9 Defensive Driving Techniques All New Teens Should Know

January 16, 2020
defensive driving techniques

Every day about 101 people die in automotive accidents. An additional 6,438 suffer injuries or permanent disabilities from road accidents.

These incredible numbers prove how dangerous driving can be. The good news is there are steps you can take to ensure that you and those around you are safe.

Learning defensive driving techniques is one of the best ways you can protect yourself. Continue reading to learn what defensive driving techniques are.

What Are Defensive Driving Techniques?

Defensive driving techniques refer to a method of driving where a person is ready to defend against hazards. These hazards might come from inside the vehicle or from any direction outside the vehicle.

By learning to drive defensively, you lower the risks of being behind the wheel. You will make not only yourself safer, but everyone on the road around you.

Defensive driving is important because it’s impossible to control the actions of other drivers. You can, however, control your own driving behaviors.

1. Always Pay Attention to the Road

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of automotive accidents. You shouldn’t be texting, taking phone calls, or checking your email while driving. Stay focused on the road and nothing else.

New drivers should also be wary of listening to the radio too loud. Don’t let your passengers distract you from driving, either. New drivers should limit the number of passengers.

2. Avoid Aggressive Behaviors

Road rage is real and it’s easy to fall victim to it. When you get angry behind the wheel, take a few deep breaths. Avoid confrontation because aggressive driving is a major cause of accidents.

At first, avoiding aggressive driving behaviors will be difficult. The longer you practice deep breathing and avoidance, the easier it will become. Eventually, ignoring aggression will become second nature.

3. Use the 3-to-4 Second Rule

The 3-to-4 second rule means you should leave enough space between you and the car in front of you so you can stop within four seconds. Keep in mind this rule only applies to normal driving conditions.

If you’re driving in bad weather, you need to increase your following distance. It takes the brakes longer to catch in rain or snow. If there is debris on the road or the weather is windy, it can also affect your vehicle’s braking abilities.

4. Follow the Speed Limit

The speed limit signs are suggested for driving in optimal weather conditions. When the weather is good, you should stay at this speed limit.

If the weather conditions are poor, like discussed above, you need to reduce speed accordingly. It doesn’t matter if the speed limit says 60 miles per hour. If you can’t see more than a few feet in front of you because of heavy snow or rain, you should reduce your speed.

5. Expect the Unexpected

Don’t expect other drivers to always drive correctly. Sometimes they might be suffering from road rage or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They could be tired or distracted by their passengers.

This is why you need to always expect the unexpected. Constantly scan your surroundings and be aware of where other drivers are. Be prepared in the event they swerve into your lane or stop short in front of you.

6. Always Buckle Up

Buckle up every time you drive. You should also do this if you’re a passenger in the vehicle. Require your passengers to buckle their seat belts.

Seat belts are a safety feature that can save your life if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. They can also save you from minor injuries sustained during fender benders or times when you need to stop short.

7. Remember Your Blinkers

Even seasoned drivers sometimes forget their blinkers. Sometimes people purposefully don’t use them. But blinkers are so important and you need to make sure you use them.

A blinker is also called an indicator. It indicates to people which way your car will move. If someone is aware you’re trying to get into another lane, they shouldn’t speed up so you can’t.

8. Don’t Respond to Road Rage

It isn’t enough to keep yourself calm. Other drivers will fall victim to road rage and you can’t be certain what they might do. People who are suffering from road rage aren’t thinking clearly.

Some people get road rage so badly they run into other people’s vehicles. They might try to cut you or another person off, or slam on their breaks. Most often, they’ll make aggressive gestures and yell from their vehicle.

The key is to remain calm. Keep your eyes on the road and try to maintain your distance from aggressive drivers.

9. Flicker Your Eyes

Most new drivers think they need to keep their eyes fixed to the road ahead of them. This is inaccurate and presents two problems.

First, staring straight ahead for long periods can result in something called road hypnotizing. This is when a person becomes very sleepy and disoriented while driving. This poses big safety issues.

Second, staring straight ahead doesn’t let you take into account all potential hazards. Driving hazards can also come from the side and back of your vehicle.

To be safest, flicker your eyes every minute or two for a few seconds. Flick them to your rearview mirror to check the side of your vehicle. Then flick them to either side mirror.

For More Information

Do you want more information on defensive driving techniques you can use to stay safe? Contact us today. One of our associates would be more than happy to help you.

COVID-19 Update: We Are Temporarily Closed

New York State on PAUSE (stay at home order) has been extended until further notice. The DMV has suspended road tests and closed all offices until further notice.

The recently issued New York stay at home order has been indefinitely extended. Additionally, the DMV has suspended all road tests and closed all offices until further notice. 

Following Governor Cuomo’s Executive order and for the sake of our health and that of our employees and customers, were are closed temporarily until further notice. 

We undertake to resume services as soon as possible. If you wish to book an appointment, you can do so from June 1st.

In the meantime, we continue to assess the situation. As such, we shall update you as soon as is practical. The DMV has suspended road tests until further notice. The DMV has also cancelled all road test appointments until further notice. 

We hope to resume our operations at Pierre Paul Driving School as soon as it is safe. We request for your understanding during these uncertain times regarding services you may have paid for that have not yet been offered.

Expiration dates for all services and packages will be extended. This is to make room for the time lost due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All canceled courses and lessons because of COVID-19 will be credited in your student account. We will keep you updated through our customer care department once we are back up and running. 

If you would like us to contact you once we resume operations, please leave us a message. 

Our thoughts and prayers remain with you and your loved ones during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Stay well. Stay safe.

We look forward to opening our doors and services again soon.

 

COVID-19 Update