Defensive Driving: Why You Should Take A Safety-Oriented Driving Approach?

commercial truck driver

Are you a Thinking Driver or a SAFER driver?

When someone begins the process to start driving a vehicle, they must usually complete a series of classes that go over driving practices, rules, and theories. Out of all the information that they are given, the most prominent section tends to be the one on defensive driving. I remember that defensive driving was explained to me as an excellent means to protect oneself from potential harm while on the road. By positioning yourself in such a way that you allow yourself time to react in almost any circumstance, you effectively minimize the risk that you may end up in a car accident. Even if you were to end up in an accident, you also give yourself time to make the damage as minimal as possible. Defensive driving ultimately relies on acting upon the supposition that you are the one person who cares the most about your own safety, and that it is not right to assume that others will drive in a safe and orderly manner. Something that may have not been in the spotlight when first learning about defensive driving, is how important having the correct attitude when driving can be. By adopting an attitude that is calm, collected and that does not give into stressors, then a driver can refrain from performing reckless and unsafe driving in reaction to what they experience on the road.

 

How should I learn about defensive driving attitudes and techniques?

defensive driving attitudes and techniques

For many people, the techniques that enable the use of defensive driving may be a distant memory. Others may simply want some additional tricks to add to their repertoire or a means to learn about defensive driving attitudes. In any case, a way to access defensive driving training would be handy. To do this, a defensive driving safety course might be the way to go. Taking such a defensive course would allow someone to acquire the information that they are looking for in a structured and timely manner. Taking a course in person might be difficult for some, so there are ways to do a defensive driving course online as well. The modules can be easily accessed on a computer or on a mobile device, so completing a defensive driving program online is usually not an issue. Upon completion, courses will provide a certificate of completion that you can keep for your records.

 

What program should I use?

There are a couple noteworthy breakdowns of defensive driving techniques available online. Chief amongst these are the SAFER Defensive Driving Program and the Thinking Driver.

SAFER Defensive Driving Program

Developed by Dr. Randy Flemmer, this program offers a delve into defensive driving practices that it great for just about anyone, but finely crafted for company drivers.

SAFER stand for:

Space

Attitude

Foresight

Eyesight

Responsibility

This acronym quickly provides the 5 important items to always be thinking about while driving. Having adequate space is important while driving, as it gives you more time to react. As a rule, a safe following distance is usually about 2-3 seconds. It is important to remember that it is more difficult to react to situations happening on the road while travelling at faster speeds. Furthermore, you should always be aware of what cars are doing in the lanes beside yours. Having proper spacing in this sense can remove your vehicle from blind spots and allow you to react to lane changes.

As mentioned earlier, driving attitudes can directly impact the way that you respond to what you encounter on the road, meaning that adopting the appropriate attitude is very important. Foresight can reduce risk to a great degree, so try to use this whenever possible. Think about what others might do, what you can do now and how you can react later. Knowing the roads can help a lot with this factor. Seeing the road is extremely important, as it allows you to react as quickly as possible. Always practice proper visual sweeps, such as glancing over your shoulder during lane changes, regularly checking your rearview mirror and looking where you want to go. You must wear glasses or contacts if you need them and attempt to maintain good peripheral vision.

Finally, responsibility while driving is essential. While you are behind the wheel, you are responsible for the actions and decisions that you make. Enact the safe and correct driving procedures and be content in knowing that you have done your best.

Robert has been driving flatbed trucks for his job the last 5 years. Today he is running behind schedule and has a lot of things on his mind. He has been following a white SUV for the last 5 minutes, but he has only been keeping a following distance of 1 second. Suddenly, the SUV brakes and Robert does not have enough space to slow down. His truck smashes into the back of the SUV.

What Robert could have done differently: Keep a safe following distance of 3 seconds, especially given the size of his vehicle. This would give him more space to react in time.

Thinking Driver

This program, developed by Spencer McDonald, provides information that is relevant to a large demographic. Being educated in proper driving attitudes can be useful to any driver. It has especially been tailored to be of use to new and young drivers who are interested in developing foundational driving principles. Its two courses are offered as a package or separately.

Defensive Driving Fundamentals 2020

This course will go over the Five Fundamentals of Defensive Driving:

  • Think and Look Ahead
  • Anticipate Hazards
  • Keep your Options Open
  • Manage the Risk
  • Control with Finesse

Sarah only started driving by herself 2 months ago. Her parents had been driving with her up until she passed her latest test. She is currently covered by their insurance. As she is driving, she notices that she is about to miss the exit she planned on taking. She makes a lane change to the right, only looking in her sideview mirror. As she makes the lane change, she hits a vehicle. Due to this accident, her parents’ insurance premium will take a hit.

What Sarah could have done differently: Make a safe lane change using her eyesight, by looking over her shoulder and into her blind spot.

Defensive Driving Attitudes 2020

This course will cover how the Five Fundamentals of Defensive Driving contribute to risk reduction and incident prevention, by tackling the following topics:

  • Understanding Triggers
  • Managing Driving Stress
  • Anger
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Emotional IQ

David comes home to his family from his office job every night, 5 days a week. Today his boss has been especially demanding and David is not in a good mood. He has been driving more aggressively than he normally would, and there is a large amount of traffic. As he makes a left-hand turn, he attempts to overtake the car ahead of him by going into the right-hand lane. The car does not notice him and makes a lane change, hitting his car.

What David could have done differently: Employ a calm and collected attitude, thereby reducing aggression, and driving predictably. Do not attempt to overtake a vehicle by making a lane change during a turn.

 

Why all the fuss about defensive driving?

young commercial driver

With odds like 77% of people getting into some type of accident in their lifetime, it is important to take whatever steps you can to protect yourself and those that travel with you. By using defensive driving practices, you decrease the odds that you will end up in an accident or dangerous crash. Other than the reasons regarding safety, avoiding accidents by using defensive driving also brings with it a suite of benefits.You will:

  • Qualify for better insurance rates
  • Not have to deal with lawsuits
  • Reduce repair costs
  • Have better gas mileage

While safety reasons should be the primary motivating factor towards adopting defensive driving, these other reasons could also make it worth your while. Better insurance rates can be a big deal for anyone, but especially professional drivers, as having a bad rate can make it very difficult to be hired. Aggressive driving is just riskier, not to mention it wears down brakes and consumes more gas. Aggressive drivers spend more time braking and accelerating hard, leading to more expenses overall. Use defensive driving so that you can be proud that you are doing your part towards preventing automobile accidents.

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Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

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For something I was dreading spending money on and doing, I actually ended up wanting more of and am looking forward to another opportunity to take more classes with SOS! Learning from Ally has been both enjoyable and inspiring. My classmates and I spent our break time discussing the material we learned and also how impressed we were with the content and delivery. We had all done the CPR and First Aide courses in the past, but all agreed this course was a game changer! We couldn’t thank Ally enough!
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Very informative and proper courseJess was an amazing instructor
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Jess was awesome! It was a very interactive and informative class. Easy to learn environment. Would definitely recommend SOS First Aid.
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alonge segun
I did my first aid training for the first time and Karen was fun and so knowledgeable. Would do the training with them again for sure!!
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the filipinaa
Our instructor Karen was amazing. Very knowledgeable. Highly recommended
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Karen Parker is funny and smart and one of the best instructors I’ve came across ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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My name is janeka walsh and I wanted to say Ms viola is the besttt instructor ever !! Nice sweet and patient teacher ! I’m going to miss her
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I recently attended a CPR training session led by an exceptional trainer PRAKASH. Whose ability to convey complex concepts with clarity and enthusiasm made the class both informative and enjoyable. His dynamic teaching style, coupled with real-life examples and hands-on approach, ensured that everyone was engaged and eager to learn. I highly recommend Prakash to anyone in search of CPR training.
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Instructor is excellent and course is very interesting 👍
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brs F
brs F
This was a great first-aid class. I had instructor Patrick and he made class fun, interactive and informal at the same time. I recommend this course as I had a great time learning.
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Parul 'v'
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Metokok plop
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Prakash is a great instructor! Knowledgable, passionate, engaging, and he made the class fun. He also discussed a lot of different scenarios that were challenging and made me think, and that caused me to really dig into what I learned online to provide the best answer. His teaching reminded me what the priority/most important thing in each scenario was, and that you have to assess each situation with careful consideration. Thank you, Prakash! I feel confident that I'll be able to help someone in any situation, minor or emergency. 😊
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Cristina Montefalcon
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Benson Amihere
Prakash was our trainer who made this training fun and dispensed a lot of information with examples. Prakash converted complex information into easy digestible information without overwhelming us. There was not a single dull moment in the entire training and Prakash covered every aspect of first-aid/CPR in timely manner. He's passionate, well organized, very engaging and humorous. Thank you, Prakash.
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Tristan Wiggins
Training is good and more hands on with real life examples.
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Viralkumar Rathod
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I completed my BLS and standard first aid training with Julie, and it was an amazing experience. Julie's professionalism, knowledge, and helpfulness created a safe and enjoyable learning environment. Her contagious laughter made the entire experience even more enjoyable. It was a pleasure having her as my instructor.
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Soleil Smith
Patty Turnbull was a wonderful teacher and took time to help us, and go through the material thank you Patty!
Omar Khan
Omar Khan
Patty was amazing
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Charlin Osei
Patty Turnbull did a fantastic job with the course. Thank you
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Jesse Dwyer
Has a great training session. Our instructor Patty was great at explaining the material, what to look out for and how best to help the person. She equipped us well in providing CPR and using AED.Thank you for a great session!!
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Smit Chotai
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Sukhdeep Kaur
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Asima Sultana
Easy to understand and great humour. Will be back in 2 years!
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Mayou Stoddart
Such a sweet man, funny guy.
Dania
Dania
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Prabh Gill
I am very happy to be here and study with Mario. He is very nice person and he helped us mask fit very seriously and he was very dedicated. I learned a lot of knowledge about mask knowledge and skills. Thanks Mario, thanks the Red Cross.
Enqi Huang
Enqi Huang
Kamani Sirisena
Kamani Sirisena
Session was delivered professionally.
M Y
M Y
Thank you Prakash for an awesome class. I didnt think I wouldnt learn so much more from the class today, my class was able to get lots of misconceptions clarified. You challenged us with critical scenarios and made us think. From my past experience , I think first aid class would be boring but for the first time at the SOS first aid centre, I’m very happy with the instructor. Highly recommend!
Natalie Le
Natalie Le
I just wanted to say thank you very much to Patty for being a great and wonderful instructor. For making us understand the material thoroughly and clearly. And most of all for being patient with us. If I need to do another course that they offer, I would definitely do it here and highly recommend it for everyone. Thanks again Patty and SOS First Aid and Safety Training
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Jake Ilyas Qureshi
Patty was great! Very informative and patient
Faisa S
Faisa S
i did bls and first aid training here with patty. she was such a good teacher/instructor. she was very helpful, funny, and engaging she gives a lot of stories which help us remember important details. it was a really fun and informative class. i wish the best for mrs patty!!!
tierra cab
tierra cab
khadija gaouzi
khadija gaouzi
Patty was great!
Leanne
Leanne
Solomon Cusi
Solomon Cusi
I had patty for my instructor and she was so good!! She explained everything in a clear and concise manner. It was overall a fun two days in class with her!!😄
Shakali Martin
Shakali Martin
I am really impressed by the teaching method of Mr. Prakash nagar.
Himanshu
Himanshu
It was an amazing experience! Prakash Nagar is having great knowledge with First Aid & CPR. He clarified clearly when to administer CPR, AED which was a bit confusing for me when I did the reading online.
Dharmesh Patel
Dharmesh Patel
Vineeta Lekhram
Vineeta Lekhram
Thao Nguyen
Thao Nguyen
Every aspect was taken and explains properly
Olga Ezcurra
Olga Ezcurra
The instructors were very nice and informative. They gave great feedback throughout the whole process
Naomi McDonald
Naomi McDonald
Instruction was clear and the instructor ensured that all questions and concerns were addressed appropriately. Highly recommend!
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)
Jacob Waddell (jcwaddell)

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