Defensive Driving: The Key to Road Survival

defensive drivingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 94 percent of accidents are due to human error. Whether you are a new or experienced driver, it is never a bad idea to adopt a more defensive approach to driving.

The National Safety Council defines defensive driving as “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” The main goal of defensive driving is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or the mistakes of others.

Some common attributes of a defensive driver include:

• Always being prepared and ready to adapt
• Staying focused on the road and avoiding any distractions
• Avoid driving in blind spots
• Being cognizant of weather and environmental hazards
• Having an escape route
• Determining a safe stopping distance and speed adjustment
• Using your traffic signals
• Avoid unnecessary braking and maneuvering between lanes

Because driving may require you to react quickly, you should always stay alert when operating a motor vehicle. So, you should never get behind the wheel if you are distracted, drowsy, or impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Distracted. Anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road heightens the risk of an accident. This may include texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, or just the radio. With more than 2,800 fatalities in the United States each year due to distracted driving, it is important to remain focused and cut out all disruptions.

Drowsy. It is obviously unsafe to drive drowsy or with a lack of sleep. Driving under these conditions may slow down your reaction time needed to make a quick decision or, even worse, you may fall asleep at the wheel and cause an accident. The best thing a driver can do if they are feeling tired is to pull over and get some rest until they feel awake enough to drive again.

Impaired. Driving under the influence of drugs and/ or alcohol can impair one’s judgement, coordination, perception, and reaction time. Not only is this extremely dangerous for yourself and others on the road, you run the risk of losing your license and having to pay fines and legal fees. If you are in this state, it is crucial to have a designated driver and not get behind the wheel.

trafficThere are a few benefits of taking a defensive driving course as well. Completing the course may remove infractions from your driving record, earn you an insurance discount, and teach you how to be an overall more cautious driver.

While adopting a more defensive approach to driving can avoid a great number of accidents, it is not infallible. Simply because some accidents cannot be prevented. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should get out of the way of traffic and seek any necessary immediate medical attention. Once you are safe, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office) or email us at

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