in touch with the Hendersonville car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law by dialing filling out a free online form. We have years of experience helping victims like you, and we have what it takes to get the results you need.