10 Tips for Defensive Driving

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Woman neck hurt after car crash on the street

Knowing how to avoid a car accident is a critical tool for driving safely on South Florida’s roads. According to the FLHSMV, there were over 35,000 accidents in Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties in 2020. By following our defensive driving tips, you can greatly lower your chances of being another statistic.

Bernstein | Polsky is a South Florida law firm committed to protecting your rights in the event of injury or death resulting from a car accident. Our team will work tirelessly on your behalf to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Defensive driving is a skill that will give you the ability to avoid getting injured or killed in a car crash. Follow our defensive driving tips and take control of the road.

1. Watch the road ahead of you.

Great defensive driving skills start with being aware of your surroundings. Look ahead as well as behind you and the lanes on either side of you.

Identifying potential hazards before they get near you will give time to react. Watch out for dangerous drivers, pedestrians, brake lights ahead of you, and potholes.

2. Avoid distractions.

Being distracted while driving will slow your reaction time if an accident is imminent. Adjusting your radio causes you to take your eyes off the road. Use steering wheel controls if you have them. Talking on your phone causes you to lose focus on the road around you even if you are using a hands-free device. Applying makeup or eating while driving are also things you want to avoid.

3. Wear your seatbelt.

Over half of accident fatalities occur from drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelt. Buckle up to greatly reduce your chances of being hurt or killed in a car crash. This is one defensive driving tip that could keep you from having to call a car accident lawyer.

4. Keep a safe distance from other cars.

Know the “3-Second Rule”. Find a stationary object on the side of the road ahead of you. When the vehicle in front of you passes the object, start counting. It should be at least three seconds before you pass that same object on the side of the road.

5. Know your blind spots.

Being aware of your blind spots is your responsibility and should always be on your mind. Before changing lanes or turning, check your blind spots. Installing a blind spot mirror is a defensive driving tool that can help you avoid a car accident.

6. Don’t drink and drive.

The NHTSA says that over 30% of vehicle fatalities are the result of drunk driving. Getting behind the wheel after drinking is incredibly dangerous for you and others. Calling a cab, or assigning a designated driver is the right choice and can help you avoid DUI charges and time in court. 

7. Stay calm.

Aggressive drivers cause dangerous road conditions for everyone around them. Defensive driving includes keeping your cool while behind the wheel. If you see an aggressive driver on the road, keep your distance.

8. Speeding gets you nowhere fast.

If you are late for an appointment and need to get across town, driving 10 mph faster will only shave a few seconds on your arrival. It will also increase your chance of getting into a car accident so don’t risk it simply to make an appointment. 

9. Maintaining your vehicle is essential.

Keeping your vehicle in working order is a defensive driving must. While Florida no longer requires vehicle safety inspections, it is your responsibility to make sure your car is road safe. Maintaining the correct tire pressure is especially important. Uneven, too high, or low tire pressure can cause a blowout. You should also have your brakes inspected about every six months.

10. Take extra care during bad weather.

South Florida drivers are well aware that a storm can come out of nowhere. When driving during rainy conditions, slow down. You should also keep an extra safe distance from the cars ahead of you. Add a few seconds to the “3-Second Rule” when driving in a downpour.

We hope you’ve learned a few things from our top 10 defensive driving tips. We want all of our South Florida neighbors to be safe while driving in our communities.

Bernstein | Polsky is a Fort Lauderdale-based civil law firm. For over a decade, we have been committed to fighting for justice and the rights of South Florida residents. Our commitment to maximizing results for our clients has resulted in over one hundred million dollars in verdicts and settlements.

For a free consultation, contact us or give us a call at (954) 997-9947