Defensive Driving Isn’t Always Safe

The idea is that passive drivers are in the fewest accidents, right? Wrong, while looking between passive, defensive, and aggressive driving, it is easy to see that defensive driving is the safest most of the time. But there are a few instances when defensive driving may not be an option, or when it could cause more trauma than aggressive or passive driving.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, call an experienced car wreck lawyer in Richmond, Virginia today.

Defensive Driving is a Safer Practice

Typically defensive driving includes reliable practices such as being aware of your surroundings, braking early, and not allowing yourself to be distracted. These are excellent practices that you can apply in every situation. However, drilling further into common defensive driving teachings, there are some actions that clearly can’t apply across the board.

Defensive drivers can fall into the trap of believing that all other drivers follow the same principles; they can even become susceptible to road rage out of the frustration of others not driving safely. There are other practices, such as slowing speed, when it’s unnecessary that shouldn’t apply all the time. If you feel that traffic is too congested or that there are weather conditions to account for, that’s something relative, and you may be planning too far ahead.

When Should You Take An Aggressive Stance?

Aggressive driving is not something that any state recommends as a standard practice. But when you have things in moderation such as the occasional aggressive practice, you can possibly avoid a few other accidents.

Aggressive driving, often mistaken for the opposite of defensive driving, is actually the opposite of passive driving. Aggressive driving in Virginia is a misdemeanor crime. Virginia recognizes specific practices as aggressive driving, including stopping on a freeway, passing from the right, incorrectly overtaking a vehicle, and more.

But, among the drivers on the road, aggressive drivers are recognized for actions that don’t apply toward any charges such as the charge for aggressive driving. Motorists will often refer to aggressive drivers as people who use their horns, change lanes quickly, pass often, or use their headlights to signal to other drivers rather than for increasing visibility.

When confronted with obstacles in the road, you can and should pass quickly, as long as it is safe. Obstacles in the road, unforeseen road condition changes, and more can all call for action, which among other drivers, would appear to be aggressive driving. As long as you’re not breaking laws, then you could take evasive action in a manner that may irritate other drivers. The only concerns are safety and following the law.

What is Passive Driving?

That person who waits extra-long at a stoplight, lets the other people go ahead at stop signs when it was clearly their turn, and tends to drive under the speed limit is a passive driver. These drivers often believe that they’re doing everyone else on the road a favor by keeping their heads down. But when it comes to merging, traveling on high-speed freeways, or operating through clustered residential traffic, it often leads to road rage on the part of other drivers.

Passive driving can lead to accidents, even though these drivers may not actually be a part of that accident. Drivers are urged to understand that passive driving is not the safer route. But, what happens when you’re on a crowded freeway and see someone all over the lane, speeding up quickly and then slamming on their brakes? That is a time to become a passive driver and give that person more than enough distance as it seems that a crash near them is imminent.

Keep Your Defensive Driving Practices

Defensive practices or driving principles are generally safer. Just be aware that when confronted with emergency situations, you can’t always slow down, pull to the shoulder, and make defensive decisions. But you should always follow at a safe distance, respect the other drivers, and drive without any distractions.

Although there are rare occasions when you should consider being more passive or aggressive, remember that driving will always come with surprises, and it’s best to know how to respond with the best outcome possible.

When in a Crash Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Richmond, VA

Work with Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, your local solution for car crashes in Richmond. At CAIL, we know that you spend 99% of the time on the road trying to avoid accidents and be a good driver. We take that information and build a case based on your upstanding driving record, along with the facts of what happened at the scene. When you’re ready to look for car accident injury law firms in Richmond, VA, call CAIL.