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What Is Defensive Driving And Does It Save Lives?

Many people often wonder what is defensive driving. It's a combination of skills that teach you how to protect yourself from inevitable fatal road accidents. Anything tragic might happen to you while driving on the road. As such, you must stay on the lookout for other drivers, as this can help you in spotting any reckless driving by careless drivers. Defensive driving learning gives new drivers- especially teens - the skills to drive like they are the only sane driver on the road. This is necessary to prevent causing accidents on the road and save lives.

what is defensive driving

Importance of Defensive Driving To New Drivers

Taking defensive driving classes helps new drivers to implement safe strategies when driving. Additionally, new drivers get to improve their defensive driving skills. With that said, let's look at some reasons why it's important to take defensive driving classes.

1. Help You To Become a Cautious Driver

Driving techniques keep on evolving each day. Whether you are an expert on the road or a beginner, you ought to take defensive driving classes. Not only do defensive driving classes help you to become a better driver but it also helps save lots of lives by preventing road accidents.

2. Improves Your Accident Prevention Techniques

Road accidents are unpredictable. Whether you drive from your house to go shopping a few blocks away or you go for a road trip miles away, you need to implement the defensive driving techniques. These techniques teach new drivers to expect anything to happen when driving and how to react to them safely. Also, you can comprehend and make the correct judgment under any given situation.

3. Improves Your Safety Skills

If you have been asking yourself what is defensive driving and how can it help you? Defensive driving tips help you predict hazard situations early, giving you adequate time to take appropriate action. For instance, a defensive driver will leave a reasonable distance between his car and the front car. In turn, this eliminates the chances of a collision occurring in case the front vehicle breaks unexpectedly.

4. Saves You Money

Careful driving helps new drivers to save a lot of money on their auto insurance. The less you involve yourself in road accidents, the more you lower your chances of engaging in a horrible accident. Automobile insuring companies prefer clients who pose a low risk to their business. They also offer lower insurance premiums to defensive drivers, meaning you will get to save more money in the end.

5. Teaches Teens To Avoid Peer Pressure When Driving

A teen driver can easily be influenced by their peers to make a wrong decision while driving. Failure to wear seat belts when driving, for example, can put your life in danger. Parents with driving teens need to encourage them to take defensive driving classes. Defensive driving tips emphasize drivers to implement the necessary safety precautions when driving on the road at all times.

6. Helps Save Your Life

You can save your life by driving defensively each time you are on the road. Defensive drivers also drive carefully to protect the lives of other road users. With proper defensive driving skills, you can avoid engaging in fatal road accidents.

7. Reduce Repair Costs

A defensive driver is less likely to get involved in car accidents. As a result, their vehicle will cost them a slightly less maintenance fee. For these reasons, you should review your driving skills and consider taking a defensive driving course. You will be impressed with the few mechanical costs that you will incur. In the end, defensive driving skills will help you save a lot of money.

Ways To Be a Defensive Driver

Car accidents have become one of the top causes of the rising death numbers in the past. While on the road, you are not in a position to predict your fate: it is hard to control and predict the actions of other road users. Therefore, you ought to drive defensively to increase your safety chances when on the road. With that in mind, here are the top five defensive driving tips you need to apply when driving.

1. Respect Every Driver on the Road

You are not in a position to read the mind of the other road users. You can, however, predict the action they will take. Give every driver their respect when driving by leaving a reasonable distance between the two of you. In turn, this will help you reduce the chances of getting involved in a head-on collision.

2. Scan Your Environment and Always Expect the Unexpected

Avoid situations whereby you find yourself claiming that the car you hit came out of the blue. Ensure you check through the side mirrors to scan the safety of your environment. The chances of a careless road user not paying attention to your red light or traffic lights are high. Defensive driving, however, teaches you to make predictions where the other vehicles will be before you make an informed decision.

Having no idea of what to expect when driving on the road is normal. This ensures you remain focussed 24/7 when driving on the road. Prepare yourself mentally, and you will find yourself making the correct decision in case any situation arises.

how to drive defensively

3. Drive at a Controllable Speed and Avoid Distractions When Driving

Driving your car at an easily manageable speed is advantageous to you as a driver. Before you make a turn, ensure you scan your environment for the speed limit posters and take the necessary action. Defensive driving entails more than just following the traffic rules and regulations. It does not matter whether you are in the neighborhood or the city. Even if other drivers are driving at a high speed, just opt for another lane and drive safely.

When you're behind the steering wheel, avoid using phones or engaging in heated conversations with your passenger. Pay attention to the road at all times when driving. Ensure the only thing you focus on is the road and nothing else, as this will help you avoid causing a collision. Lastly, a defensive driver aims to protect themselves from any dangerous situation that might occur other than other road users.

defensive driving - get rid of distraction

4. Always Have an Exit Route

In case you encounter a risky situation while driving, it is best to have a way out that will help save your life. Defensive driving requires you to make your calculations early in advance and position your car where other road users can see you. In turn, this gives you an added advantage since you will be able to react quickly in case of a collision.

5. 3-to-4 Second Rule

Prevent yourself from colliding with the car in front of you by practicing the 3-to-4 second driving law at all times when on the road. The law helps maintain safe driving distance between drivers on the road. If the car in front of you breaks immediately, you get a chance to halt safely without causing any damage to your vehicle.

what is defensive driving - 3 to 4 second rule

What Defensive Driving Course Entails

Defensive driving differs slightly in every state. The important details, however, are similar in most of the states. Below are some of the skills you will be taught when you enroll for a defensive driving course.

what is defensive driving

1. Not To Drive Under the Influence

Driving when under the influence of any drug substance or alcohol could cause huge damage to many road users. One of the major topics you will be taught in a defensive driving class is some of the disastrous effects of driving under the influence.

2. An Impromptu Reaction in Case of a Crash

Defensive driving courses teach you how to protect yourself from crashing in case an accident occurs. Accidents are preventable if you react quickly and follow the safety measures. In the event of a fatal crash happening on the spot, defensive driving teaches new drivers how to react appropriately and quickly to avoid encountering a second collision.

3. Take Safety Measures

Before you start driving, ensure you have fastened your seatbelt and lock your door. Following such simple elements can come in handy in saving your life in case of an accident.

4. Regularly Maintain Your Vehicle

It's always important to service your vehicle to avoid breakdown surprises when you are in the middle of the road. Make sure it's in good working order to avoid being penalized by the state. Finally, use your indication lights at all times when taking a turn on the road.

5. Driving Under All Weather Conditions

As a new driver, you might have not experienced the challenges of driving in harsh weather conditions. Defensive driving teaches you the skills to handle your vehicle like a professional driver under all weather conditions.

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I hope this has answered the question of new drivers who want to know what is defensive driving and its benefits. These few safety driving skills will allow you to be in a better driving position and your chances of survival will be high if an accident occurs.

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Moly Swift

staff Editor