Defensive driving is more than just a set of rules for staying safe on the road; it’s a valuable skill that can protect your life and boost your bank account. According to one study, graduates of defensive driving programs are involved in nearly 33% fewer accidents than non-graduates.
But while it would help to take classes, as long as you adopt the habits of defensive drivers, you’ll be far less likely to be in a wreck. The following is some information to help you do precisely that.
Core Principles of Defensive Driving
It doesn’t take an expert to practice defensive driving. Anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle can do it. If you can put these core principles into practice every time you drive, you’ll be a lot safer.
Anticipation means being a step ahead of potential dangers. Defensive drivers don’t just focus on the car in front but scan the road as far as possible. They check mirrors frequently to see what’s happening behind and to the sides. It’s almost like they have a radar for trouble; this constant awareness helps them react swiftly to sudden changes.
Think of your car as a bubble of safety. Defensive drivers maintain a cushion of space around their vehicle. This space is a buffer that gives them time to react if something unexpected happens.
If the car in front slams on the brakes or swerves suddenly, having enough space means you can brake or maneuver without colliding. Think of the “bubble” as a sort of protective force field around your car.
Speed can be your best friend or your worst enemy on the road. Driving defensively doesn’t mean sticking to posted speed limits. It means adjusting your speed based on conditions.
If the roads are slick, slow down to prevent skidding. In heavy traffic, match your speed to the flow to avoid collisions. Being in control of your speed will help you react in time to avoid trouble.
Following Right-of-Way Rules
You should know these rules by heart. For example, know who should go first at intersections, how to merge onto highways, and when to yield. This knowledge prevents confusion and prevents accidents.
Distractions are like blindfolds while driving. Always keep your focus on the road. Avoid texting, eating, or fiddling with the radio because these activities take your eyes and attention away from driving. Staying undistracted will help ensure you’re ready to react to anything.
Benefits of Learning Defensive Driving
There are a lot of advantages to driving defensively. Not only will it help you get to your destination safely, but it can also help put some money in your pocket. Here are just a few of the benefits you should keep in mind.
- Reduced accident risk: Defensive driving dramatically lowers the chances of being in an accident. The reason is you’ll always be prepared for the unexpected. Your quick reflexes and awareness will help you avoid crashes.
- Lower car insurance: Completing a defensive driving course is like getting a reward from your insurance company. They see you as a lower-risk driver, so they often give you discounts on your premiums. It’s like paying less for the same protection.
- Avoid accident costs: Accidents can be financially devastating. Defensive driving means you’re less likely to have an accident in the first place. This saves you from expensive repair bills, medical expenses, and legal fees, protecting you against financial disasters.
- Minimize traffic fines: Following traffic rules will keep you on the law’s good side. Defensive driving techniques help you stick to these rules, reducing your chances of getting fined for speeding or other violations. You’ll have fewer worries about traffic tickets.
How to Become a Defensive Driver
If you commit to driving defensively, you’ll likely find it’s much easier than you ever imagined. These are some of the ways to become safer when behind the wheel.
- Take a defensive driving class: These classes teach you the secrets of defensive driving. You’ll learn the principles and techniques to make you a safer driver.
- Practice vehicle maintenance: Regular maintenance ensures your vehicle won’t let you down when you need it most. Check your tires, brakes, lights, and other essential parts to make sure they’re in top shape. The last thing you want is to be in a hazardous situation because your car broke down – especially at night.
- Continue learning: Keep educating yourself about traffic laws and new safety technologies. Knowledge is your power source as a defensive driver.
- Practice defensive driving: Apply what you’ve learned every time you hit the road. Be patient and courteous to other drivers. Remember, safety always comes first, even if it means sacrificing a few seconds of speed.
Learning Defensive Driving in Minnesota
Several options are available if you’re in Minnesota and want to learn defensive driving. Some of these options include:
- Minnesota Safety Council: They offer defensive driving courses online and at various locations across the state, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester.
- SafeWay Driving School: With multiple locations in Minnesota, SafeWay Driving School provides comprehensive defensive driving training.
- Drive Safe Online: This company offers online courses for drivers 55 years and older. They teach how age can affect decision-making and driving skills. It also helps drivers stay up to date on the latest traffic laws and regulations throughout Minnesota.
Contact Sand Law if You’re Involved in a Car Accident
It’s essential to remember all these tips to be the safest driver possible. Unfortunately, there will still be irresponsible people on the roads with you. If one of them causes a wreck that causes you to suffer a severe injury, get in touch with Sand Law.
Our firm has extensive experience in cases similar to yours. We’ll work hard to help you get maximum compensation for your suffering. If you would like a free case review, please use our online form or call 651-291-7263.