It is a sad fact that most car accidents are caused by driver error and by lack of driver attention. So what can Greene County Missouri drivers do to reduce their chances of a car accident? Springfield Missouri car accident lawyers put together a list of defensive driving techniques to help you be more aware when you are driving in southwest Missouri.
Defensive Driving for Southwest Missouri
Defensive driving is all about driving from the aspect of being prepared. It means you are driving with a sharp attention or awareness of what is going on around you and anticipating what may happen. This means you are better prepared to react to any changes in traffic or road conditions or to anything another driver might do. It is a form of driver training that goes beyond the rules of the road and the basic mechanics of driving. People with defensive driver training tend to be in fewer car accidents. And in fact that is the goal of defensive driver training, to avoid car accidents. The Missouri Department of Motor Vehicle explains that defensive driving is to avoid mistakes or avoid being in a car accident because of someone else's mistakes.
Specific Defensive Driving Techniques
We urge you to take a defensive driving course. The cost and time associated with the course are minimal, particularly when compared to the injuries, property damage, stress and time associated with car accidents. Here are few tips on how defensive driving works.
- Stay focused on your driving and the conditions around you.
- Scan ahead, always be looking at least 3-4 seconds down the road in front of you.
- Scan around; repeatedly look from in front of you to both sides and to each mirror.
- Anticipate problems: look for cars pulling from side streets or parking lots, children at play, animals that may dart out, another driver making a lane change or slowing to stop or turn.
- Put away all of the distractions, from cell phones to problems at work, stay focused on your driving.
- Take your foot off of the accelerator and cover your brake if you anticipate a problem.
- Keep both hands on the wheel for ease in steering around hazards or maneuvering out of harm's way.
- Look out for other drivers and possible hazards so you are ready to react and not caught off guard.
- Have an escape route planned.
The key to defensive driving is being aware of potential problems and staying alert so you are prepared to stop or maneuver to avoid a car accident.