It bears repeating that the roads in northern California have hazards and that you should take precautions to remain safe. While you cannot avoid all accidents, you can take measures to increase your safety.
Defensive driving refers to practices that minimize risks by looking out for road hazards
Key defensive driving tips
Information from Defensive Driving points to the need to stay vigilant when driving, even on short trips. This means using best practices such as keeping both hands on the wheel, sitting up straight and focusing on road conditions and other drivers. With distracted driving coming in as the top cause of vehicle accidents, your focus could help you avoid a bad driver.
You should also always keep an eye on your surroundings and survey the road ahead. Good drivers look at more than just the vehicle in front of them but look ahead for such things as slowing traffic or an animal on the road. This also includes using your mirrors to make sure an erratic driver is not approaching you from behind or crowding your side.
Additional driving advice
Good drivers keep a safe distance from other vehicles. This will give you more time to react and slow down in case of problems. Driving experts at a minimum recommend staying three seconds behind other vehicles and increasing this guideline during times of bad weather.
Another good practice involves staying out of the blind spot of other vehicles. If the driver in front of you can not see you, he or she could veer into your path and cause an accident. By practicing defensive driving, you stand a better chance of avoiding the expense and danger of a collision.