In 2020, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) reported that 105,382 car accidents resulted in injury. As one of the thousands of drivers on the road, sharing it with others can be a challenge. Here are five defensive driving tips to help you get to your destination as safely as possible and prevent potential accidents.
1. Plan Accordingly
Know your route ahead of time. It is essential to be aware of certain factors that could pose a risk to your driver safety:
- Weather conditions – You may consider leaving early or giving yourself more time if you learn that it is foggy outside or the roads are icy.
- Time of day – Morning and evening rush hours are the busiest times for drivers. If you have the ability, it might be beneficial to wait a couple of minutes.
- Holiday driving – As you’ve read before, driving around the holidays can be dangerous. You can schedule a rideshare or carpool to limit the number of drivers on the road. You may also consider taking an alternate route to avoid the main roads.
2. Maintain a Safe Following Distance
A good rule of thumb is to leave about a 3-second gap between you and the driver ahead. Another way to visualize this is to leave one car length for every 10 miles per hour between vehicles. Safe following distances ensure you have enough time and room to brake should an emergency occur.
3. Eliminate Distractions
In addition to reactive driving, you can be proactive by avoiding distractions or hazards before they ever occur. In 2020, 17.9% of car accidents in North Carolina involved distracted drivers. These distractions included:
- Your phone or any hands-on device that will take your attention from the road. Put all handheld distractions away and out of reach.
- Driving tired. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as other forms of impaired driving. Make sure you are well-rested before going out on the road.
- ‘Rubbernecking’ or turning your attention away from the road to focus on something else, like a car accident. Your eyes should be on the road ahead of you at all times.
4. Don’t Give in to Road Rage
A key to defensive driving is not giving into the offensive: road rage. It can be easy to become frustrated with irresponsible drivers, but remaining calm and level-headed is vital to your safety and those around you.
5. Know Your Surroundings
Accidents can happen in a second. While paying attention to the car in front of you, look ahead and note any hazards or obstacles. You can even look to see if there is enough room in the shoulder should you need to avoid something.
Contact a Charlotte Car Accident Attorney
Even if you follow these tips to the best of your ability, accidents still happen! Should you end up getting into a car accident that resulted in injury, call the team at Benoit Law Firm, PLLC today. With over 25 years of combined legal experience, we’re here to help.
Call us at (877) 600-7212 to schedule your free consultation.