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Take these steps to become a defensive driver

There will always be aggressive drivers on the road. Fortunately, you don't have to be one of them. You can follow a variety of steps to become a defensive driver, which goes a long way in keeping you safe.

Even if you haven't been the safest driver to date, you can change your ways in the future. If you want to become a defensive driver, here are five steps to take:

  • Think ahead: Knowing what you could run into on the road can go a long way in helping you avoid trouble. For example, if you know that traffic typically stops at a certain time of the day, plan in advance for this.
  • Watch what's happening around you: You only have control over your vehicle, but that doesn't mean you should ignore others. In addition to other vehicles, watch for pedestrians. There's a lot happening around you, so pay attention to anything that could pose a risk.
  • Leave more space: The more space you leave between your vehicle and others, the more time you have to stop. For instance, many people are in the habit of tailgating when driving in stop and go traffic. Do yourself a favor and leave one to two car lengths of stopping time.
  • Don't become aggressive: Even the best defensive drivers are tempted to change their ways every now and again. Maybe someone cuts you off. Or maybe someone uses a hand signal that upsets you. Don't let the aggression of another driver rub off on you.
  • Avoid distractions at all costs: Defensive drivers understand the importance of always paying attention to the road. They don't text and drive. They don't eat and drink while behind the wheel. They don't turn around to see what's happening in the backseat. You should always keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the steering wheel.

When you take these five steps, it won't be long before you can consider yourself a defensive driver.

Despite your best efforts to remain safe, another driver could cause an accident. If this happens, move to safety, call 911 and provide the responding officer with your version of events.

After receiving medical treatment, file an insurance claim and seek out information on the many ways to obtain compensation for your injuries and damage.

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