Risk management

Defensive driving

Avoid collisions

Your defensive driving program should stress the importance of avoiding collisions. Collisions are a major cause of injury and death in traffic accidents.

Here are the main types of collisions:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Hit from behind
  • Hitting the driver in front
  • Side collisions

Two-car collisions are among the most common kind of traffic accident. About one-third of two-car collisions occur at intersections, so be especially careful when entering an intersection.

Head-on collisions are particularly dangerous and can be deadly. The key to avoiding them is to keep looking ahead down the road for possible problems. If a crash looks like it’s coming, slow down and even go off the road to the right to avoid a head-on crash.

Rear-end collisions are also dangerous, but they, too, are preventable. For example:

  • Signal your intentions when stopping or turning;
  • Be alert for tailgaters;
  • Slow down gradually; and
  • Leave room in front of you when stopped so that if you are hit from behind, at least you won’t hit another vehicle in front.
To avoid colliding with a vehicle in front, take these precautions:

Look well ahead for hazards, brake lights, and turn signals; and always maintain sufficient distance between you and the vehicle in front so that you have enough room to stop safely.

To avoid side collisions, be sure to approach all intersections with caution. Always look both ways before proceeding—even if you have right-of-way.

Do not force your way through an intersection if another driver is set on going first. It is better to let the other driver go ahead of you than it is to get into an accident which can be costly and perhaps dangerous to you and to others.

Insurance products and services are offered through Markel Specialty Commercial, a business division of Markel Service Incorporated, policies written by one or more Markel insurance companies. Terms and conditions for coverage may vary by state.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.