Un­pack­ing de­fen­sive driv­ing

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

DE­FEN­SIVE driv­ing is es­sen­tially driv­ing in a man­ner that uti­lizes safe driv­ing strate­gies to en­able mo­torists to ad­dress iden­ti­fied haz­ards in a pre­dictable man­ner. Th­ese strate­gies go well be­yond in­struc­tion on ba­sic traf­fic laws and pro­ce­dures.

With de­fen­sive driv­ing classes, stu­dents learn to im­prove their driv­ing skills by re­duc­ing their driv­ing risks by an­tic­i­pat­ing sit­u­a­tions and mak­ing safe well-in­formed de­ci­sions.

Such de­ci­sions are im­ple­mented based on road and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions present when com­plet­ing a safe driv­ing ma­noeu­vre.

The sec­tions be­low pro­vide a ba­sic out­line of the in­for­ma­tion that is typ­i­cally cov­ered in de­fen­sive driv­ing cour­ses.

Traf­fic Crashes

Losses from traf­fic crashes have both so­cial and per­sonal im­pacts. The goal of good de­fen­sive driv­ing is to re­duce the risk of ac­ci­dents by prop­erly ed­u­cat­ing stu­dents to ex­er­cise cau­tion and good judg­ment while driv­ing.

Psy­cho­log­i­cal Fac­tors

On the road­ways, driv­ers have to deal with sev­eral fac­tors that can af­fect their driv­ing. Though some of them are be­yond the con­trol of the driver, psy­cho­log­i­cal fac­tors can be con­trolled by the driver if he knows what to look for and how to han­dle it.

De­fen­sive driv­ing cour­ses tend to fo­cus on how driv­ers can over­come neg­a­tive psy­cho­log­i­cal fac­tors such as un­needed stress, fa­tigue, emo­tional dis­tress and road rage.

They also of­fer in­struc­tions for de­vel­op­ing a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude be­hind the wheel and in­creas­ing your fo­cus on the driv­ing task.

Driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs or al­co­hol con­tin­ues to im­pact thou­sands of driv- ers each year.

While the spe­cific ef­fect of each drug on your body takes place in dif­fer­ing stages, the ef­fect of driv­ers op­er­at­ing a ve­hi­cle while un­der the in­flu­ence is dis­as­trous.

A very com­mon com­po­nent of all de­fen­sive driv­ing cour­ses is ed­u­ca­tion about the role that drugs and al­co­hol play on road­ways. Top­ics tend to in­clude lim­its as to blood-al­co­hol level, how your judg­ment, in­hi­bi­tions, mo­tor skills and senses are af­fected by drugs and al­co­hol and the con­se­quences of be­ing found guilty of driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence.

Dy­nam­ics of a Crash

Ve­hi­cle crashes are al­most al­ways a pre­ventable re­sult of a se­ries of events. The com­bi­na­tion of speed, place of im­pact and size of ob­ject be­ing im­pacted can de­ter­mine the sever­ity of the crash.

In ev­ery ac­ci­dent, how­ever, the act of one ve­hi­cle hit­ting an­other ve­hi­cle or other ob­ject is not the only col­li­sion that can oc­cur.

The con­cept of the sec­ond col­li­sion, in which the driver and other pas­sen­gers col­lides with the wind­shield, seat or other ob­ject within the car when not wear­ing a seat belt can be just as dan­ger­ous as the ini­tial col­li­sion.

De­fen­sive driv­ing cour­ses ad­dress the is­sue of ve­hi­cle crashes and sec­ond col­li­sions by list­ing the el­e­ments of a crash and il­lus­trat­ing how the forces of im­pact can be avoided or lim­ited.

Safety Equip­ment

Ap­prox­i­mately half of all deaths that are re­sult of an au­to­mo­bile crash could have been avoided if the vic­tim were wear­ing a safety belt prop­erly. Of course safety belts are only the most com­monly thought of ve­hi­cle safety equip­ment. — safemo­torist.com

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