How to prevent automobile accidents through defensive driving in San Diego

While you can’t avoid all accidents, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim if you heed defensive driving practices. A driver who drives defensively and anticipates hazards is less likely of becoming the victim of an automobile accident. 

It is statistically proven, that a driver that is focused and takes a defensive driving posture will avoid most accidents. 

When Driving, Focus on Your Surroundings

Scan the road ahead as you drive to ensure that you’re fully aware of all potential hazards. Think ahead and anticipate hazards. Don’t rely on the car in front of you for an indication of when to stop. Look three to four car lengths in front of you if possible and always scan from left to right.  Use your side and rear-view mirrors and anticipate traffic from behind you as well. If you are passing parked vehicles always look to see if there is a driver in the driver seat.  Look for lights to determine if a car is about to pull out in your path. Never assume a stopped vehicle is not a potential hazard. 

Keep A Safe Distance When Following Other Vehicles

Rear-end accidents often occur because the following distance is too close. Following too closely is commonly referred to as tailgating the car in front of you. To avoid tailgating and rear-end collisions, follow the Three Second Rule.  That is make sure that the front of your car is at least three seconds behind the car in front of you.  

“Increase your distance if weather conditions or visibility are poor, or if the surface is slippery and as your speed increases also increase your following distance. Remember, stay at least three seconds behind the car in front of you.  To determine whether you are following at least “three seconds” behind the car in front of yours,  find a marker like a bridge that the car in front of you just passed and then begin your counting until the front of your car reaches the marker, or in this case the bridge.  You should be at least three seconds behind regardless of your speed.

Don’t Assume Other Drivers Are Disciplined

If everyone was conscientious on the road, there would be fewer accidents. Never assume that another vehicle will obey the laws of the rode.  Unfortunately, we can’t always rely on others to follow the rules of the road. Never assume a car will let you merge, and don’t assume that other drivers will brake at stop signs or traffic signals either. When you drive defensively, it’s always best to anticipate that people will drive poorly and violate the law. 

Remove Driving Distractions For A Safe Journey

There should be nothing inside the vehicle to distract you from the act of driving, including things hanging from your rear-view mirror, stickers on your windows or cellular phones attached to your windshield. Stay off the phone and keep your eyes on the road. It only takes a split second to face the potential of a collision, and you’ll have to react quickly. That can’t be done if you’re distracted. If you must look at or use your cellular phone, pull over first and stop in a safe location. One of the most common causes of serious accidents and even death are accidents involving driving inattentiveness due to the use of cellular telephones. 

Take a Vehicle Defensive Driving Course

Your local Department of Motor Vehicles has a list of approved courses available in your area. The DMV offers a free online “Defensive Driving Techniques for All Driver’s” course on their web site. Most auto insurance companies also offer reduced rates to new drivers that take these courses.  Check with your respective insurance company. 

While the other driver might be at fault in an automobile accident, there are ways you can prevent a collision from happening in the first place. Drivers who drive defensively are statistically less likely to get into an auto accident.  Remember, protect yourself and your passengers by driving defensively.