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The 4 ESSENTIAL Reasons To Be A Defensive Driver

defensive driver
defensive driver

When you are on the road, it is important that you practice how to become a defensive driver rather than just sticking with conventional driving habits. There are stark differences between the two. If you drive defensively, you employ good driving habits and are conscious of your surroundings. A conventional driver does nothing of the sort. They just mindlessly cruise down roads and freeways. They’re not intentional with whether or not their driving techniques are optimal for safety. This is alarming. If drivers are not mindful about how they drive on the road, they could employ aggressive tactics that may harm everyone around them, further contributing to the increasing number of fatal accidents we are currently experiencing.

In 2020, more than five million collisions happened in spite of the government restrictions in place at that time. As lockdown has eased, the figures on traffic fatalities have made the turn for the worse. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 43,000 people have died from car crashes in 2021 and 2022. 

With fatalities showing no signs of dwindling down, drivers must remain vigilant on the road. In this blog, we will discuss the dangers of aggressive and conventional driving. On top of that, we will give you tips on employing defensive driving techniques on the road in order to become a safer driver. 

Why do I need to be a defensive driver?

Being a defensive driver reduces the risk of obtaining fatal injuries like traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, both of which could alter your life in significant ways. For one, such injuries drastically limit your physical mobility. In extremely dire cases, such injuries could render you immobile, limiting access to different parts of your body. 

This is especially true for those affected by Spinal Cord Injury. A sever in the spine could cut off communication from your brain to certain body parts, making it extremely hard and sometimes impossible to use your hands and/or legs, etc. People affected by Traumatic Brain Injury as a result of aggressive driving also experience a drastic decrease in their quality of life as they are now vulnerable to extreme mood swings, bouts of memory loss (in more severe cases: total memory loss), headaches, and many more. 

In addition, defensive driving prevents avoidable and wrongful deaths. Car accident deaths, especially those caused by aggressive drivers, are tragic in nature due to the fact that it could have been avoided. Remember, injuries and deaths spawned from aggressive drivers not only affects the parties involved. Their effects are felt by those close to them as well. As experts in the field of personal injury, we cannot stress this enough: defensive driving is crucial in road safety. As a driver, there are things you can do to help you hone your safe driving skills. 

How to be a defensive driver

In order to be a defensive driver, you need to: 

  1. develop a keen sense of situational awareness
  2. avoid distractions 
  3. maintain your vehicle
  4. assess how you can be a better driver. 

Let’s do a deep dive on each of them.

Being Aware Of Your Surroundings

Developing a sense of situational awareness on the road is crucial in optimizing safety. Drivers can act unpredictably, and being observant of the conditions around you could potentially save your life. For example, if you are aware that you are in the presence of an aggressive driver, then that should signal to you to exercise a bit more caution when driving alongside them. This sense of awareness is also beneficial when assessing road conditions. Some areas have well-maintained roads while others do not. Being aware of this allows you to adapt accordingly. After all, you wouldn’t drive the same way on a pothole-ridden road and a newly paved street. 

Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving is the opposite of defensive driving. Defensive driving requires you to be completely attentive of the task at hand. Distracted driving pulls your focus elsewhere instead. You need to avoid distractions if you want to be a defensive driver. The most common and arguably the deadliest distraction of all is using your phone while behind the wheel. To remain focused on the road, you can put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” to block all notifications. Another common distraction is playing around with your car settings while driving. To remedy this issue, simply make sure to preset everything prior to driving: put the volume at the desired loudness, turn the air conditioner on/off as needed, etc.

Maintain Vehicle

A well-maintained vehicle can help you make defensive decisions on the road. For this reason, you need to make sure that everything in your car is fully functional and up-to-par with safety standards. Any type of malfunction in your vehicle could lead to questionable driving decisions. A dysfunctional set of brakes, for example, puts you at an increased risk of colliding with cars around you. On the same vein, having a broken rearview mirror will make it extremely difficult for you to switch lanes, as it will increase the chances of you getting into an accident. 

Assess How You Can Be A Better Driver

Seasoned drivers have a tendency to develop a sense of complacency on the road. They develop driving tactics not conducive to road safety. And since they haven’t gotten into an accident while partaking in risky driving behaviors, they feel compelled to continue to text-and-drive, rubberneck, etc. More often than not though, their luck runs out and they end up getting into a car crash. Don’t be like the average driver. No matter how safe you consider yourself to be on the road, there are always going to be areas of improvement in your skill set as a driver.

Call Omega Law Group

We have hammered the point we want to make on defensive driving, and we can only hope that you take it to heart. But no matter how defensive and non-aggressive you are on the road, you would still need to reconcile with the fact that someone short-sighted out there may not necessarily care about road safety in the same way you do. Their recklessness could still get you involved in a car accident, no matter the drastic measures you’ve taken to avoid it from happening. If you have been affected by an aggressive driver, you need to lawyer up. You need to call Omega Law Group.

Our team of award-winning attorneys have accrued millions of dollars in settlements on behalf of their clients. Their unique and personalized client service, on top of their shrewd negotiation skills, have aided in garnering the accolades and recognitions they have received thus far from industry-vetted organizations, as well as well-respected publications like the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Business Journal.

At Omega Law, we understand that not everyone has the financial means to pay for legal fees. This has barred many from receiving the help that they need. We want to help. We operate on a contingency-fee basis, meaning our services come at no upfront cost to you. You deserve a quality legal service no matter your financial circumstances. Schedule a free consultation with us today!