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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

02 Sep Blog | Comments

Becoming a defensive driver is not as nearly as easy as it sounds. When a person gets his/her driver’s license he/she had just learned all of the basics. The basics get a person on the road, but does not make him/her a defensive driver. Being a defensive driver requires a person to be aware of many different things and a new driver just cannot do that yet.

As a person drives more and gains more experience he/she learns there is much more to be aware of while driving. Gaining that experience allows a person to become a more defensive driver. So, let’s take a look at the common characteristics of a person who has gained enough experience to become a defensive driver.

Defensive drivers:

  • Know what is around them at all times. There are other cars, semi-trucks, motorcycles on the road and a defensive driver knows what is in front of them, behind them and next to them.
  • Do not text or make phone calls (unless they have a hands free unit) because they understand how dangerous it can be to take their eyes off the road, for even a minute.
  • Do not drive with the music turned up too loud because they know they might not be able to hear emergency vehicles.
  • Do not drive with too many passengers. Too many passengers can be a very big distraction, and big distractions can cause accidents.
  • Are aware of upcoming traffic lights and intersections. By being aware of what is coming up can allow a person to prepare to stop when necessary and to watch for opposing traffic that does not stop when they are supposed to stop.
  • Do not allow their pets to ride in their laps while driving. Animals are unpredictable and could block a person’s vision, creating an accident. Animals can also get excited and possible jump out of an open window.
  • Watch out for pedestrians and bicycles and are sure to stop for them at crosswalks and intersections. Defensive drivers understand that pedestrians have the right of way.

Being a defensive driver is all about being aware of what is going on not only inside the car, but also outside of the car.

There is a misconception out there that aggressive driving and defensive driving are the same. Aggressive driving is when someone is angry and/or frustrated while driving. The aggressive person may weave in and out of traffic, speed down the road, etc… Aggressive drivers do not pay attention to what is going on around them and many times are the causes of accident.

Being a defensive driver requires a person to be aware of their surroundings. They are careful to follow the rules of the road. They are also thinking ahead about things that could happen, so that they can prevent an accident from happening. Just like a doctor would say, prevention is more than half the battle. By knowing what is happening around the car a person is driving a person can look for ways to move their vehicle safely if that ever becomes necessary.



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