Defensive Driving: Why It Matters and How Teens Can Use This Technique on the Road

Posted in: Driving Tips, News.

Defensive Driving Why It Matters and How Teens Can Use This Technique on the Road
Defensive Driving Why It Matters and How Teens Can Use This Technique on the Road

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Defensive Driving: Why It Matters and How Teens Can Use This Technique on the Road

Getting a driver’s license is an exciting right of passage for any teenager. Even being behind the wheel for the first time during driver’s training is a thrilling event. But, learning how to drive isn’t just about understanding street signs and speed limits.

Even if you follow all the rules of the road, you still need to drive defensively. It’s an incredibly important technique to learn early on.

Defensive driving can help to reduce your risk on the road and keep your passengers and other vehicles safe. Things can change in an instant while you’re driving, which is why it’s so essential to have a defensive approach behind the wheel, rather than an offensive one. We’ll talk more about that importance later.

For now, let’s dive deeper into what defensive driving is and how you can put it into practice from the moment you get behind the wheel.

What is Defensive Driving?

The concept of defensive driving is very simple. It’s about putting safety first from the moment you get behind the wheel. There are so many factors that can play into safe driving, and many of them are out of your control, including:

  • Weather
  • Road conditions
  • Construction/road maintenance
  • Visibility
  • Other drivers

Consider the fact that teenagers make up about 6.4% of drivers on the road today. That means that millions of drivers out there recently received their license and may not be experienced in every situation yet. Some teenagers (and, frankly, some adults) simply don’t take driving seriously. So, you never know when another driver might be looking at their phone, changing the radio station, or talking to their passengers.

While they would be the ones in the wrong, they can still affect you on the road if they drift out of their lane, speed toward you, or brake suddenly. If you’re driving defensively, you can be prepared for those sudden dangers and make the right maneuvers to escape them.

Defensive driving is preparedness for the unexpected, and it can save your life.

Why is It So Important?

If you’re not driving defensively, you’re driving with negligence. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a five-minute drive to school or you’re going on a long road trip, your attitude behind the wheel should be the same.

In fact, on longer stretches, it’s even more important to remain diligent and pay attention. Long road trips by car can be a great way to save money, spend time with friends, and see the country. But, you might also be putting yourself at a greater risk of “losing your defensiveness” along the way. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to stay alert on a long drive, it may be best to put off-road trips until you’re more experienced.

Defensive driving isn’t only important to keep yourself physically safe. It’s also important to protect yourself, legally. If you were to get in an accident on the road and you live in a “fault” state, the person who causes the accident typically ends up having to pay for the damages. As a result, your insurance rate may go up, and you might even face legal troubles if you were driving while distracted.

If you’re a defensive driver, establishing fault in an accident can be easier for a lawyer to handle. They can use your good driving habits as proof that you weren’t at fault, preserving your record and saving you a lot of time, money, and trouble.

Practicing Defensive Driving Every Day

You should be putting defensive driving into practice every time you get in the car. It’s something you should learn in your initial driver’s training course. But, if you didn’t or you need a refresher, you may actually be able to take online courses that can help you to become a better driver and learn proper techniques. Whenever you’re taking an online course, it can be easy to get distracted, so create the right study space by:

  • Clearing away any clutter.
  • Having a designated workspace away from others in your home.
  • Ensuring you have a strong Internet connection.
  • Dedicating a certain time of day to your class.

In addition to learning about defensive driving, you’ll need to actually put it into action on the road. The most important thing to do is focus solely on your driving. As tempting as it might be to respond to a text or get distracted by passengers, it only takes a second or two for an accident to occur.

Additionally, taking your time, yielding to other drivers, and paying attention to road and weather conditions should always be your top priorities when you’re on the road.

Driving is a privilege, and it’s never something that should be taken lightly. By learning how to be a defensive driver now, you’ll develop smart driving habits that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. As a result, you can take comfort knowing you’ll be safer on the road, no matter what conditions may come your way.



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