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patwelby

Defensive Driving

By | Defensive Driving, Safe drivers, Student Drivers | No Comments

Defensive Driving

In this post let’s answer some of the questions surrounding defensive driving and how it can help keep the roads safer for us all.

  • Why is defensive driving important?

  • Isn’t defensive driving only for truck drivers?

  • What is the difference between driving and driving defensively?

  • What does it take to become a defensive driver?

On the roads today it seems drivers are in more of a rush than ever before, or maybe there are just more drivers than ever before? Either way defensive driving can help!

 

  • Each year more and more drivers take to the roads making the traffic heavier at peak times and often during the off peak times as well.

  • Road work and construction is ongoing in many areas.

  • The use of technology has become a major distraction to many drivers young and old alike.

  • More and more trucks and large vehicles on the roads in and out of the cities.

  • Same day delivery offered means more local deliveries to houses and businesses all over.

This list is just a few of the major changes to the roadways in recent years. These changes are not going away,  if anything they will grow more over time. Let’s talk a little about how we can drive defensively to help curb some of these dangers on the roadways.

  • Safety first! Seat belts should be worn at all times by all passengers in the vehicle.

  • Keep a safe following distance, it is recommended you keep a 3 to 4 second gap between you and the vehicle in front. This changes with the road/weather conditions.

  • Be aware of your surroundings, don’t focus on just the road ahead of you. Scan the road near and far as well as side to side and behind.

  • Signal your intentions in advance, communication between drivers is a very important factor in safe driving.

  • Remove distractions like cell phones or food and drinks.

  • Have an escape route.

  • Follow the posted speed limits and watch for obstructions or objects in the road.

  • Avoid making eye contact with aggressive drivers, this can make them more aggressive.

Remember defensive driving is not a part time gig and it’s surely not just for truck drivers. Every time we get behind the wheel to drive we need to remind ourselves of the dangers we can potentially face. Driving can be a life or death task but driving defensively can help to lessen the dangers. Keep this in mind the next time you get behind the wheel to run out to the store or drop the kids at practice. There is a big responsibility to driving and sometimes we all forget this. 

In closing I would only say that to me, dying in a car accident is a scary thought, but worse would be killing another person and living with that for the rest of my life. Let that sink in and help to make it easier to consider your driving habits from this point on.

Thanks for reading and as always drive safely!

Patrick Welby

Owner at NexGen Driving Academy

Student drivers on the road

By | Safe drivers, Student Drivers | No Comments

Student drivers are everywhere on the road. What should we do when we see them on the roads?

What if it was your child behind the wheel?

  • Remember, we were all students at one time.

  • Expect the unexpected.

  • Never tailgate them.

  • When you see them coming, don’t cut them off just because they drive too slow.

  • Students and experienced drivers alike should be driving the posted speed limits.

  • Remember, the instructor in the car has to focus on the student as well as other drivers on the roads. This is not always an easy task, be considerate please.

What about when the student makes a mistake? How should we as experienced drivers handle this?

  • As a driving instructor we try hard every day to prevent mistakes by our students. This is the hardest part of the job for any instructor.

  • Student drivers, especially teen drivers, don’t always see things the way experienced drivers do. Therefore, situations that are normal for experienced drivers become situations students struggle with.

  • If you have a situation with a student driver, it is best to be calm and not react in a negative manner. Take the high road as they say.

  • Mistakes happen and for a student it can be a very discouraging situation. So for the experienced drivers, it is best to show the student driver that you are not upset by using profane gestures or language.

  • Know that when these mistakes happen, the instructor is there to explain to the student driver what was wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.

Setting a good example for a student driver is not only good to help them, it is a great way to help improve the overall driving experiences for all drivers.

  • By showing a student driver you are patient and understanding, it helps them to be a better driver.

  • If every driver was courteous to just one person a day, think of how the roads would be?

  • I teach my students to be courteous and to slow down and consider the other drivers. We all should do the same.

  • If we step back and consider the consequences of speeding and distracted driving, we can realize it’s just not worth it.

To wrap up, student drivers are on the roadways whether we see them in a “driver’s ed car” or they are driving their “parent’s car”. They are on the roads.

Keep this in mind as you head out on the road today and every day.
Thanks for reading; hope to see you on the road soon!
Patrick Welby
Owner at NexGen Driving Academy
The next generation in driver’s education

 

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