More than 90 percent of Michiganders drive or carpool to work every day. Because driving is such a regular part of our daily routine, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous it can be. Even the safest drivers are at risk of deadly accidents caused by the erratic or unexpected behavior of others.
Learning defensive driving techniques is one of the best ways to steer clear of traffic collisions. Defensive driving can help you identify hazards and minimize your risk on the road.
Continue reading for the following defensive driving tips from Christensen Law. If you’ve been hurt in a crash in Michigan, contact our offices in Detroit, Southfield, Grand Rapids, or Ann Arbor, to speak with an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer.
Defensive Driving Tips for Drivers
No matter how long you’ve been driving, these tips can serve as helpful reminders to keep you safe on the road:
Always Wear a Seat Belt
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning reports that nearly six percent of drivers fail to wear seatbelts regularly.
In addition to being legally required, wearing a seat belt significantly reduces your risk of serious or fatal injuries in a car crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that wearing a seat belt in the front seat of a car reduces your chances of death by 45 percent and moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.
When you consume alcohol or certain types of drugs, your ability to maintain focus, react swiftly, and make appropriate judgment calls may be compromised.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that years of driving experience will save you. When your body is physically impaired, no amount of skill behind the wheel can make up for the physiological changes that accompany drunk driving or drugged driving.
Don’t Drive Without a Good Night’s Sleep
Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that just 24 hours of sleep deprivation can create impairments behind the wheel similar to those with someone driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08.
To avoid drowsy driving accidents, make sure you get plenty of sleep, seek treatment for sleep disorders, and avoid driving if you know you will be fatigued.
Speeding one of the top causes of car accidents. High-speed crashes are far more likely to cause extensive damage and serious injuries because the force of impact is so violent. Speeding puts you, your passengers, and everyone around you on the road at risk.
Minimize Potential Distractions
Studies have shown we’re not equipped to multitask. Focusing on phone messages, passenger interactions, or external events can lead to devastating distracted driving accidents.
Avoid potential distractions by putting your phone away and programming GPS directions before you drive. Ask passengers to help you navigate, adjust vehicle controls, or reply to messages as needed.
Purchase as Much Insurance as You Can Afford
Michigan drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of no-fault auto insurance. However, state minimum insurance requirements do not include coverage for things like damage to your vehicle. You should purchase unlimited PIP coverage for your medical needs, uninsured motorist protection, and at least $250,000 in liability coverage.
Defensive driving cannot prevent all accidents, but having insurance can help ensure that you and your loved ones are as protected as possible in the event of a crash.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were involved in a Michigan car accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Christensen Law today. We can answer all of your questions in a free case review.