Road Safety: Why Defensive Driving is Important

According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 1.35 million people lose their lives to road traffic accidents. Furthermore, between 20 and 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many sustaining a disability as a result of their injury.

A vital aspect of safety on the road is defensive driving. As a driver, it is very difficult to control what other road users do, so it is important you put yourself in a position to avoid the consequences of any risky behaviors others may display whilst on the road. Defensive driving entails being aware of potential risks and taking actions to avoid them before they happen, not just reacting to hazards as they occur.

Many people fail to do this, and they drive in a reactionary manner, particularly when they do not have a lot of driving experience. They react to what is happening around them but fail to appropriately ponder potential risks caused by various hazards. The essence of defensive driving is to learn to become a driver who is more aware of potential issues that may lead to accidents and avoid these. Reducing risk through the anticipation of unsafe situations helps maintain driving safety on the road for all users. There are a few key elements all drivers should put into practice to maintain the safety of the roads.

Impacts of Non-Defensive Driving

Not applying defensive driving to your everyday journey may increase your likelihood of being in a car accident, either caused by yourself or others. Being injured in a car accident has considerable negative impacts on individuals’ financial state, their families, and even nations as a whole. These losses are mostly a result of the potentially high cost of treatment as well as lost productivity for those deceased or disabled by their injuries, and for family members who must take time off work or school to take care of their injured family members. If you, or your loved one, had the misfortune of being involved in a car accident and suffered injuries as a result, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer in order to guide you through the process. You can start your research by looking at, which provides you with some information on trials if you are considering a personal injury claim. However, in this article, you will learn about defensive driving and how it can prevent accidents on the road so that you avoid finding yourself in this position.

Follow Basic Traffic Rules

One of the key elements of defensive driving practice is following basic traffic rules. This means driving below speed limits, fully adhering to traffic lights, respecting every stop sign, and merging lanes. These basic rules are designed to maintain safety for all road users, including drivers and pedestrians, and defensive drivers understand these rules and the importance to adhere to them.

Keep Your Distance

Another safety tip any defensive driver will adhere to, is ensuring a distance is kept from any vehicle in front of you. This is important as if the driver in front of you has to brake suddenly, you will avoid crashing into their vehicle if you keep your distance and have enough time to react to this sudden break.  

No Distractions

Avoiding accidents is the essence of defensive driving, and the best way to ensure your safety on the road is to reduce distractions. This way, you can reduce the probability of being involved in a car accident, and it is a basic rule to follow. You should never use your phone whilst driving, do not listen to loud music that could distract you and remind your passengers in the car to talk to each other calmly.

Avoid Road Rage

As a defensive driver, you will know that avoiding aggressive drivers is always a good idea. Road rage is, unfortunately, very common to come across on a daily basis, particularly during rush hour traffic. However, you should deter from engaging with this behavior as it will not fix the issue, and may only escalate the situation. Engaging with angry drivers may put you in a dangerous and risky situation too, hence the best decision is to slow down and let them drive away.

If you are a driver and you use the roads to commute on a daily basis, you may be aware that you face potential risks every day you are out on the road. Although you cannot control what others will do and how they behave, you have full control of yourself and by applying defensive driving, you can develop a more alert state of awareness to what other people may do and all the ways you can best ensure your safety. Any driver on the road should ensure they are defensive drivers, to reduce the number of potential risks and road accidents. This not only keeps you safe but also ensures the safety of everyone else.