Have you ever watched a police chase on television and wondered how these men and women are able to avoid so many collisions? It is because they are trained to drive offensively or tactically. Instead of defensive driving maneuvers, these people are taught how to drive in such a way that they avoid accidents by being proactive rather than reactive.
While you may not, as an ordinary citizen, ever have the need to drive a hundred miles an hour down the highway, you can still take a few tips from the professionals. Experts say that there is more than one technique you can adopt that will improve your driving skills. Whether you are running late for an appointment or encounter some type of blockage to your route, staying calm and using your skills can be beneficial. Here are some tips for becoming a more tactical driver.
Distracted driving is a big problem on today’s roads. When you are the driver, it is important to remember that you are just that: The driver. Your attention should be focused on the task at hand and nothing else. Know what is ahead of, behind and surrounding you. Keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to current conditions. When you pay closer attention to your phone than to the road, you are putting yourself and everyone else in danger.
Car jackings make the news, but they never occur on the interstate. Why? Because you can’t take someone’s car if they don’t stop. Many people don’t consider that they could become the victim of car theft because there is a feeling of safety in your own property. If you are driving through a rough or unfamiliar neighborhood, don’t stop. Keep your windows rolled up, your doors locked and keep moving. If you truly feel that your safety is at risk, call the police for help.
Keep a safe amount of distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Any car can come to a sudden stop, either due to an application of the brakes or equipment malfunction. When you are riding the tail of the car in front of you, not only will you hit it, but you will be found at fault. When you keep enough distance between your own vehicle and others, you are giving yourself more room to maneuver if you need to, and you are giving other cars the same option.
Are you one of those people that fail to use their turn signals? Get out of that habit. Offensive and tactical driving includes being proactive rather than reactive. You can’t expect other drivers to read your mind. If you are going to be changing your direction of travel, either by changing lanes or turning a corner, let other drivers know about your plans. A simple turn signal can help you avoid accidents.
This one is a no-brainer. While many people call this defensive driving, you are exactly reacting to any situation when you follow the rules of the road. Instead, you are proactively avoiding collisions. The rules of the road include those laid forth for proper speeds, obeying traffic signals and driving in an overall way that would be considered safe. When you follow traffic laws, you are driving in a way that has been studied to be the safest for that particular stretch of road.
Defensive driving requires that you react to another driver’s behavior. You may need to swerve to avoid a collision, slam on your brakes at an intersection or even speed up to avoid a collision. Offensive driving means that you are proactive. In other words, you are operating your vehicle in such a way that you aren’t forced to react. You are in greater control of your vehicle and driving experience. While you may not have the need to enter into a high-speed chase, you can still be tactical and mindful of your driving habits.
No matter how you decide to operate your vehicle, there is nothing that can be done to avoid every accident. The only thing you can do is hope to see what is around you, keep your own driving skills sharp and drive in such a way that you and those you are sharing the road with are safe.
If you happen to be involved in an accident in West Palm Beach, reach out to Steinger, Iscoe and Greene. We will review the details of your accident during a free case evaluation and advise you of your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries, property damage, lost wages and more. Call us today to schedule your consultation and let us help you put the pieces of your life back together.