According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, in 2008, 40,202 people were injured in car accidents. While the fatality rates in Alabama have been in decline since 2008, the number of injuries each year have increased. The use of defensive driving strategies is one of the best ways to prevent personal injury in car accidents. According to the American Safety Council, defensive drivers utilize driving strategies that go above and beyond following basic traffic law. While it is important to obey traffic laws and regulations, defensive driving involves the utilization of additional strategies to prevent auto accidents. Defensive driving decisions involve experience the driver has attained over many years of driving in varied road conditions.

Many states offer insurance discounts when drivers take defensive driving classes. Younger drivers can also benefit from these classes. Here are 4 important defensive driving strategies you can start using today to stay safe behind the wheel.

  1. Use the 2-second rule. When following traffic under normal weather conditions, you should aim to allow two-seconds worth of distance between your car and the car in front of you. Pick a static landmark. When the car in front of you passes the landmark, begin counting. If you pass the landmark in less than two seconds, you are following too closely. While most defensive driving courses and instructors promote a 2-second rule for following distances, TeensHealth suggests younger drivers take advantage of a larger margin of error by using a 3 to 4 second rule. Additionally, when weather conditions are poor, all drivers benefit from allowing more distance.
  2. Avoid distractions. Distracted driving is increasingly becoming one of the major contributing factors to accidents. Distractions can include cell phones, the radio, or even chatting with a passenger. Eliminate distractions and focus on driving.
  3. Assume other drivers won’t stop or follow the law. When approaching stop signs, red lights, or other traffic signals, you need to observe another driver’s actions and take these actions into account above taking the right away. Accidents happen when drivers run red lights, stop signs, or fail to observe right of way laws. Unfortunately, the consequences of these accidents are often tragic or serious. By assuming that other drivers won’t necessarily follow the law, you defensively protect yourself and your passengers from potential accidents.
  4. Don’t speed. Speed limits offer guidelines regarding safe limits for a given roadway. Speed limits don’t often consider fog, rain, or snow conditions. Slow down during adverse weather. Obeying posted speed limits during adverse weather conditions can also save your life and the lives of your passengers.

While defensive driving can prevent auto accidents, other driver’s actions can often have tragic consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured in Mobile, Alabama due to another driver’s neglect or recklessness, you may be entitled to receive money for your injuries, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and medical expenses. A personal injury law firm like The Law Office of Gary W. Fillingim, LLC may be able to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.

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