It can be downright scary to share the road with reckless drivers. They’re highly unpredictable and tend to consider themselves invincible. But defensive driving can stack the odds in your favor and help you avoid a potential accident.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times
It’s important to know what’s going on both in front of you and behind you while you drive. By constantly checking your mirrors and scanning the conditions ahead, you can be better prepared for the driver behind you weaving in and out of traffic, or the potential crash up ahead.
Maintain a safe following distance
The standard rule, according to Smart Motorist, is to give yourself three seconds between you and the vehicle ahead. By giving yourself this space, you’ll have enough time to react to a hazard and safely come to a stop. If you’re driving at higher speeds on a freeway, you’ll need to increase your following distance by a few more seconds to give yourself time to react.
Drive the speed limit
Driving too slow can be just as dangerous as driving too fast! When driving slower than the posted speed, you are putting yourself in the way of other drivers who are following the flow of traffic. When driving faster than the speed limit, your vehicle will be harder to control when something goes wrong. By driving the speed limit, you’ll be much more likely to get to your destination safely.
According to DistractedDriverAccidents.com, roughly 421,000 people in the U.S. are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver each year. Looking at a phone, eating, or fiddling with the navigation system are common distractions. It’s best to avoid tasks that take your eyes off of the road so that you can avoid an accident and be prepared for a careless driver that may be coming your way.
Make yourself visible
A smart way to avoid reckless drivers is to make certain they can see you. Always use your turn signal, check that your headlights and brake lights are properly lit, and avoid driving in a vehicle’s blind spot. If other cars are aware of you, it reduces the risk of being hit by someone who may be driving too fast or abruptly changing lanes.