Defensive Driving Advice

Defensive DrivingWelcome to your guide to defensive driving, which will provide you with the benefits of taking a course along with where you can find details of courses in your state.

Firstly, let’s take a look at what it is considered to be a Defensive Driver. According to the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course guidelines defensive driving is defined as;

…“driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others”…

The aim of any defensive Driver is to drive in a way that is measured, thoughtful and controlled with a sense of speed and pace, with the car always in the correct position, speed and gear.

Regardless of your ability of driving, it is always prudent to keep your skills up to date and to develop them as much as you can to enable you to become a more aware driver that is able to control your vehicle in all types of possible weather situations. When you become self-aware and more attuned with the other drivers around you will automatically reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring when you drive your vehicle.


Why Defensive Driving is important in the Modern World?

In today’s world, where there are literally millions of road users driving a motor vehicle is often taken for granted, whether it is collecting the shopping from the supermarket or visiting the doctors you will be taking part in one of the most dangerous methods of transportation that you will ever be likely to engage in. You are more likely to suffer from an injury or death by a motor vehicle, than flying by aeroplane or walking.

Defensive Driving

Approimatelxy 41,000 people die each year in the US alone and 3.1 million people suffer from injuries each year involving a motor vehicle. Worldwide it is estimated that 1.17 million people die each year in traffic accidents. In addition to the human costs, other costs are associated with accidents that can be reduced if proper due care and attention are adhered to when driving in different conditions. For instance:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Property Costs
  • Litigation Costs
  • Insurance premiums increasing.
  • Long term physical and psychological damage incurred in an accident.


Defensive driving prerequisites

State approved defensive driving courses can be taken once in a twelve month period. Taking the course may enable you to have your traffic citation dismissed, depending on the severity of the ticket (this varies in each state). Generally the guidelines are as follows:

  • Have entered into a ‘guilty’ or ‘no contest’ to the charge against you, request to take course and pay the fees due to the court.
  • Be able to present proof of valid liability insurance
  • To have not been caught speeding more than 25MPH over the correct speed limit, e.g. if the speed limit was 40MPH and you were not caught driving 65MPH you would be ineligible.Defensive Driving awareness
  • To not have previously completed another defensive driving course within the last twelve months.
  • Provide a valid driver’s license or permit.

Other states may require more details to allow you to take a course; you may wish to check each one independently. For more information on the requirements for Defensive Driving, please click here.

Defensive Driving courses

There are numerous driving courses available in training centres throughout each state and there are a number of courses that you are able to take on-line that will permit you to gain the defensive driving qualification to reduce your insurance or dismiss that ticket.

For the various forms of defensive driving courses available the prices generally start from $25 for each individual course in most states. Along with defensive driving courses that allow you to have reductions in your car insurance they also have courses for people aged 55 and over or business or fleet courses.

What Next?

Continue reading through this overview and then take a closer look at different aspects of what it takes to drive defensively. We have pages dedicated to the topics including:

State by State guide to Defensive Driving:


Resources:

National Traffic Safety Institute – http://ntsi.com/

National Defensive Driving Institute – http://www.nationaldefensivedrivinginstitute.org/

U.S. Dept of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/

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