What Should a Defensive Driver Do to Avoid Accidents?

should-defensive-driver-avoid-accidents Credit: casenbina/E+/Getty Images

A defensive driver can avoid accidents by maintaining awareness of the surroundings at all times, ensuring proper maintenance of the vehicle and avoiding distractions while driving.

An effective defensive driver constantly monitors the driving environment, including the roadway, the median, the shoulders and the area along the horizon. A driver's vision should touch on the side mirrors, rear view mirrors and windshield to take full advantage of several views. An occasional glance to the driver's blind spots helps, too.

Although drivers cannot prevent all accidents, a fully functional vehicle puts the driver in a better position to do so. Driving with one headlight or old windshield wiper blades impairs a driver'svision, making it more difficult to determine when other drivers engage in risky behaviors. A working horn alerts drivers to impending danger, enabling them to correct their actions.

Texting, eating and talking on the phone distracts focus from the road and other drivers. Drivers need to keep their eyes open and constantly moving to scan the roadway around them, as a split second of inattention makes a difference. Defensive drivers should wait until they can safely pull over and away from the roadway before texting or talking on the phone.