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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.

How to Drive Defensively

07 Feb Blog | Comments

Driving defensively requires a set of skills that a person does not get overnight. Just driving requires a complex set of skills that takes time to develop. That is the reason a new driver is required to take driving classes to learn how to drive and a driving course to study the laws of the road. Learning to drive defensively comes after learning how to drive and being comfortable behind the wheel.

When a person first learns how to drive they are focused on all of the little things inside the car. For example, he or she is taught to put on their seatbelt, adjust their mirrors, adjust the seat if necessary, check to make sure the radio is not too loud and turn off or put his or her cell phone on silent.

Once that set of skills is mastered the next step is to learn how to drive in their immediate area close to home. He or she gets practice driving up and down roads, making turns and following the rules posted in their city.

The next set of skills is the highway. The driver learns how to increase their speed as they go down the on ramp. He or she also learns how to yield and merge. The driver also learns how to drive with more traffic at faster speeds.

After all of that has been mastered then the driver can become more of a defensive driver versus a new driver. Driving defensively requires a person to be aware of what is going on around them, behind them and ahead of them.

A good way to explain it is thinking about chess. A new chess player must learn what each piece is and what it can or cannot do. Then the chess player learns how to think one perhaps two steps into the game. A good chess player can think of several too many steps ahead and a great chess player can think lots of steps ahead of their opponent.

In much the same way, a defensive driver must do the same types of things. Once the driver knows all of the rules of the road then he or she can start looking at what is coming up and prepare for that. Also knowing what is going on to and behind him or her allows them to make better decisions should the need arise.


For example, a defensive driver knows that if a car to their left begins drifting into their lane that the lane to the right of them is empty and they are able to move over in order to avoid the accident. A defensive driver would also know that if the deer ran out in front of them that the car behind them is far enough away for them to slow down quickly in order to avoid hitting the deer.


Being a defensive driver comes with time and experience. It is mostly about being aware of what is going on around you and how you can react should the need become necessary.




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