Each year, millions of families lose their loved ones to accidents on the road. Last year, deaths from car crashes peaked at an all-time high of more than 40,000 casualties. As a Christian, when you step into the car, it’s your responsibility to do everything in your power to protect not only yourself but also your fellow drivers. Here are just some of the ways that you can practice defensive driving and do your part to keep the roads safe for everyone.
Use Your Signals
In driving, as in life, accidents can be avoided by clear communication. Letting other drivers know what you plan on doing in your vehicle can help to prevent easily avoidable crashes and fender benders. Always use your indicators when turning or when changing lanes, even if you think there’s no one else around. That way, your actions won’t take other drivers by surprise.
Check Your Blind Spot
You should always be aware of whether a car is traveling in your blind spot, even if you don’t plan on turning. You never know when you may need to swerve out of your lane to avoid an obstacle on the road. Keep an eye out every so often to make sure that both sides of your car are clear. If you notice someone is riding in your blind spot, speed up or slow down slightly so that they’re clearly visible in your mirrors. Conversely, you should also make an effort to pay attention to other cars’ blind spots and avoid them whenever possible.
Keep Your Distance
While it can be tempting to tailgate slow drivers, it’s both rude and dangerous to do so. In the event of a sudden stop, you’re more likely to ram into the back of the car behind you. At high speeds, this can lead to property damage, injuries, and even death. At low speeds, you still may be on the hook for insurance payments if you bump the back of another car. It’s best to leave about one car length for every ten miles per hour of speed that you accumulate. If conditions are wet, slippery, or dark, it’s a good idea to leave yourself even more space.
Defensive driving is an essential skill for anyone setting foot behind the wheel. It can help to keep you, your family, and your fellow drivers safe from harm while on the road. By staying alert, communicating your intent, and driving carefully, you can avoid injuring other parties or getting into an accident yourself.