Defensive driving is an essential skill everyone needs to have while they are on the road. This means always being aware of your surroundings, checking your mirrors, always scanning for any potential hazards, and adopting safe driving habits. You never know what will happen when you are out on the road so always being on the lookout is important for your safety and can save you from an accident. Here are 5 reasons why you should be a defensive driver.
1. Protect Yourself and Others
Safety on the road is always a top priority. By simply being a defensive driver, you already reduce the likelihood of car accidents. According to the NHTSA, speeding, alone, was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities killing 11,258 people in 2020. You do not want to become or cause another to become part of this gruesome statistic.
While you can’t personally stop anyone from speeding, you can always be on the lookout for aggressive drivers who are speeding recklessly throughout traffic. Some other common behaviors of aggressive drivers to look out for include tailgating, sudden lane changes, and frequent honking. This awareness allows you to reduce the likelihood of collisions and prevent injuries to yourself, your passengers, and other road users.
2. Save Money
Defensive driving can save you thousands of dollars that come with accidents and by avoiding them, you won’t have to pay for damages, legal fees, or insurance premiums that can result from a collision. If you are even held partially responsible for an accident, insurance companies will increase your rate leading to further expenses.
Furthermore, being a defensive driver can help you avoid traffic tickets and other violations, which can result in higher insurance rates and fines.
Car accidents that result in serious injuries or damages require attorneys to fight for your case which can be pricey depending on the lawyer you get. However, some car accident lawyers like Shapiro | Delgado offer services on a contingency fee basis which means you never pay any legal fees unless your case is successfully settled. In cases like this, the lawyer will pay all the legal costs associated with your case, so you don’t have to worry about these upfront expenses.
3. Reduces Stress
Driving can be extremely stressful, especially in heavy traffic or bad weather conditions. And who can blame you? You’re in a 2-ton metal box traveling at 65 mph with full trust that the people traveling in the opposite direction stay in their lane. A lot of this stress on the road converts to negative energy and reveals itself in the form of road rage and aggressive driving behaviors that could potentially lead to car accidents.
Defensive driving is a lot like learning yoga. At first, you may feel uncomfortable or awkward but over time you learn to relax in even the most stressful positions. By practicing defensive driving every day, you become a skilled professional. You learn to anticipate potential hazards and drive with more confidence and less anxiety.
Less stress on the road can make your driving experience more enjoyable for yourself and others around you.
4. Increases Awareness and Reaction times:
Defensive driving involves constantly scanning your surroundings and being aware of potential hazards. This can help you develop better driving habits, such as checking your mirrors frequently and keeping a safe following distance. By being aware of your surroundings, you can better anticipate potential dangers and take steps to avoid them.
Defensive driving also involves being prepared for unexpected situations, such as sudden stops or swerves. By practicing defensive driving techniques, you can improve your ability to react quickly to any circumstance. This can be particularly important in emergencies, where split-second decisions can mean the difference between avoiding an accident or not.
5. Sets an Example
The final reason why you should be a defensive driver is that it sets a good example for others, especially your children or teenagers. Being a defensive driver can set a positive example for them and help them develop safe driving habits from an early age. As a defensive driver, you are modeling safe driving behaviors for others to follow. By following traffic laws, maintaining a safe following distance, and avoiding aggressive driving behaviors, you are demonstrating responsible driving habits that can inspire others to do the same. Being a role model and inspiring individual in your community and your family is reason enough to become a defensive driver.