Written on Dec 27, 2012 1:04:00 PM
Driving Defensively: Accident Avoidance For The Holidays
With all the parties and get-togethers this holiday season, you might not be thinking about the driving and the traveling that you’ll be doing to get from place to place. Since we all know that people enjoy having a good time and celebrating their holidays, we know there are some people who are not quite the soberest or smartest characters.
This holiday season, we’d like to caution you all to be sure you know where you’re going or what you’re doing while you’re driving. We know that you are a smart driver, but others may not be. With that in mind, we have some defensive driving tips that might help you avoid the unthinkable.
This is the fundamental concept in terms of defensive driving: stay alert. Alertness is the biggest part of avoiding accidents simply because it is far easier to dodge and avoid them if you see them coming. One of the biggest causes of accidents is distracted driving. Simply reaching for a cup of coffee or for one of those Christmas cookies can create a major problem for you (or for the other driver). You will miss that stop sign or the light you were not supposed to speed through.
You will also see other drivers doing their stupid things and you can work to avoid it. If someone’s swerving around, you can move early to give them a wide space through which they can travel. If someone is tired, drunk, or lost, you can look for the telltale signs of that as well and move to avoid them. The entire ordeal of driving through the countryside can be made far easier if you just pay close attention to your surroundings.
Be Aware of Driving Conditions
Here in Florida, we do not suffer from snow or ice, but there are still driving conditions to be aware of. If it rained before you departed, be sure to slow down and avoid the large puddles if you are moving too fast. If you live by the highway and use it to travel, map out your route beforehand and find out the traffic information for the area that you are in. The general idea is to know what the roads are like well before you arrive at them. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, as they say. Check and double check everything—it will pay off at the end of the day when you arrive home safely.
Learn Your Maneuvers
If the accident or slipup becomes inevitable, be sure to know your defensive driving basics. If you must leave the roadway, turn towards the shoulder. Do not swerve into opposing traffic (it might seem obvious, but in a stressful situation it is not the simplest thing to remember). If you start to skid or slide, pump the brakes (or engage the ABS system, if you have one) and attempt to keep the car stable. Slamming the brakes (if they’re not ABS) will cause an even bigger skid and more loss of control. And, if the traffic is so bad and the problems of driving become too large, stop somewhere safe and wait for a while. A big contributor to driving problems is stress, so if it’s too much, it is better to spend your time resting than rushing through traffic (and possibly crashing).
Of course, accidents can always happen. These tips are not perfect. Someone can slam into you no matter how safely you are driving. Be careful out there this holiday season, and figure out what you are doing if the unthinkable should happen. If you are injured, you should call us. We’re trained professionals who have seen this a lot; we can get you the care you need.