Whether it be from your parents or your high school driver’s ed. teacher, we’ve all heard the term “defensive driving.” We’re told to watch out for anything from swerving cars to runaway basketballs, but sometimes we mistake defensive driving for “fearful driving.” In many cases, fear on the road can be just as dangerous as any other inhibition, leading to car accidents that could have been avoided.
According to a study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle malfunctions, environmental factors, and other unknown causes only accounted for an estimated 6% of reasons why car accidents occurred. The other 94%? Human error. These errors ranged from distracted and drunk driving to taking a turn too quickly or falling asleep at the wheel.
So how do you use defensive driving to keep yourself, and the other drivers on the road, safe? The Albuquerque car accident lawyers at the Dinelli Law Firm have three tips to keep you prepared for what may be on the road ahead.
- Avoid False Assumptions & Hesitations
Don’t overestimate or assume other drivers’ actions. Just because the driver ahead of you looks like they may be speeding up to merge with traffic doesn’t mean they will. Try to look 4-5 cars ahead so that no one catches you off-guard. If you’re taking a turn, try looking ahead to see if anyone is pulling out on the other side. Braking areas are the most common accident zones.
- Use Technology Wisely
We should all be aware by now that texting while driving is unacceptable. But that doesn’t mean phones can’t be useful for our defensive driving. In order to keep your car up-to-date with tire changes, oil changes, and other various maintenance duties, you can use apps on your phone to set up reminders for these vital checkups. At the same time, avoid making the mistake of becoming distracted by your phone by keeping it away from you while on the road. If it’s needed for GPS or music, turn it on Airplane or Do Not Disturb mode so you’re not tempted by the sound of an incoming call or text.
- Have an Emergency Plan
No matter how closely you’re paying attention to the road and to your surroundings, sometimes an auto accident is inevitable. On the chance that you do find yourself involved in a car crash, you should be prepared with a plan of action. From calling the authorities and contacting an Albuquerque accident attorney to updating family and friends, having a plan will help you stay focused in stressful situations and keep you from accidentally admitting fault to the drunk driver who ran a red light.
If you’ve taken all the pre-emptive measures you’re capable of to ensure your ability to drive defensively and you still find yourself in an accident, the Dinelli Law Firm is here to help. We’ve helped hundreds of New Mexicans relieve the burden of being involved in serious car, trucking, and motorcycle accidents throughout Albuquerque. If you’ve been injured and you need a dedicated lawyer to fight for you, schedule your free consultation with us today!