While a driver can control his own actions behind the wheel, it is nearly impossible to control the actions of other drivers. However, drivers must be trained in defensive driving techniques to avoid accidents despite other people's driving mistakes.
Some skills used for defensive driving include:
- hand signals
- Keep a margin of safety
What you see is important for defensive driving:
- Good drivers try to see 10-15 seconds ahead on the freeway (about a block). By looking ahead, you can avoid last-minute moves like hard stops or quick lane changes.
- Every 10 seconds, check your mirrors to see if any vehicles are following you closely.
- When changing lanes, reversing, slowing down or going down a hill, it is important to check the traffic behind your car and in your blind spots.
- When checking your mirrors, don't take your eyes off the road for more than a moment. The vehicle in front of you may stop suddenly.
- Always leave yourself an exit.
While mirrors are helpful, you must remember that they don't show the entire image. Mirrors leave blind spots in your field of vision. Blind spots are the areas near the rear left and right corners of the vehicle that you cannot see using the driver's perspective mirrors. So before changing lanes or turning, quickly turn your head and look over your shoulder to see what's in your blind spot. Glaring lights, dirty windshields, vehicles parked too close to an intersection, bushes and buildings can all create additional blind spots. In these cases, slowly move the vehicle forward until you can see clearly. Avoid driving into other drivers' blind spots, where it's harder for them to see you. Communication
Communicating means letting others know what you plan to do well in advance to avoid an accident. Whenever you plan to slow down, stop, turn, change lanes or pull off a curb, you should signal your intention. Make it a habit to signal your movements even when you don't see other people on the trail. Before giving the signal, you must first ensure that your move can be made safely.
Hand signals are given from the driver's window, using the left arm and hand:
- To signal a left turn, keep your arm and hand straight and point with your index finger.
- To signal a right turn, keep your arm straight and your forearm and hand up, palm facing forward.
- To signal to stop and slow down, point your arm and hand down, palm facing backwards.
Flashing arrows are nice substitutes for hand signals, but they are sometimes hard to see. In the late afternoon and early morning, the lenses can reflect sunlight, making it difficult to tell if the signs are blinking. At night, a flashing light signal is much easier to see than a hand signal. Use the type of sign you think will communicate best. A good rule of thumb is to use hand signals and flashing light signals throughout the day, especially in the late afternoon or early morning when the sun is strong and low in the sky. Flashing light signal is enough at night. Mark at least the last 100 feet before turning or stopping. If the speed limit is 45 mph or higher, flag at least the last 200 feet before turning. The faster you drive, the further ahead you need to signal.
Keep a margin of safety
Leave a margin of safety around you, keeping clear of other vehicles. Make sure there is enough space in front and behind to pass or stop safely. Use the two-second rule to determine if you are far enough behind a vehicle to react if it stops suddenly.
The two second rule
The two-second rule says that you must wait two seconds between when the vehicle in front of you passes a certain point and when your vehicle reaches the same point.
Drive at a steady speed and signal well in advance whenever you slow down or stop to warn other drivers not to follow too closely. If another vehicle is following you too closely, change into another lane and signal the driver to pass. Stay in the middle of the lane and leave room on both sides of your car. Leave ample space between your car, parked cars and oncoming traffic.
In situations where you have to deal with two or more unavoidable hazards at the same time, adjust to give maximum room for the biggest or most likely hazard. Suppose cars approach from your left and a boy on a bicycle approaches from your right. The child is more likely to make a sudden movement, so give him more space. This could mean moving closer to oncoming cars. If the hazards are equally dangerous, such as oncoming cars and parked cars, you must stop and allow oncoming cars to pass safely before proceeding.
Dangers of being run over
Motor vehicle accidents on highways are the leading cause of transport-related deaths at work. Another area of concern is employees who are hit by ATVs or other motorized equipment, particularly on construction sites or in work zones.
Taking a few minutes to follow proper procedures when operating a vehicle can save a worker's life.
A spotter should always be used whenever a vehicle or moving equipment with restricted vision is operating on site. The spotter's main responsibilities are to take care of himself and everyone else on site. Some advices
for the observer include:
- Never leave the driver's sight without signaling the operator to stop the vehicle.
- Always flag in an area the driver can see.
- Be consistent with hand signals to ensure understanding.
safe operating techniques
- Do not drive a vehicle/equipment in reverse with an obstructed rear view unless you have an audible reverse alarm distinguishable from the surrounding noise level or are advised it is safe by another worker.
- Workers must be highly visible in all light levels. Warning clothing is mandatory, such as red or orange vests; and, if used for night work, it must be made of reflective material.
- Never allow untrained workers to operate the equipment.
- Drive vehicles or equipment only on roads or ramps that are safely constructed and maintained. Failure to observe could result in the equipment overturning.
- Make sure you and all other personnel are clear before using lifting or unloading devices.
- Lower or block digging and scraping shovels, side loader buckets, hoppers, etc., when not in use, and leave all controls in neutral.
- Set the parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked and chock the wheels if on a slope.
- Train employees on the specific type of equipment they will be operating, especially the manufacturer's specifications and recommendations.
- Familiarize all employees with the job site and all vehicle operations. Make sure they are aware of intersections and blind areas in the work zone.
- If employees have traffic control responsibilities, make sure they are trained in specific techniques, use and placement of devices.
Security in the Workplace
- Use road signs, barricades, or flares when construction takes place near public roads.
- Make sure the traffic control zone is divided and maintained into five distinct areas: advanced warning area, transition area, intermediate area, work area and termination area.
- Display properly spaced warning signs to notify drivers of lane narrowing, roadside work, paving or other activity.
- Make sure seat belts function properly and meet the standards found in OSHA standard 29 CFR 1926.601(b)(9).
- Check vehicles before each shift to ensure all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition. Examples include the brake system, tires, emergency brakes, steering and lights.
- Make sure the audible alarms and horns are working properly. All bi-directional machines such as front loaders, backhoe loaders and excavators must be equipped with a horn.
- MyImprov Traffic School.
- Approved Course Defensive Driving.
- Aceable Defensive Driving.
Although there are many specific techniques involved in professional and defensive driving, I would like to explain three key concepts that I believe are cornerstones to this skillset: 1) preventability versus fault, 2) following distance, and 3) detachment from other drivers.How can I practice defensive driving? ›
- Think safety first. ...
- Be aware of your surroundings — pay attention. ...
- Do not depend on other drivers. ...
- Follow the 3- to 4-second rule. ...
- Keep your speed down. ...
- Have an escape route. ...
- Separate risks. ...
- Cut out distractions.
1. What is a Driver Improvement/Defensive Driving Course? Driver Improvement is a 6 hour course designed to teach drivers about safe driving attitudes and behaviors.What do I need to take to a defensive driving course? ›
For your practical drive you must bring your valid licence, corrective eye wear (if required as a condition on your licence) and appropriate closed shoes. Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in a booking cancellation.What is the shortest defensive driving course online in Texas? ›
Aside from being able to complete your defensive driving course in as little as six hours, the shortest allowed by the state of Texas, ExpressLane can also save you a trip to the courthouse.What are the 5 keys of defensive driving? ›
- Aim High in Steering. ...
- Get the Big Picture. ...
- Keep Your Eyes Moving. ...
- Leave Yourself an Out. ...
- Make Sure They See You.
- Visibility — Be alert and actively check what vehicles around you are doing.
- Space — Leave a “cushion of air” around your vehicle, to provide time and room to avoid or escape a collision when it occurs in front or beside you.
- Defensive driving. ...
- Never drive tired. ...
- Avoid car distractions. ...
- Use your turn signals. ...
- Drive slower. ...
- Driving in bad weather. ...
- Avoid driving too close to tractor-trailers. ...
- Wear your seat belt.
It's called The LLLC Defensive Driving Principles™, but we just call it “Triple-L-C.” Using the Four Driving Principles of Safety, Look Ahead, Look Around, Leave Room, and Communicate, gives you the time and information you need to avoid an accident and be an all-around better driver.
The 2-second rule is a technique used to estimate a safe following distance between your vehicle and the traffic ahead. It is a general rule of thumb taught in every driving school across the United States. The premise is that by following behind traffic by two seconds, you will have the time and space to brake safely.What are the 4 R's in driving? ›
Read the road ahead. Reduce your speed. Drive to the Right. Ride off the road if necessary.How many times can you take a defensive driving course in Georgia? ›
Georgia residents may request up to 7 points removed once every 5 years, if they complete a defensive driving course. You should be familiar with all the requirements before applying for a Georgia DDS points reduction.How much does a defensive driving course cost in Georgia? ›
The Cost Of a Defensive Driving Course in Georgia And Everything Else You Need to Know! In the state of Georgia, a Defensive Driving Course will cost you $95.How many points does a defensive driving course take off in GA? ›
Benefits of Defensive Driving Course GA
"If you have points on your license, going to a defensive driving course can erase seven points from your license," says Kirk Brisette, Ph. D., CEO and co-founder of DriveSmart Georgia. "This can only happen once every five years.
- IDriveSafely is one of the oldest defensive driving brands in the business. ...
- IDriveSafely.com has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). ...
- Take an IDriveSafely Course.
- Take a DriversEd.com Course.
- Take a MyImprov Course.
- Take ApprovedCourse Defensive Driving.
Street Talk is an approved defensive driving course that reduces the restricted licence period by 6 months for the under 25 driver and by 3 months for those over 25. The updated Street Talk Course has been revised to include skills that will help both Learner and Restricted Licence drivers pass the new Driving Tests.What happens in the defensive driving course? ›
The instructor will discuss concepts around safe driving in the interactive classroom session. Drivers will learn how to stay focused, avoid distractions, detect potentially hazardous situations before they become dangerous, and drive more fuel efficiently. Defensive driving courses are delivered by approved providers.What is the easiest defensive driving course in Texas? ›
Approved Course is a Houston-based online defensive driving course in Texas. This is by far one of the easiest online defensive driving courses you can sign up for in Texas for 2023.
The State of Texas requires defensive driving online courses to take a minimum of 6 hours to complete. In compliance with the state, our Texas Defensive Driving course is 5 hours of material with 1 hour of total break time, and may be completed at your own pace.
6 modules make up this course: Module 1 — Your License to Drive. Module 2 — Right-of-Way. Module 3 — Traffic Control Devices.What is the first rule of the road? ›
Rules of the road for motorists and cyclists
Drive on the left of the road, unless you are about to overtake or turn right. At nights drive well within the limit of your headlights. Do not travel too closely to the vehicle in front of you (allow at least one car length and two car lengths on wet roads).
Awareness is key to defensive driving, ensuring you are aware of potential hazards and other road users' actions around you, enabling you to take pro-active action to avoid an incident. To enable you to anticipate hazards, look 15 seconds ahead, giving yourself time to react.What is the most important part of defensive driving? ›
The most important element of defensive driving is being aware of safe driving habits and putting them into action. Be aware of all road rules, signs and speed limits, at all times. According to MTO (The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario), safe driving consists of a combination of knowledge, skill and attitude.How many seconds down the road should you be looking? ›
Every driver needs to be able to see what is in front of him, to the sides, and in the rear. Being able to see everything clearly helps drivers avoid any last-minute maneuvers. This is why it is recommended that drivers look ahead 12 seconds while driving in the city, and 12 to 15 seconds on the highway.What should a defensive driver do to avoid collisions? ›
To avoid colliding with a vehicle in front, 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.What is the most important rule of driving safety? ›
First, buckle up. Basic car safety always encourages the use of seat belts and car seats. They're one of your best defenses in a crash. And it's the law.What are the 7 driving tips for nervous drivers? ›
- Plan your journey. The fear of the unknown is one of the biggest anxieties associated with driving. ...
- Check your car before setting off. ...
- Stick to familiar routes. ...
- Have a list of emergency contacts. ...
- Practise, practise, practise! ...
- Turn on the tunes. ...
- Take passengers.
- Drunk Driving. Safety is NHTSA's number one priority. ...
- Drug-Impaired Driving. Many types of drugs and medication, both legal and illegal, can impair your ability to drive safely. ...
- Distracted Driving. ...
- Seat Belts. ...
- Speeding. ...
- Drowsy Driving.
- Drinking While Driving, But Not Just Alcohol. ...
- Having Your Earbuds In. ...
- Eating While Driving. ...
- Grooming Yourself While Driving. ...
- Distractions from Kids or other passengers. ...
- Pets In The Car. ...
- Talking On The Phone. ...
- Adjusting your GPS.
R – means RESPONSIBILITY.What is the first essential of defensive driving? ›
1) Safe drivers focus on the task at hand.
Always pay attention to the road and your vehicle. According to the CDC, drivers under the age of 20 are the most prone to distractions while driving.
Always place your vehicle in what is referred to as the lane of least resistance. Essentially, this is the lane that offers the driver the best visibility with the fewest hazards. However, drivers will have to change lanes from time to time.
Keeping to the safe distance rule: Drivers must allow at least 1 second for every 10 feet when traveling under 40mph. If going over 40mph, drivers are supposed to allow for an additional second per 10 feet.How many car lengths at 70 mph? ›
|Speed||Perception/Reaction Distance||Equal to Approx Number of Car Lengths (@15 feet)|
|50 mph||73 feet||14|
|60 mph||88 feet||18|
|70 mph||103 feet||23|
Count slowly and steadily. If you did NOT reach 4 before the point passed your front bumper, then you are too close to the car ahead. At 55 mph, you should be almost 323 feet behind the car ahead. People complain that it is impossible to maintain this following distance.What is the 4 second rule in driving? ›
When the bumper passes a road marking or a roadside object like a telephone pole, start counting how many seconds it takes you to reach the same spot on the road. If you pass the marking or object in less than four seconds, you are following too closely.What to do if brake fails? ›
- Don't panic.
- Try the brakes again.
- Carefully engage emergency brake.
- Downshift into a lower gear.
- Safely get off the road.
- Don't turn the car off until you've stopped.
- Signal for help.
- Get your brakes inspected by a professional.
Applicants who fail the Knowledge Exam or Road Skills Test must wait at least one day to retest. Applicants who fail the Knowledge Exam or Road Skills Test a second or subsequent time (third, fourth, etc.) must wait at least 7 days to retest.How do I clean my driving record in Georgia? ›
To request points off your driving record, you must:
- Take and complete a certified Driver Improvement course.
- Obtain a certificate of completion from the course.
- Present your certificate of completion to the DDS by mail or in-person.
How often can you take a defensive driving course to remove points from your driving record in Idaho? ›
Defensive Driving Course (DDC)
Once every 3 years a driver may reduce their point total by 3 points if they complete an approved DDC. The course must be taken before a suspension for accumulation of points takes place. A point reduction can only be applied to an Idaho driver's license record.
|License Type||License Term||Fee|
|Learner's Permit (Class CP)||2 Years||$10|
|Learner's Permit (Class EP and FP)||1 Year||$10|
|Learner's Permit (Class MP)||6 Months||$10|
|Provisional Driver's License (Class D)||5 Years||$10|
To qualify for a Points Reduction, you must successfully complete a certified Driver Improvement (defensive driving) course. Once you complete the Driver Improvement (defensive driving) course: Bring the original certificate of completion to a DDS Customer Service Center. or you can request a Points reduction by Mail.How do I get a speeding ticket dismissed in Georgia? ›
Your options when fighting a speeding ticket
Georgia state law allows you to request a Zero Points violation once every five years. This order, provided by a judge, takes away any points that would go on your driving record, although the ticket will still be on your record.
Two points will increase a driver's insurance costs by about 20 percent to 100 percent depending on the state, insurance company and violation.What is the fastest easiest online traffic school in California? ›
iDriveSafely is arguably the fastest online traffic school in California as they do not have a course timer. That means you can just skip through each page over and over again until you get to one of the quizzes. Since the quizzes are so simple, you should breeze right through it without having to read anything.What is the fastest traffic school online? ›
Fastest Online Traffic School #1 – iDriveSafely Online Traffic School. The iDriveSafely online traffic school program has been around for literally decades and they have it down to a science. This is the fastest online traffic school you can take and it has made this list every year including now in 2019.How long does the NYS online defensive driving course take? ›
How long does it take to complete this course? New York requires online and classroom-based Defensive Driving courses to include at least 320 minutes of education. Since this course is 100% online, you do not need to complete it all at once.How long does it take to complete online traffic school in California? ›
How long does traffic school take online? If you're sitting down to start traffic school from scratch you can expect to finish in 1-3 hours. That means you can finish in a single session from the comfort of your home.Should I do traffic school for a speeding ticket California? ›
Traffic school doesn't “erase” the ticket. You'll still have to pay all the fines, fees, and penalties. But completing traffic school and masking a point on your license can help you save money in the long run, since it might keep your insurance rates from rising.
- Go To Traffic School. ...
- iDriveSafely. ...
- Improv Traffic School. ...
- Aceable. ...
People who successfully complete the course (and any other conditions set by the police) will not be prosecuted for the original offence. Online courses last 2 hours 45 mins and classroom courses 3 hours.How much is traffic school for a speeding ticket in California? ›
To register for traffic school, you must pay: The bail (fine); and. A state-mandated, non-refundable administrative fee of $52. A traffic school fee ranging from $20 - $45.What is the easiest defensive driving course online NY? ›
iDriveSafely is my top recommended easiest online traffic school for 2023. They've been around since before online traffic school even existed.
DriveSafe Online provides you with the shortest defensive driving course allowed in New York. Our defensive driving solution is quick and efficient – no time wasting here! We offer courses as short as one hour, so check with your insurance company to see what they require for a defensive driving discount.What is the best New York State online defensive driving course? ›
#1: iDriveSafely. iDriveSafely is certified as a New York online defensive driving course for point reduction and insurance discounts, including for I-PIRP. This is without a doubt, the highest quality course available in New York for 2022.How long is Texas defensive driving course online? ›
The State of Texas requires defensive driving online courses to take a minimum of 6 hours to complete. In compliance with the state, our Texas Defensive Driving course is 5 hours of material with 1 hour of total break time, and may be completed at your own pace.How do you complete defensive driving in Texas? ›
- Step 1: Make Sure You are Eligible for a Defensive Driving Course. ...
- Step 2: Pay Your Traffic Ticket. ...
- Step 3: Complete Your Defensive Driving Course on Time. ...
- Step 4: Provide the Defensive Driving Certificate to the Court.
For ticket dismissal, you can take a defensive driving course once a year. If you're seeking an insurance discount with such a course, it expires every three years. If you took the course for an insurance discount only, that does not count against the once per 12 months limitation.