Defensive driving is a manner of driving that follows the safest strategies. It is the ability to predict and address the common road hazards. Defensive driving goes well beyond basic driving instruction and learning how to obey traffic laws and regulations.
Defensive driving classes are actually offered to students to help them improve their driving skills. By doing so, they reduce the risks associated with sharing the road with other drivers. In these classes, drivers are taught how to anticipate situations and make well-informed and safe decisions. The right decision may actually change, depending on the type of road and the prevailing environmental conditions. Being a quick thinker is essential if you want to be a good driver.
Defensive Driving Benefits
There are many benefits to taking a defensive driving class. The instruction you’ll receive may vary in each state, so it’s highly recommended that you join one every time that you move. Possibly, the main benefit of defensive driving is reducing the number of tickets that your driver’s license carries. The more responsible driver you are, the lower is your insurance premium. In some states, joining a defensive driving class will automatically reduce 10% on your insurance rate for at least three years.
The benefits and requirements of defensive driving courses vary for every state. Basic defensive driving classes maybe four to six hours long. In other states, watching instructional videos online or offline is sufficient, for as long as they answer the test questions accurately.
What to Expect in Defensive Driving Classes
What the instructor will teach you in a session of defensive driving are usually regulated the state. Most of its content revolves around the traffic local laws. But in a way, the classes may be the same as the others that you may have already taken in other places. The usual topics covered are the following:
1. Traffic Crashes
Traffic crashes can lead to losses that can affect drivers personally and socially. According to statistics, an estimated number of 41,000 people die yearly because of traffic collisions. As for injuries, the count is currently at 3 million annually. Of all these fatal crashes, 38% of them are alcohol-related, while 30% are caused by speeding. The causes of such crashes are usually discussed in a defensive driving course.
2. Psychological Factors
Drivers should be in their best psychological conditions when driving. In a defensive driving class, you’ll learn about the factors that could affect the way you drive. While some of them are beyond the driver’s control, you can be taught how to handle the others quite better. Some examples are fatigue, stress, road rage, and emotional distress. These classes will encourage you to always develop a positive attitude when you’re behind the wheel so you can better focus on driving.
3. Human Factors
Many common human errors committed while driving happens when a person is under the influence. This is why DUI is a major offense. The effect of drugs and alcohols is disastrous when you combine it with an activity that requires focus, such as driving.