Driving anywhere can be dangerous, but the pace and volume of traffic in Orlando demands a special focus on defensive driving. The city is a bustling world-class tourist destination, a thriving commercial center, and home to drivers with a wide range of skills and experience. Add the seemingly permanent, ongoing road construction projects, and you have a safety challenge.
So how do you avoid driving accidents in Orlando? It pays to develop defensive driving habits. It’s imperative to train yourself to understand that when you get behind the wheel, your mind must always be set to safety first. It’s a matter of attention, of remaining in a state of alert awareness, knowing that you are operating a motor vehicle and that your decisions behind the wheel have life and death consequences. This means being prepared for the unexpected and attending to the driving environment. Fundamentally, this means driving at a safe speed and leaving plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
If you are driving on I-4, you can assume that there will be construction. You should drive as if you are on an obstacle course. Prepare to shift lanes quickly. Watch for construction vehicles entering the roadway. Be aware that the temporary jersey construction walls leave no room to maneuver road hazards.
On any road, you must take into account weather conditions. Floridians don’t often have to worry about snow or sleet, but rain is the deadliest weather driving condition. Rain decreases visibility and makes the road surface slippery. Defense driving is especially important at night because of reduced visibility, and the increased likelihood of tired or intoxicated drivers.
And in any weather condition, on any road, night or day, there are basic, common-sense rules of the road that may save your life. When you are driving, drive. Don’t text, talk on the phone or do anything but pay attention to what you are doing. Distracted driving has reversed a decades-long decline in highway fatalities. Reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
At Martinez Manglardi, our Orlando car accident attorneys receive hundreds of calls every month from injured victims of distracted driving accidents.
Other commons sense and potentially lifesaving habits include these tips from Edmunds.com:
- Stick to the center and right lanes when you can. Most accidents happen in the left lane – the fast lane.
- Keep scanning the road ahead. Watch not only the driver directly in front, but keep an eye on what’s in front of that driver. You’ll gain more time to maneuver in an unexpected event.
- Always make sure to properly adjust rear-view mirrors. Physically turn your head to double check when you change lanes.
- Keep your hands on the right places on the steering wheel. Ten o’clock and 2 o’clock — or 9 and 3. Don’t fall into the habit of resting your hands at the bottom of the wheel. Every split second counts when reacting to an emergency situation.
If you or a loved one has been injured because someone wasn’t driving safely, call Orlando car accident attorneys Martinez Manglardi at 1-888-447-094 with offices throughout Florida for a free consultation.