Defensive driving is an important skill to learn. It’s not only disabled drivers who should do so – anyone who’s operating a vehicle out on the road can benefit greatly from learning defensive driving. If every road user drove using this technique, there would be far fewer traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths on the roads.
So, what is defensive driving? How do you become a good defensive driver? What are the principles of defensive driving? Why is defensive driving important? And what are the reasons every driver should learn defensive driving? Read on to learn all you need to know.
What Is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a method of driving that is responsible and cautious, and puts safety first. It involves a set of practices that, if implemented correctly, defend a driver and their passengers from the dangers of road travel, which include irresponsible actions by other road users, hazards on the road, and bad weather.
What Are The Principles Of Defensive Driving?
The principles of defensive driving are:
- Maintain full concentration
- Minimize distractions
- Sit up straight and alert
- Keep your eyes on the road
- Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles
- Slow down at all intersections and junctions
- Be aware of any blind spots
- Make sure other drivers can see you
- Assume other drivers may make mistakes
Why Is Defensive Driving Important?
Defensive driving is important because it keeps people safe and reduces the number of people that get injured and killed on the roads.
Here are seven reasons every driver should learn defensive driving.
1. Defensive Drivers Have Less Traffic Accidents
First and foremost: the more drivers who learn defensive driving techniques, the fewer traffic accidents there will be and the less danger there will be on the roads. Most traffic accidents are caused by human error; usually either distracted driving or driving too fast. Many of these often tragic accidents could be prevented if more drivers drove defensively.
2. Defensive Driving Keeps Your Loved Ones Safe
Many of us drive with passengers in our vehicles, often transporting our family and friends. If we learn and implement defensive driving, we have a much better chance of protecting our passengers from the hazards of the road.
3. Defensive Driving Is A Skill That Improves With Practice
Learning the principles of defensive driving is only the first step. The more you practice defensive driving, the better and more skilled you become at it. Becoming a highly skilled defensive driver is very rewarding and something that should give you a sense of achievement and pride.
4. Defensive Driving Is More Enjoyable And Less Stressful
Driving can be stressful, especially if a person is driving dangerously. Not being entirely in control of your vehicle and having near misses is a very stressful experience. Defensive driving is far more enjoyable than driving distracted and erratically. It can make driving a calmer, more pleasurable experience, as well as a safer one.
5. Defensive Driving Reduces Occurrences Of Road Rage
Road rage happens when people are overcome by stress and anger. If more people learn and implement defensive driving, fewer people will be stressed and angry while driving, fewer incidents will happen, and less road rage will occur.
6. Defensive Driving Helps To Keep Pedestrians Safe
Many pedestrians are injured or killed by irresponsible drivers every year. If more drivers learn safe, defensive driving, pedestrians will be safer and less likely to be harmed by distracted or speeding drivers.
7. Defensive Driving Keeps Your Insurance Premiums Down
If you learn and implement defensive driving, you will have fewer (or no!) road accidents. The fewer incidents you have on the road, the lower your insurance premium will be – so learning defensive driving can actually save you money.
How Do You Become A Good Defensive Driver?
You can become a good defensive driver by studying the principles of this approach and practicing defensive driving diligently. It’s a great idea to hire an expert defensive driving instructor who will teach you how to drive safely and point out any mistakes or bad habits you may have.
Even if you have been driving for a long time, you can always learn to drive more safely and defensively. You can even take a course of driving lessons long after you have become a licensed driver. This will help you to brush up your skills and keep you and your loved ones safer on the road in future.