Defensive Driving: Avoiding Accidents Behind the Wheel

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Defensive Driving: Avoiding Accidents Behind the Wheel

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on June 20, 2022
Defensive Driving

No one wants to be in a car wreck. In 2020, these dangerous and costly collisions claimed 780 lives in Kentucky alone. Even in the best-case scenario, where no one is injured, a wreck can cause significant property damage and leave you with higher insurance rates. Luckily, a skilled and knowledgeable driver can often avoid having an accident by following the rules of defensive driving. Defensive driving is a system of driving practices aimed at preventing collisions and keeping drivers safe. We’ve outlined some of the key components of defensive driving below to keep you safe behind the wheel. 

Controlling Your Speed

Speed limits are put into place for a reason. At higher speeds, it becomes more difficult to control your vehicle, and accidents become much more severe. According to the United States Department of Transportation, speeding has been involved in around one third of all collisions since the year 2000. Speeding also raises the chances of fatalities if a wreck does occur, taking over 9000 lives in 2019 alone. Even though speed can be exciting, it is simply not worth the risk. Those seeking a thrill should visit a motorsports park or racetrack, otherwise, controlling your speed and observing the speed limit is a must while on the roads.

Limiting Distractions

It’s no secret that distracted driving causes accidents. Even taking your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds can be a recipe for disaster. In recent years, cell phone usage behind the wheel has created serious problems. In 2020,  3,142 people were killed by distracted drivers. When getting into your car, always silence or shut down your phone, and put it away to reduce any temptations to open it. Another tip to avoid distracted driving is to keep any music at a low volume. If your radio is too loud, you might not pick up on important road noises, like police and ambulance sirens, or other cars honking. For more information on distracted driving, see our blog post here

Maintaining a Safe Following Distance

No one enjoys being stuck behind a slow driver. Most people respond to these situations by riding very close to the slower car in front of them, hoping to urge the car forward. This is called tailgating, and besides usually not working as intended, tailgating is sure to cause collisions. All cars have a minimum stopping distance, meaning that if you follow too closely behind other vehicles, you may not be giving yourself enough time to brake in the event of a stop. This is why it is important to always observe a safe following distance when driving behind other cars. You should always maintain a 2 second gap between yourself and the car in front of you in order to give yourself enough time to react to any stops.

Brake Maintenance

Another important component of following distance is your car’s brakes. Over time, brake pads and rotors wear out, and need to be replaced to work properly. Bad breaks will make it much harder to react to any quick stops ahead of your vehicle and can very easily cause accidents. This is one of the many reasons it is important to have your vehicle inspected and serviced regularly. While some jobs, like oil changes, can be done at home fairly easily, you should always have brakes serviced by a professional for the best and safest results.

In the Event of An Accident…

Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid an accident. Sometimes, mistakes behind the wheel are inevitable but, if you’ve fallen victim to a distracted or reckless driver, there are still plenty of options. After any accidents make sure to take pictures of the vehicles involved and exchange information with the other driver(s). This will ensure that you have all the information you need after an accident. In serious accidents, legal action may be necessary. If this is the case, then experienced and quality attorneys are a must. For more information on what to do in the event of a car accident, check out  this post from our blog.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car wreck in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of car accident victims. Schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.

Posted Under: Car Accidents

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