One of the leading causes of car accidents on the roads and highways of New Jersey and Pennsylvania is aggressive driving. People who drive aggressively are by definition reckless drivers, and their negligence often causes car accidents and personal injury. Motorists cannot control how other people drive, but there are things they can do to protect themselves and their families from the unsafe driving habits of others. Here is a list of defensive driving tips to help protect against unsafe drivers.
Ways Motorists can Protect Themselves from Aggressive Drivers
- Do not drive too close: Drivers should keep a good distance from the vehicle in front. It is a safe habit to keep at least three to four car lengths between vehicles. This will allow for an opportunity to perform an emergency stop if the vehicle in front stops suddenly. Often, aggressive drivers will drive erratically, stopping quickly without considering the vehicles behind them. In the opposite case in which someone is driving too close from behind, motorists should plan on moving over to the side of the road if possible and let the driver pass by. This will remove and de-escalate the unsafe situation.
- Do not drive too fast: One of the main causes of car and truck accidents is driving too fast. Some aggressive drivers can go too fast and lose control of their vehicles, and other drivers travel so fast that they cannot stop in time if a sudden emergency presents itself. In order to protect against aggressive drivers, it is best drive in a slow, controlled manner.
- Be aware of blind spots: Drivers must be aware of the blind spots in the vehicle and take extra precautions on making sure there is visibility whenever a lane change or turn is made. Also, it is important to be cognizant of the potential blind spots on other vehicles and attempt to stay clear of those blind spots.
- Use turn signals: By using a turn signal whenever there is a lane change or turn, everyone else on the road can see what is going to happen and react to it. Always using the turn is not only a courtesy, it also is a safe habit to use every time. It is also the law.
- Avoid erratic drivers: If possible, motorists should avoid erratic drivers who are swerving or clearly not paying attention to the road conditions. Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States with everyone having a smart phone in their pockets. There are also many drivers who are intoxicated and under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Obviously, motorists should stay as far away from any vehicles that appear that their drivers are intoxicated.
- Assume other drivers will make mistakes: It is best to assume that other drivers will make mistakes or drive dangerously. Not every driver pays attention, and not every driver follows the rules of the road. For example, when traveling through intersections, drivers should always look both ways even though the other directions have a red light or a stop sign. There is always the possibility that another driver might be distracted and run the red light or stop sign.
- Do not drive distracted: Just like avoiding drivers who are driving distracted, motorists should not drive distracted themselves. Eyes should be kept on the road and the smart phone put away. It only takes a split second to lose control of a vehicle. Drivers taking a phone call or looking at a text run the risk of getting into an accident and potentially hurting themselves, family members, and other people on the roads. If there is an emergency phone call that has to be made, a driver should pull over to the side of the road to make it. Being fully engaged in driving and being on the lookout for potential emergencies is the best, safest practice.
- Be patient: The world would be a much nicer and safer place if everyone on the roads were patient with everyone else. But that will probably never happen. Being a patient driver and not rushing or driving fast or driving aggressively because of frustration will allow the driver to be more in control. The patient driver will also be more aware of their surroundings and be able to react more quickly to emergencies. In order to be a patient driver, a motorist should make sure to always leave with more than enough time to get to the destination. An abundance of patience also comes in handy when driving in crowded and congested traffic. If someone is driving erratically, a motorist should not take it personally. They should just be patient and get home safely.
- Do not drive during rush hour, if possible: Statistics indicate that more car and truck accidents happen during rush hours. This makes sense considering the number of vehicles on the roads and given all of the frustrated drivers out there. Other drivers tend to be more aggressive and there are more road rage incidents during these times. Avoiding rush hour traffic will make the drive safer, quicker, and less frustrating.
- Always wear a seat belt: Although this will not keep aggressive drivers off the roads and at bay, it will give some protection against being struck by someone driving recklessly. Wearing a seat belt is an easy, dependable way for a driver and passengers to keep from being seriously injured in a car accident. The chances of walking away from a violent collision increases greatly if seat belts are worn. Also, it is the law.
- Maintain the vehicle: One of the simpler ways for motorists to help protect against aggressive drivers is to make sure that their own vehicle is in good mechanical condition and the maintenance is up to date. Drivers should make sure that the headlights, turn indicators, brake lights, and brakes are working properly.
Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Fight for the Rights of People Injured by Aggressive Drivers
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, reach out to the Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova. We have the experience to handle your claim and will fight to get you the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County and Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.