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Defensive Driving Techniques and Tips

Defensive driving can be simply be described as an advanced training course in driving. This course aims to teach the trainee to anticipate any dangerous situation despite the errors of others or in other adverse conditions. Defensive driving aims at reducing the risk of driving. Good defensive driving instructions inform the driver of all the information necessary for improving the driving skills. Defensive driving takes the responsibility of the driver's safety, as well as that of the other passenger's safety.

Here are some general safety instructions:

• Assume the worst situation: Students of the defensive driving techniques are trained to think about the worst situation scenario. For example, students of the defensive driving technique will expect that a vehicle indicating that it is about to turn will not turn. Vice versa, students will also expect that a vehicle not indicating a turn will unexpectedly turn. Students are also cautioned to assume that any red signals, or stop signs will be ignored. Other than that, students are told to assume that someone will break a red light, while other drivers are not always capable of preventing an accident. They are also trained to watch out for drivers speaking on cell phones while driving. Students of defensive driving will also assume that their vehicles have not been seen by any and every car on the road.

• Maintain Presence: Students of defensive driving are trained to scan the road ahead and be geared for any future events. They are also trained to have an eye on any and every vehicle signals, indicators and brake lights. Students are also taught to maintain road discipline and trained to avoid 'car bunches'. They will either head the 'car bunch' or be at the end of it. While driving behind larger vehicles, students are trained to keep their line of sight clear. Students are also trained to adjust their rear view mirrors as well as to avoid tinted window panes, keeping their windows transparent and clear. Students of the defensive driving technique are also trained to scan the road for any bicycles, motorcycles, pedestrians, potholes and animals. They are also trained to keep in mind any objects on the road.

• Driving: Students of the defensive driving technique are trained not to drive either too fast or too slow. Also, they are trained never to do a U turn on a motorway class road. During bad weather conditions, they are students of the defensive driving technique will put on their vehicle's rear fog light, as some hazardous weather conditions can cause dangerous collisions due to lack of visibility They are also trained to switch off the rear fog light as soon as the visibility improves. While driving, their hands should be either in the 9 O'clock and 3 O'clock position or the 10 O'clock and 2 O'clock position. These positions are known to be the safest hand positions while driving. Students are also trained to always maintain an exit route, by keeping the space on both sides of their vehicles free, and also to drive on the outer lane of the freeway. This makes it possible to back out or stop quickly in case of any problem in the vehicle.

These and other tips and training is offered in a defensive driving course. Due to massive public demand, many non-profit and government organizations now offer this course.

These courses tackle everyday driving problems by imparting training on:

• Emergency care

• Principles of Safety

• Fleet Safety

• On-Site Emergency Response Planning

• Safety Communication and Training Techniques

• and Roadway work courses on Flagging

 

WRITTEN BY MUNENE GACHURU EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PAMOJA ROAD SAFETY INITIATIVE

 

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