Now that the weather has changed, we can expect our annual influx of tourists to the sunshine state. Along with our increased population during the winter, we also see more people on the roadway. Unfortunately, this leads to more automobile collisions. Some tourists flocking to Florida are not familiar with our rules of the road and may be unfamiliar with our driving practices. As a result, it is important that Florida motorists practice defensive driving to keep them and their families safe.
Defensive driving is driving in a way that utilizes safe driving strategies to enable motorists to address identify hazards in a predictable manner. Although all motorists are required to follow the basic traffic laws and procedures, these strategies go beyond that and seek to provide methods by which an alert defensive driver can avoid a potential collision. Reducing driving risk is done by anticipating situations and making well informed decisions.
On roadways, drivers have to deal with several factors that can affect their driving. Some of these factors are beyond the control of the driver. However, there are some circumstances that can be controlled by the driver if he or she knows what to look for and how to handle it. Defensive driving focuses on how drivers overcome negative certain factors such as unneeded stress, fatigue, emotional distress and road rage. In addition, human factors play a role in defensive driving. One example is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving under the influence continues to impact thousands of drivers each year. The effect of drivers operating a vehicle under the influence is disastrous. Drivers should know how alcohol or drugs inhibit motor skills and senses so that crashes are less likely to occur.
Safety equipment is another example of an easy solution to injury. Many injuries and deaths can be avoided if seatbelts were worn. In addition, airbags, child safety seats, and head rests all serve to protect drivers and passengers and reduce the risk of injury or death.
By employing certain crash prevention techniques, a defensive driver knows how to avoid crashes and can recognize potential hazards before it’s too late. Some of these strategies are as follows:
- Scanning the roadway and adapting to your surrounding
- Employing the two second rule for following distances
- Know your vehicle stopping distance.
- Being aware of reaction distance
- Being aware of environmental hazards
- Knowing who has the right of way
- Making speed adjustments at railroad crossings
Defensive driving can save lives, time and money despite the conditions around you and the actions of others. Defensive driving can reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations despite adverse conditions or the mistakes of others. If a motorist plans ahead for the unexpected, controls their speed, is prepared to react to other drivers, and respects other uses of the roadway, many potential collisions can be avoided. Don’t make assumptions about what other drivers intend, and always act as if other drivers may be making mistakes, so that you can react accordingly. In this way you can protect yourself and your family from any potential collision that may occur. This will make Florida’s roadways safer for both residents and guests.