Defensive driving refers to a set of skills that helps you avoid crashes and lower the risk of getting into an accident on the road. You’ve probably seen a lot of bad drivers since you first got your license, and although you can’t change the way these people act when they’re behind the wheel, defensive driving will help you avoid collisions. Even though the contents of defensive driving courses vary from state to state, they all contain similar information.
Crash Prevention Techniques
The main goal of a defensive driving course is to help you learn how to recognize potential hazards and avoid collisions. Some of the techniques that are included in this course include learning your vehicle’s stopping distance, being aware of your surroundings, scanning the roadway, using the two-second rule for following distances, and being aware of reaction distance. You will also get a chance to find out more about sharing the road, vehicle emergencies, speed adjustments, and environment hazards.
All of these techniques will help you become a better driver. For example, learning how to pay attention and be aware of your surroundings will teach you how to reach when you see a vehicle showing signs of aggressive driving. Being aware of your surroundings while on the road means frequently checking your mirrors and scanning conditions 12 seconds ahead of you. In order to become more aware, you will not only have to keep your eyes on aggressive drivers, but on bicyclist, pedestrians, and pets as well.
Safety equipment can save your live if you ever get into a dangerous situation on the road. In fact, half of all deaths that happen due to an automobile crash could have been avoided if the victims were properly wearing safety belts. Nevertheless, other safety equipment such as head rests and air bags are equally important, since they also significantly reduce the risk of injury or death. Thankfully, you will learn how to properly use this equipment during a defensive driving course, which will significantly reduce the risk of a crash.
In some cases, people get into an accident because they were too stressed or tired to keep their eyes on the road. Although you can’t control every factor that affects your driving, you can surely learn how to deal with emotional stress, road rage, and fatigue while driving. By enrolling in a defensive driving course, you will find out more about overcoming negative psychological factors that can greatly influence your driving. You will also be provided with instructions that will help you increase your focus and develop a positive attitude while behind the wheel.
Online vs. Classroom Course
You will have the option to choose between an online and a classroom defensive driving course. Even though they both have pros and cons, it’s important that you determine which one is the right for you. Keep in mind that taking an online course will allow you to take it at any time and place that you prefer. You will also be given the option to pace the course so that it matches your learning style. Additionally, if you don’t understand something, you can easily replay a section. Nevertheless, you probably won’t receive prompt answers to questions and you won’t have an instructor to explain certain parts of the lecture in more detail.
On the other hand, if you choose a classroom course, you will have an instructor that you can always ask for thorough explanations. On top of that, you will be in a room with other drivers, so you will be able to share your experiences and learn from others. However, keep in mind that you’ll be required to dedicate an entire block of time to this course and that you won’t really have the option to study at your own pace.