Defensive Driving Tips for Driving in Arizona
Your odds of eventually getting into a car accident in Arizona are relatively high. In 2019 alone, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported 129,750 traffic accidents. You can lower your odds of getting into a collision, however, by using a smart driving strategy. Defensive driving is the best way to be ready for anything behind the wheel. Practicing defensive driving could be what allows you to avoid a serious collision.
1. Put Safety First
Being a defensive driver is all about lowering your risk of a motor vehicle accident. This starts with choosing to be a safe driver. Aggressive drivers are more likely to cause hazards such as speeding, driving the wrong way, following too closely, weaving in and out of traffic, and not paying attention to the road. Improving the safety of your own driving can decrease your odds of getting into a wreck.
Start by following all of Arizona’s traffic laws. Traffic laws are in place to increase the safety of Arizona’s roads. Following the rules for speed limits, rights-of-way, red lights, texting while driving and drunk driving can help keep you safe from accidents. Obeying the law could also help you avoid liability for a car accident, meaning the other driver will have to pay for your losses.
2. Assume Other Drivers Will Break the Rules
Defensive driving means you are on the defense, not the offense. You should be ready to defend yourself against the negligent or dangerous actions of other drivers at a moment’s notice. For effective defensive driving, this takes assuming the worst from the drivers around you. Assume other drivers will break the rules and put your life in danger, rather than assuming all other drivers are safe drivers like you.
Being hypervigilant to the possibility of surrounding drivers breaking the rules could allow you to be ready for anything. You will be more attentive to what the drivers around you are doing and notice immediately if something is amiss, such as another driver drifting into your lane. This will shorten your reaction times and improve the likelihood of you being able to avoid a crash.
3. Be Ready to React at All Times
Defensive driving is all about being aware of the potential risks of the road and making sure you are ready to defend yourself against them. Avoid distractions if you wish defensive driving to be effective in protecting you. You must stay ready to react to changing roadways situations. Never text and drive or engage in other common driver distractions. Keep your eyes on the road at all times. That way, you will be able to react to an aggressive or dangerous driver in time to prevent a crash. You cannot control what another driver does, but you can prepare yourself to safely react by avoiding distractions.
4. Have an Escape Route
You should always have an escape route planned in case something goes wrong. Try to create enough space around your vehicle to always have a way out if another driver starts to enter your lane or does not look like he or she will stop before hitting the rear of your car. Keep at least three to four seconds of following distance between you and other vehicles to allow you to come to a complete stop, if necessary. Increase your following distances in bad weather, such as rain or fog. If a dangerous driver threatens your safety, use your escape route to keep your vehicle out of harm’s way.
Defensive driving could be what stands between you and a serious car accident in Arizona. If you wish to learn more about defensive driving techniques and other ways to prevent accidents, consider taking a defensive driving course. If you do get into a collision despite your best efforts to be a defensive driver, contact a Phoenix car accident attorney to discuss your legal rights against the at-fault party.