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Defensive driving techniques all drivers should practice

One of the top ways you can avoid an accident is by practicing strong defensive driving habits. For example, if you are the first car in line at a red light and it changes green, you should not assume that it is safe to enter the intersection. First, you should act defensively and look both ways to make sure all cross traffic has actually stopped and there isn't a rogue vehicle barreling toward the intersection. By taking those few extra seconds, you can avoid becoming the victim of a reckless driver.

While each situation is unique and can require different defensive driving tactics, by adopting some basic techniques you can increase your chances of staying safe on the road. Here are a few defensive driving tips every driver should follow.

Look ahead

Many drivers, especially inexperienced ones, look only at what is directly in front of them and no further. Unfortunately, this driving habit could put you in danger. Instead, you should be looking as far ahead as you can. By doing this you will be able to anticipate potential problems or even see a hazard that you must avoid. For example, if you see a passenger vehicle suddenly swerve several miles ahead this could trigger you to slow down and pay attention to possible debris in the road that caused that driver to swerve.

Plan your escape

While you might have great driving habits, the 10 cars around you might be operated by people who have poor judgment. In other words, there is no way you can depend on other drivers to practice good safety habits.

There could be other factors beyond your control that can contribute to a wreck, too. Since you cannot predict exactly what will happen when you are driving, you should always have an escape plan in place. For example, if the car in front of you suddenly has a blowout and loses control, what will you do? Is there enough distance between you and that car for you to stop? Is there space in the next lane for you to move over and avoid an accident?

Keep your distance

Following at a safe distance is an extremely important defensive driving tactic to practice. However, it is also the one that is most commonly broken. Following too closely can make a collision much more likely but leaving too much space between you and the next car can get you cut off by an aggressive driver. To stay safe, you will have to find a happy medium so that you have enough time to react to the car in front of you without putting yourself at risk of being cut off.

Minimize distractions

When you are behind the wheel, the only thing you should be doing is driving. In other words, you should avoid distractions and multitasking. Save the phone call or text for when you are safely stopped. The same goes for eating, personal grooming and any other activity that can take your attention away from the road. In addition, passengers, pets or even loud music can cause too much of a distraction.

While the above defensive driving techniques can help you reduce the risk of an accident, it is not always possible to avoid every hazard or the actions of other Bridgeport drivers. If you have been in a car accident due to a negligent or reckless driver, you might be able to file a claim for your injuries and the damages to your car.

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