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Top 5 Rules Of Defensive Driving

In terms of the physical makeup of cars, there’s probably never been a safer time to be on the road. From blind spot warning systems to brake assist, advanced features such as these are all designed to help you steer clear of danger and avoid an oncoming crash.

But one thing that even the best technology in the world can’t change is behavior, as the choices drivers make behind the wheel is the leading reason for why accidents happen as frequently as they do.

Every year, more than 32,700 people die in traffic crashes, according to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While that’s down close to 25% from a decade ago, even one life lost on the road is one too many. Based on estimates from the National Safety Council, the average person has a 1 in 112 chance of dying in a motor vehicle crash.

The best way to stay safe from harm on the roads is by being a defensive driver, implementing the kind of behaviors that enable you to anticipate when an accident might happen. Here are five key defensive driving rules:

  1. Look up ahead
    It sounds obvious to make sure you’re looking ahead rather than what’s directly in front of you. But you may be surprised by how many accidents could have been avoided had motorists seen what they were approaching. When driving, make sure you look well ahead of you to better anticipate what your next move should be.
  2. Be aware of blind spots
    The rearview, passenger and driver’s side mirrors are all key tools to see what’s to your side and behind you. But when you’re traveling on the highway and a car passes you in the other lane, there’s a point at which when they pass, you can’t see them at all. This blind spot is something that every car has. Make sure you use your peripheral vision so you can see other motorists and determine when it’s appropriate for you to change lanes.
  3. Slow down at all intersections
    Intersections are arguably the most dangerous area on the road because they’re at a point at which several vehicles in multiple directions converge. Traffic lights dictate whose turn it is to go, but red-light runners are responsible for thousands of car accidents each year, many of them resulting in auto insurance claims. When approaching an intersection, slow your rate of speed so you can more easily come to a stop when the light turns red.
  4. Maintain a safe following distance
    You never know when you may need to bring your car to a screeching halt, and if you’re following a vehicle too closely, the brakes won’t be able to prevent your car from rear-ending said vehicle. On the highway or on back roads, make sure that you leave yourself plenty of space so you can come to a stop gently rather than all at once, which increases the risk of a whiplash-related injury, among other potential sources of physical trauma.
  5. Minimize all distractions
    From food and drink to music and multimedia, there’s no shortage of distractions that can divert you from your top task: focusing on driving safely. No distraction is more responsible for accidents than using mobile devices. According to a study done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, your odds of a crash increase 23 times by texting from behind the wheel. Minimize these and other distractions to help avoid getting into one.

For more information on defensive driving and how being a safer driver can help you save on auto insurance, contact RC4 Insurance Agency, LLC today.

Article from Selective Insurance Company