Defensive driving should be practiced by all drivers, regardless of how good their driving skills are. Here are some important benefits of defensive driving.
Defensive driving is driving your vehicle sensibly and being able to anticipate potential problems so you can take care to avoid getting harmed. You may be a very experienced driver, but there may be situations that are out of human control. Unforeseeable circumstances like abrupt change in the weather, sudden failure of the car mechanism, or even an accident, can make even the most prudent of drivers think irrationally and drive unsafely. To learn to drive defensively is not only taking care of yourself, but being responsible for the safety of your car and the other vehicles and passengers on the road.
Defensive driving techniques involve maintaining a proper speed at all times, wearing a seat belt, and being prepared for unexpected incidents that may occur anywhere and anytime. In addition to these, keeping your automobile in good condition, signaling when changing lanes or taking turns, and not driving if you are exhausted or under the influence of drugs and alcohol are all defensive driving techniques that must be followed to prevent the increasing number of road mishaps.
Defensive Driving and its Advantages
Here are some reasons why following defensive driving techniques correctly is important for a driver.
- Wearing a seat belt reduces your chances of being killed in a car crash by almost 50%. As an educated driver, when you choose to use other safety equipment like airbags and child safety seats, you behave responsibly by safeguarding the lives of those around you.
- Speed is the most common factor in automobile accidents. By driving at a consistent speed, you can prevent crashes. If you are speeding, you may not have enough time to brake, and even airbags may not be of much help if you are driving above and over the designated speed limit.
- When you follow the two-second rule, you provide a safe cushion between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
- When you drive defensively, you learn to control road rage. Road rage is a heightened state of emotion where the driver is either angry or hostile towards himself or other drivers on the road. This behavior can prove very dangerous to the safety of everyone. When you keep your emotions in check and drive with a composed mind, you can make informed decisions, are less prone to errors, and lower the risk of getting involved in an accident.
- A consistent speed also saves fuel. By maintaining a particular speed, you avoid rapid accelerations and sudden braking, thus effectively reducing your mileage by a decent 33%.
- Learning to anticipate problems will prove cost-friendly. If you know the weather forecast, you can save time and money by leaving earlier than usual. This way, you will reach your destination on time without speeding.
- Driving at a uniform speed will also improve the lifespan of your vehicle. Sudden brakes and accelerations will result in less wear and tear of your car’s tires and put less pressure on the engine.
Defensive driving courses are conducted by police departments in all states. Some private classes also offer lessons on driving defensively. Rules vary from state to state, and most courses last anywhere between 6 to 10 hours. Courses can be taken online or they may be imparted in a classroom setting.
Benefits of a Defensive Driving Course
- Taking a course will lower your insurance rates, even as much as 10% for a period of three years.
- The course teaches you safe driving techniques and how to effectively control speeding and road rage.
- It imparts knowledge about how to drive in difficult and unpredictable weather conditions and responding to emergency situations that may arise unexpectedly.
- If you have received a ticket for traffic violation, taking a course may help in reducing the points on your license. You may even see a charge being dropped or fines lowered.
If you haven’t yet signed up for a course, do so at the earliest. You have seen the numerous advantages it has to offer. It’s not just the monetary benefits like insurance reduction and lower fines for a traffic violation, but the relevant road skills that you learn that go a long way in making you a trustworthy driver. Learn to drive responsibly and maintain a positive attitude behind the wheel, so you contribute in making America’s roadways safer for everyone to drive on.