Tips for Defensive Driving & Accident Avoidance

In order to get a driver’s license or permit, everyone needs to show
their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that they know
how to drive safely. But with time, the safest driving habits can be forgotten
or left behind, and even veteran drivers can endanger others when they’re
behind the wheel. If you want to do your part in preventing and avoiding
car accidents, review these basic defensive driving tips, hints, and pointers.

  1. Put away the cellphone: A rising concern for safety organizations – from the National Highway
    Traffic Safety Administration to the National Safety Council – is
    smartphone use behind the wheel. Each year, thousands of people are seriously
    injured or lose their lives because someone was reading a text or talking
    to someone with a hands-free device while they were driving. Simply keeping
    the cellphone out of sight and out of reach while driving will dramatically
    increase your safe driving abilities.
  2. Never speed: Another significant cause of car accidents is speeding. Reckless drivers
    trying to save a few seconds end up costing themselves and others months
    or years of their lives if they cause a high-speed collision. Follow the
    posted speed limits when safe to do so. In some situations, you may need
    to drive at a rate lesser, or slightly greater, than what is posted to
    keep the traffic flowing smoothly.
  3. Flashing red: When a streetlight is doing nothing but flashing red, this means that the
    light has gone out due to one circumstance or another. Drivers must then
    treat the intersection as a four-way stop; come to a complete stop at
    your limit line, count three seconds, and proceed if it is safe. If there
    are others at the intersection who arrive at the same time as you, the
    person to your right as right-of-way. Misunderstanding this rule of the
    road leads to numerous intersection collisions every year.
  4. Three-second rule: When following another car, leave three seconds of drive or more between
    you. To measure your distance, find a landmark on the side of the road
    and start counting “one locomotive, two locomotive, three locomotive”
    as soon as their bumper passes it. If you do not finish counting by the
    time you pass the landmark, you are following too closely. You should
    also try to keep the bottom of their back wheels within your view, regardless
    of how fast you are traveling.
  5. Check your surroundings: Frequently check your mirrors, blind spots, and adjacent lanes when driving.
    You need to know where you can safely maneuver your car in an emergency.
    As a general rule, you should check one location, such as left mirror
    then rearview mirror and so on, briefly every three seconds. You may have
    noticed a “three-second” trend in driving rules, which is
    used to keep things simple.

With the best efforts and excellent driving skills, you may still be struck
by another motorist without warning. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate
situation, you should call
417.313.1130 to connect with
Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci. Our Joplin & Springfield car accident attorneys can
review you case for free and let you know if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Be sure to ask about
our “no win, no fee” policy!


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