The actions of other drivers on the road are unpredictable. To prevent being the victim of a car accident, defensive driving can help you be better prepared to respond to risks to provide for the safety of yourself and your loved ones.
Siegfried & Jensen’s Salt Lake City car crash lawyers are here to help you protect your rights and the health of your family on the road. We are going to discuss some defensive driving tips that can help you stay safe behind the wheel of a car.
If you or someone you love has been injured in the result of a car accident with a reckless driver, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

You should always pay attention to your environment when you are operating a motor vehicle. Maintain your focus far down the roadway in order to be better able to identify risk factors, like reckless drivers, traffic build up, upcoming intersections, or roadway debris.
Be prepared for any possible scenario you could encounter traveling down the road. This can better help you foresee potential dangers and be able to react if you see a potential risk.

Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving is the primary cause of car crashes in the United States. When you are driving on the road, you should be focusing your full attention on operating your vehicle. When you focus on anything other than driving, you can increase the likelihood of being involved in an accident.
While behind the wheel, you should always avoid distractions like:

  • Using your cellphone
  • Talking with passengers
  • Looking for objects in your car
  • Adjusting your car’s features
  • Eating or drinking
  • Updating your GPS for directions
  • Grooming
  • Focusing on objects on the road

Never Drive Impaired

Driving a car means you need to be sober and aware. Never operate a vehicle after drinking, using drugs, or being sleep deprived.
It is illegal in Utah to drive a car after drinking more than the legal state limit (.05 BAC). Just having one or two drinks can have a serious impact on your ability to make reasonable decisions and react quickly on the road.
Driving while drowsy can greatly increase the risk of a car crash and has many of the same impairments that are seen under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. If you do not sleep the recommended seven hours of rest, you can are likely not to be as ready to react to sudden hazards that may show up on the road.

Maintain a Safe Distance From Other Drivers

There should always be more than enough space between you and the car in front of you. A safe distance to follow another car is at least two seconds in safe road conditions, or three seconds during inclement weather or road conditions.
A simple way to determine a safe following distance is to focus on a fixed object at the side of the road, like a tree or highway sign. When the back bumper of the car in front of you has passed the object, begin counting the seconds until your front bumper passes the same object.
If you don’t count at least two seconds, you should probably slow down to increase following distance between your car and the one in front of you.

Make an Emergency Plan

There should always be a plan to escape if you find yourself involved in any possible danger or unexpected emergency while behind the wheel.
To prepare your emergency plan, you should always be observing other motorists, anticipating their potential actions, and planning ahead on how to react in a given situation.
There should always be an option to maneuver away safely from any potentially dangerous situations that could cause a car crash.

Use Safety Devices

Safety devices are a useful feature in all cars, and all drivers should take advantage of them.
Always wear a seat belt while traveling in a vehicle and ensure that all your passengers follow suit. If a young child is also in the car, they should be secured in a car seat at all times.
In many newer vehicles, there might be updated safety features available that alert you to objects near the car and possibly oncoming risks. Take the time to learn how to use these features effectively and understand available safety systems that are installed in your car. These can potentially save your life, so take advantage of the warnings.

Practice Safe Driving

Defensive Driving Tips to Avoid a CollisionSome of the best ways to avoid car collisions are to practice safe driving and follow Utah’s traffic laws. These include:

  • Staying within the recommended speed limit
  • Using your turn signal when merging lanes or turning
  • Completely stopping at stop signs and red lights
  • Yielding to other drivers
  • Being aware of your blind spots
  • Using your headlights
  • Preparing for any dangerous weather conditions
  • Maintaining your vehicle
  • Avoiding road rage and aggressive drivers
  • Maintaining a consistent speed

Any measure taken to improve your ability to drive your car will create safer roadways for everyone. By following these driving tips, you can reduce your own chances of being involved in a severe car accident.

Car Crashes in Salt Lake City

Over 22,000 people are harmed in car crashes in Utah every year. Unfortunately, these accidents can often be devastating and cause a family to lose a loved one. When you discover that your family member died due to the negligence of another driver, it is often unbearable. In some cases, families can reach out to a car crash attorney in Utah to protect their legal rights after an accident.
Siegfried & Jensen’s wrongful death attorneys in Salt Lake City are dedicated to getting families the help they deserve to pay for their damages. Our experienced attorneys will work endlessly to get you the settlement you need after losing a loved one in a tragic accident. Contact us today at (801) 845-9000 to discuss your claim to see what options are available for you.

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Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.