Robert Adelman and Mary Ann Connors are no longer partners of, or affiliated with, this firm.

What Is Defensive Driving?


A defensive driver tries to anticipate and react quickly to dangerous traffic situations to reduce the odds of being in an accident. They use techniques that reduce their risk of a crash by remaining alert, being prepared for the unexpected, and controlling what they can.

Every day, reckless drivers cause fatal collisions that could have been avoided if they had taken a few basic safety measures. At Hirsch Andrade, our attorneys have witnessed the harm brought on by aggressive and careless drivers who failed to use defensive driving techniques.

It is never too late to develop the habit of defensive driving. Learn more.

What Are Examples of Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving employs specific safe driving techniques to assist drivers in compensating for other drivers’ mistakes and responding to road hazards in a predictable way.

The goal of defensive driving is to be ready for anything. You drive defensively when you:

Wear a Seatbelt

Connecticut law requires drivers and passengers to wear seat belts.  Yet, every year, many people are injured or killed because they did not use their seat belts. Seat belts prevent occupants from being thrown around the interior of a car or ejected from it during an accident. Nobody starts the day expecting to be in a collision, but collisions occur. Be ready for the unexpected by buckling up every time you enter a vehicle.

Plan Ahead

It’s important to make preparations before you start your trip. Defensive drivers look at the weather forecast and give themselves extra time to get where they are going in inclement weather. Besides tracking weather, make yourself aware of predicted snags in traffic brought on by sporting matches or other organized events.

Exhibit Situational Awareness

Drivers who practice defensive driving constantly scan the horizon for potential hazards such as potholes, road debris, or deer. Defensive drivers keep a constant eye out for oncoming traffic, vehicles overtaking them, and traffic at intersections. They also frequently check their mirrors. Drivers should stay focused on the road and avoid distractions that divert their attention from driving.

Don’t Tailgate

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), forty percent (40%) of accidents that occur each year are rear-ended collisions. To create a safety margin, defensive drivers manage the area around their vehicle and keep a safe following distance of three to four seconds behind other vehicles. This allows for enough time to react if the driver in front of you suddenly stops or slows down. Many collisions can be prevented by simply controlling the space in front of your car and not following too closely.

Be Careful at Intersections

When a red light turns green, cautious drivers who are stopped at the intersection make sure that all oncoming traffic has cleared the intersection before proceeding.

Follow Posted Speed Limits

Drivers who exceed the posted speed limit are involved in nearly one-third of all fatal crashes. The faster a car is going, the harder it is to control and the greater distance is required to stop.  Speeding drivers have a harder time identifying hazards and responding to them in a timely manner. Therefore, slow down when driving and observe the posted speed limits.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

The attorneys at our law firm will provide dependable legal counsel and assist you in understanding your legal options if you have been hurt in a crash in Connecticut that was the fault of another driver. Contact us at (203) 331-8888 or visit Hirsch Andrade online to schedule a free consultation.

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