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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Defensive Driver – What is one?

11 Apr Blog | Comments
Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam (Photo credit: to the MacMillan Dictionary defensive driving is defined as, “deliberately driving in such a way as to reduce the risk of accidents”.

According to the MacMillan Dictionary being a defensive driver is defined as, “deliberately driving in such a way as to reduce the risk of accidents”.

It is very important to learn the basics when it comes to learning how to drive. My niece is in the process right now of learning the essentials of driving. She is not only taking a class, but she is also required to drive with an adult a certain amount of hours. This is to give her all the fundamentals to driving.

However, as anyone who has been driving for a while knows the basics are not enough. As a comparison think about learning to ride a bike. When you were first learning it was all about staying on the bike and not falling off. Once that was learned, you had to learn how to stop, turn, and if you wanted to get really fancy, ride without holding onto the handle bars. Driving a car is much the same. The driving class and hours driving with an adult gives you the foundation. Then as you drive more, you learn more. And you will learn that to avoid accidents you must become a defensive driver.

Staying Focused – At All Times

There are so many things happening while you are driving that it is essential that you are a defensive driver and be aware of as many of them as possible. One of the best things you can do to be a defensive driver is to be focused at all times. You need to pay attention to street signs. They are there to let you know what is coming up.

You also need to know where you are going. If you are trying to look down at your GPS you are not focused on the road. Should the person in front of you slam on his or her brakes you may look up as you run into the back of them instead of seeing that and having time to apply your brakes and stop in time. And that is not being a good defensive driver at all.

Don’t Panic

This is much easier said than done. Part of being a defensive driver is staying calm. Things are going to happen when you are driving, you can’t avoid that. However if you are prepared for them and mentally ready for anything to happen you can remain calm and either completely avoid the accident or at least minimize the damage.

Other Drivers

Once you start being a defensive driver you will start to pay attention to your surroundings and you will see the bad drivers. You will recognize that when a car is swerving from lane to lane that driver is probably drunk and you need to avoid them. Either by staying far behind him or her or getting past them quickly and staying far ahead of them.

You will notice the aggressive driver. He/she will be the one riding extremely close to the car in front of them. Or he or she will be driving quickly while switching lanes. Slamming on their brakes or honking their horn when they can’t move lanes because they are too close to the car in front of them. In this instance, being a defensive driver, you are better off moving into a slower lane and letting that person pass you. You do not want to be next to them if they don’t look before they move lanes.

Intersection Safety

Intersections have lots of traffic a lot of the time. It is so important to pay attention to all the different directions that cars could be coming from. If just one of those drivers is not paying attention there can be a major disaster. So, be a good defensive driver and just like your mother told you when you were little crossing the street, look both ways, then look both ways again. The only difference here is to look in as many directions as necessary, then look in all those directions again before you enter the intersection.

Being a defensive driver is about being aware of your surroundings. Being a defensive driver is about anticipating what might happen based on where you are. Being a defensive driver is remaining calm when something does happen so you can avoid an accident or at the very least minimize the damage.



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