People often ask what they can do to become better defensive drivers. They know that defensive driving can help them avoid getting involved in a car accident, so they want to focus on it whenever possible. They’re curious about exactly what steps to take.
There are certainly specific things you can do to become a better defensive driver, but the reality is that the most important thing is to change your mindset. Defensive driving just describes your mental approach to getting behind the wheel every day, which has a focus on safety above all else.
For example, one of the most important things to do as a defensive driver is just to stay alert and pay attention to the traffic around you. The idea is that you’ll be able to react quickly when things happen. Any level of distraction, even something as simple as reaching to change the radio station, can make this impossible. An alert driver is a safe driver.
The second part of this mindset is that you have to understand the other drivers are going to make mistakes. There’s nothing you can do to stop them. It’s just going to happen. But if you can anticipate those mistakes, then you can avoid a crash. For instance, you may see someone rolling forward at a stop sign and realize that they are not going to come to a complete stop. Even if you have the right of way, stopping your vehicle – or just slowing down – can help you avoid a crash.
That said, if you are injured because of a mistake made by someone else, they may be liable for those injuries and so you need to know how to seek compensation.