Even With Less People On the Road, Defensive Driving is a Must

Our friends at Agency Checklists, published the below article this week:

With 50% Less Traffic On Massachusetts Roads, Fatalities Doubled In April

Interstate 95 South - Peabody to Norwood - AARoads - Massachusetts

Based on information released by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, it appears that the significant down turn in traffic due to the Coronavirus pandemic has actually led to a doubling in road fatalities.

It can be common in the Bay State to be proud of our "creative" driving techniques, but this grim new statistic highlights the major flaw in thinking like that. The freer, more open roads have led travelers to more severe speeding and a relaxation of their typical safety precautions, like using hands-free communication and wearing a seat belt.  It has never been a better time to drive defensively.

Defensive Driving

Being a defensive driver means driving to prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others or the presence of adverse driving conditions. In other words, defensive driving means that you are ready for any and all surprises on the road. To avoid accidents by practicing defensive driving, follow a three-step process of seeing hazards, understanding potential defenses and acting in time.

  1. See the Hazard:Think about what may happen as far ahead of you as possible, and never assume that hazards will resolve themselves before you reach them.

  2. Understand the Defense:
    Review a potentially hazardous situation in your mind after you see it so that you can act quickly and in plenty of time. This will allow you to formulate a defense that will prevent an accident.

  3. Act in Time:
    Once you see a hazard and decide upon a defense, you must act immediately. The sooner you act, the more time you will have to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

Defensive driving requires the knowledge and strict observance of all traffic rules and regulations applicable to the area you are driving in. It also means that you should be alert for illegal actions and driving errors made by others, and have a willingness to make timely adjustments to your own driving to avoid an accident.

By keeping safe driving techniques in mind, you will learn how to modify and tailor your own driving behavior to the unexpected actions of other drivers, pedestrians and animals on the road. By doing so, you’ll be ready for unpredictable factors such as light, weather, road conditions, traffic patterns and mechanical troubles.