Most people generally feel like they’re safe on the road. This feeling of safety can sometimes be shattered when you look at the statistics.
For instance, through just the first nine months of 2021, more than 30,000 people lost their lives on the roads across America. This was one of the biggest surges in fatal accident statistics ever recorded, and it sheds light on a death toll that is annually around 40,000 individuals.
When you see something like this, you start to question if driving is even worth the risk. If 40,000 people are going to pass away every single year, how much exposure do you want to give yourself to that? Is there actually anything you can do to stay safe?
Becoming a defensive driver
Your questions are warranted because your safety isn’t fully in your own control. Other drivers make mistakes all the time. A tired truck driver may not brake in time and could rear-end your car at a stoplight. There’s nothing you can do to avoid something like that. A teenager could decide to send a text message and drift over the centerline into oncoming traffic. You can be driving perfectly and still be involved in a devastating crash.
The good news is that you can reduce your odds through defensive driving. This starts with simply being safe yourself – always being alert, avoiding distractions, keeping two hands on the wheel and things of this nature. You just try to ensure that you’re not the one making mistakes.
But true defensive driving takes things a step further, and it focuses on anticipating the mistakes that are going to be made by those other drivers. Instead of assuming that someone isn’t going to pull out in front of you because you have the right of way, for instance, you carefully watch that car until you go past. If it begins to move too early, you see the mistake coming and you can reduce your speed. The specifics of defensive driving differ from case to case, but this general sense of awareness and the understanding that other drivers will make errors is where it begins.
Have you been injured?
Even if you’re a defensive driver, there’s always a chance you could be seriously injured in a car accident, and you need to know what legal options you have.