There are close to 40,000 fatal road accidents annually in the U.S. that results in over 90 fatalities daily. Car accidents claim the most lives per year among teens and healthy adults.
Also, such accidents result in over 2 million serious injuries or disabilities. Automobiles are the most convenient means of transport for short distances, but they come with some level of risk.
Fortunately, most of these accidents can be avoided by taking additional driving lessons. Drivers ed school offers defensive driving classes designed to help drivers identify potential hazards and react in a manner that ensures the safety of passengers.
Defensive driving lessons are not just for teens that have just completed their beginner driving course. They are essential for each of the approximately 214 million drivers licensed in the U.S.
What Does a Basic Defensive Driving Course Include?
Defensive driving courses go beyond the regular driving instructions and focus more on imparting strategies that will make you better placed to identify and handle threats while on the road. Though the basic principles are the same, the training may differ slightly from state to state because of varying laws.
Here are some of the things you learn more about from this course
1. Psychological Preparation
Distractions are a major cause of accidents. Though most are external, there are also internal factors that can cause a drivers attention to wane. Fatigue, emotional distress, and stress are some of the prime culprits.
Driving requires a certain level of mental fortitude. To maintain focus and ensure safety, drivers should learn and perfect the art of compartmentalization. When you are on the wheel, your focus must be solely on the road.
By signing up to a drivers ed school for defensive driving lessons, you will be taught how to develop a positive mental state while driving. This will help you focus on driving and eliminate other distracting thoughts at least while you are on the road.
2. Dynamics of an Accident
When accidents occur, it is usually as a result of several minor and preventable factors coming together. By learning how do identify such factors early on, you can be able to prevent the accident.
However, it is sometimes impossible to avoid a collision. In such situations, defensive driving training will help you reduce the severity of the impact to avoid fatalities and minimize serious injuries.
When a vehicle crash occurs, there is also a second collision which can be just as dangerous as the first impact. This collision usually involves passengers ramming into the windshield, seats and other objects. The course will also address the elements of the second collision impact and how to avoid or limit them.
3. Safety Equipment
Vehicles come with safety mechanisms designed to protect drivers and passengers in case of an accident. These include safety belts, child safety seats, headrests, and airbags. Wearing a safety belt may sometimes seem unnecessary, but it’s a proven lifesaver.
Close to 50% of the fatalities from car accidents could have been avoided by wearing the safety belt properly. These drivers ed classes not only highlight the importance of such equipment but also show you how to use them effectively.
4. Strategies for Preventing Accidents
Professional drivers who have gone for defensive driving classes in one reputable drivers ed school or another believe that most accidents that happen are preventable. For them, it all starts with some of these crucial crash prevention techniques.
- Adhering to the 2-second rule for following distances
- Scanning the environment and adapting to it
- Being aware of the stopping distance for your vehicle
- Knowing the reaction distance
- Vehicle emergencies
- Potential threats
- How to share the road
- Right of way
- Adjusting speed appropriately
Why Are Defensive Driving Courses Important?
Many factors play a role in causing accidents. Key among them is the lack of knowledge on how to handle such emergencies. However, signing up to a drivers ed school for a defensive driving course will increase your knowledge on how to handle situations that could result in an accident.