How can California motorists drive defensively?

California drivers will do well to learn how to drive defensively to avoid unnecessary accidents and the resulting financial fallout.

California is well-known for its traffic conditions, making it essential that drivers know how to navigate and share the road to avoid unnecessary accidents. Learning how to drive defensively can keep you from being involved in a fender bender and having to file an unnecessary insurance claim. Learn a few valuable tips for protecting yourself and other drivers before getting behind the wheel again.

Look far and near

When it comes to defensive driving, it is always best to go back to the basics. By keeping an eye on what is ahead on the road as well as what is right in front of you, you are that much better prepared to respond to hazards, slowdowns or anything else that might impede the flow of traffic.

Keep a proper distance between yourself and other cars

Besides following the speed limit, you should also maintain a safe driving distance with other automobiles, which is about the length of a car. With enough space between you and the car in front of you, you have the distance as well as the time necessary to react to dangers. That being said, you also want to make sure there is not too much distance between you and other cars; otherwise, you run the risk of inviting another driver to cut you off, which could result in an accident.

Concentrate on the road

Failing to pay attention to the road is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents. Always remain alert to what is going on around you, which means putting down your phone, not changing radio stations while driving and not engaging in a heated argument while behind the wheel.

Use your signal

Let other drivers know what you are doing by using your turn signals. Bear in mind that you want to give a signal before turning or changing lanes, not as you are turning or changing lanes. Remember that a signal is meant to give drivers a heads up as to what you are about to do; it does not do much good to give a signal only to change lanes a split second later.

Have an escape plan

While you cannot account for every accident or incident on the road, there are a few common occurrences for which you can account. For instance, if someone suddenly brakes in front of you, quickly maneuvering onto the shoulder can keep you from having an accident. Always be aware of your surroundings so you have options should the worst happen.

Our founding attorney, Scott J. Corwin, has more than 20 years of experience in representing accident victims injured in all forms of bicycle accidents, in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California. Contact him if you are ever involved in an accident while behind the wheel or while on your bike or motorcycle.