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How can you avoid becoming involved in a car crash?

As we're prepared to get our driver's permits and then licenses as teens, we all likely spent significant time reading over driving laws and tips and then taking driver's education for practical experience. Our defensive driving skills decline over the years, though, leaving us vulnerable to becoming involved in car crashes.

One reason motorists end up crashing into other cars is because they ride too closely to others. This is why most instructors warn drivers to keep at least a driving distance of at least two seconds between both you and the one in front of you.

A good rule of thumb is to always drive at the posted speed limit, provided that the other motorists around you are also doing the same. If they're not, then you want to keep pace with them, but never exceed the posted limit. You should always slow down if the roads are wet or slippery, as it can take longer to brake in situations like this.

It's also important to continuously be scanning the roadway for errant bicyclists, pets, pedestrians and motorists that you may have the potential of making contact with. Doing so can give you a 20 to 30 second head's up of one of these infringing on your right of way. This is also why it's imperative to always have an escape plan in mind for getting out of a potentially catastrophic situation.

Allowing other motorists that seem to be in a hurry to pass you, as opposed to speeding up alongside them, is a good approach to take to avoid both being stopped by police and becoming involved in a crash.

Using turn signals is your one method of communication with other motorists. It can go a long ways in preventing others from crashing into the rear of your car.

Although it should be understood without being said, only taking to the road if you're well-rested and not under the influence of medication, alcohol or recreational drugs goes a long way in preventing a potential crash. Any other distractions such as cellphone usage, watching movies while driving or engaging in intensive conversations with passengers in your car should also be avoided while driving.

If you've been seriously injured by a distracted or reckless motorist, then a Los Lunas attorney can advise you of legal remedies that you can pursue in your case.

Source: BSR, "5 defensive driving techniques that will keep you safe," accessed April 20, 2018

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