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6 Defensive Driving Techniques That Could Save Your Life

Defensive driving is a technique that focuses on preparation, anticipation, and focus to avoid accidents.

Whether you’re a new driver or have been a car owner for decades, these tips can help you avoid accidents and create safer roads.

Wear a Seat belt

The number one safety tip when driving will always be to wear a seat belt. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of those who died in car accidents in 2015 were not wearing seat belts. Not only is opting out of wearing your seat belt deadly, it’s also illegal. Keep in mind, in some states the driver will face a fine if passengers are not wearing their seat belts.

Adjust Your Mirrors

Before you even start driving you should check your mirrors. If your mirrors aren’t positioned correctly, you may not be able to see your blind spot, which is extremely dangerous for yourself and other drivers. Neglecting to adjust your mirrors before driving could mean that you have to do so while driving, which is distracting and dangerous.

Avoid Blind Spots

Driving in another car’s blind spot is really dangerous, but we aren’t always mindful enough to notice when we’re doing it. With large vehicles like semi-trucks, this bad habit could even be deadly. To avoid another driver’s blind spot, keep in mind that if you can’t see a car’s mirrors, the driver probably can’t see you.

St. Louis driver driving with both hands

Use Both Hands

Driving with one hand is believed to reduce reaction time, which could get you into an accident. Developing the habit of keeping both hands on the steering wheel is also a good way to naturally limit distractions like changing the radio or texting.

Limit Distractions

Once you’re comfortable driving in your area, it’s easy to allow yourself to get distracted, especially by using your cell phone. Your local area may even have special laws about using the phone while driving. In Missouri it is currently illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to use a phone at all while driving in Missouri. This is an important thing to keep in mind when teaching your kids to drive.

Have an Action Kit

For the times when avoiding an accident isn’t possible, you should have an action kit available in your car. Your action kit should include:

  • vehicle registration & insurance card
  • emergency contact information
  • flashlight
  • flares & flags
  • first aid kit
  • information for a local attorney

Most of these items can help you survive an emergency, while the information for a lawyer could save you money or even keep you out of jail. Should you get into an accident, one of the first things you’re going to want to do is contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney for legal advice.

Stay Vigilant

Practicing safe driving techniques is the best way to avoid an accident. If an accident does happen, be prepared and contact a trusted auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Whether or not you were at fault, hiring a lawyer can help you get the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to.

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Updated: February 5, 2024