Chapter 5 … Defensive Driving

Chapter 5 … Defensive Driving
Preventing a collision
Most collisions are caused by
motorist error. A motorist can reduce
the chances of a collision by knowing
and using the standard collisionprevention formula:
 Be alert: Never think the other
motorist will not make a driving
 Be prepared: Learn what to do in any
situation when you have to act fast,
and always expect the unexpected.
 Act in time: Try not to panic. Know
what to do if something happens
Aggressive Driving/Road Rage
Emotions can have a great affect on a
motorist’s driving. Aggressive driving is
defined as a progression of unlawful
driving actions, such as speeding,
improper or excessive lane changing,
or improper passing.
Aggressive drivers fail to consider how
their actions behind the wheel may affect
other motorists on the road. When behind
the wheel, a motorist should always
remain calm and follow the rules of the
Causes for a Vehicle to Skid
– Accelerate too quickly
– Turn too fast
– Brake too hard
Vehicle Runs off Pavement
• Slow down
• Regain control
• Ease back onto the road
Driving Techniques to Avoid a Collision
-Speed Up
Ways to Avoid Hydroplaning
• Slow down
• Avoid bad Tires
• Drive on highest point of road
Recover from a Skid
Grip wheel
No gas
No brake
Turn into the skid
Recover from a Tire Blowout
Grip wheel
No brake
No gas
Keep straight
Ease off road
Involved in an accident?
Expect worst
Remain calm
Call for help
Alert traffic
Ask for assistance
Driving Distractions and Highway
In many cases, collisions are caused by a distracted
motorist. Inattentive motorists often tailgate, go too
fast or drift out of their lanes. They ignore traffic
signs and signals, road markings, potential
traffic hazards, road conditions and other
vehicles. Some causes of inattentive driving
Lighting a cigarette
Trying to fasten a safety belt while driving
Reaching across the seat to close a door or
look in the glove compartment
Reaching for coins in pockets while driving up
to a toll booth
Watching children or pets in the vehicle
Trying to remove a coat
Reading maps and newspapers
Eating while driving
Adjusting a mirror while driving
Using a cellular phone or any other electronic
Adjusting the radio or CD player
Using a computer
Applying make-up
“Trance-Like State”
A tired driver can be as dangerous as a drunk driver.
Maggie’s Law, which was enacted in June 2003, makes it
illegal to knowingly drive
a vehicle while impaired by lack of sleep. This law
establishes driving while fatigued
as recklessness under the vehicular homicide statute
You can help prevent highway hypnosis by
following a few simple rules:
Don't eat a heavy meal before you drive.
Wear comfortable clothing.
Talk with your passengers, but not to the point of
Keep your eyes moving and check your mirrors
Take an interest in all road signs and traffic around
Take a coffee or walking break every hour.
Don't try to drive too far in one day.
Avoid driving during your normal sleeping hours.
Keep the temperature in your vehicle cool.
3 Second Rule of Following
Choose some fixed object ahead of the vehicle in front. The object may be a sign or a tree. Make sure the
object does not distract attention from driving
As the vehicle in front passes the object, begin counting seconds (one thousand- one, one-thousand-two, one
thousand three).
If it takes at least three seconds before your vehicle passes the object,
a motorist should have enough distance for a sudden stop
Following Distance
Keep a Safe Distance / Do Not Tailgate
Although there is no perfect rule for following distance, the rule of thumb most
often used is to keep one car length back (about 20 feet) for each 10 miles per
hour of speed.
Tailgating refers to following too closely behind a vehicle directly in front.
Rear-End collisions are the most common type of accident as a result of
20 mph
30 mph
40 mph
50 mph
2 Car
4 Car
4 Car
6 Car
12 Car
Wet road surfaces can cause tires to hydroplane, or Ride up on a film of water,
starting at about 35 mph, which could cause a motorist to lose control of his/her
vehicle. Chances of hydroplaning increase as speeds increase. After 55 mph, tires
may totally leave the road surface. If tires totally leave the road surface, braking is
virtually impossible, and turning is not possible.
 To avoid hydroplaning, do not drive on
bald or badly worn tires, and slow
down when heavy rain, standing water
or slush is present
 Occurs within the first few minutes of
 When driving through a water puddle, a
motorist should test the brakes by
pumping them. This will also help to dry
the brakes.
City & Highway Driving
City Driving
Highway Driving
When traveling in a city, heavier traffic and more
pedestrians require motorists to be very alert.
Drive more slowly and watch for the movements
of others. Motorists must be more careful about
pedestrians and less-visible vehicles, such as
bicycles, motorcycles. Motorists must always
stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Traffic accidents and deaths can
happen on highways when the
weather is good and the roads are
dry. Exceeding the posted speed
limit or driving too fast for road
conditions is one of the most
prevalent factors contributing to
traffic collisions. Major highways are
usually in good condition. They often
have four or more lanes. It is important
to stay alert and drive defensively.
Always be ready to react to the
A motorist should look at least 12 seconds ahead. This means
that you should be able to see an object far enough ahead so
that it takes at least 12 seconds to get to it. While driving at 25
mph on a clear road in a city, a motorist should be able to see
about a block ahead. When traffic is heavy, extra time to react is
necessary, which means driving more slowly. By reducing
speed, a motorist gains time.
Tips for City Driving
• If at the middle of a block, check intersections ahead for traffic
• When approaching the intersection, reduce speed. Glance left
and then right. Be prepared to brake.
• When at a crosswalk, a vehicle should be at its lowest speed.
A motorist must decide whether to stop or go across.
Changing Lanes and Passing
Using the proper lane is an important part of defensive driving. Be alert to traffic behind.
When a lane change must be made, look at the rearview mirror. Glance behind to check
blind spots. Always signal lane changes. Before passing a vehicle or changing lanes,
keep the following points in mind:
Only pass or change lanes when necessary.
Only pass or change lanes if it can be completed without speeding.
Keep a safe following distance; do not tailgate.
Check traffic ahead and behind.
Only pass when signs and pavement markings permit.
Signal every lane change.
Signal your return to the right lane.
Return to the right lane when well ahead of the vehicle that was passed.
(A good indication that it is safe to return to the right lane is when the
vehicle that was passed is visible in the rearview mirror.)
Cancel the turn signal.
Being Passed by Another Vehicle
When a motorist is passed by another vehicle, stay in the proper lane and slow down to make the pass
easier for the other motorist. Return to normal speed after the passing vehicle is well ahead
 Space Cushion- Maintaining a safe distance
around the vehicle to help avoid collisions
 High Beams
 Used for open country driving
 Not to be used in fog
 Construction Zones
 Fines are doubled
 Designated by orange signs and/or flashing lights
 Gas Pedal Sticks
 Shift to neutral
 Apply Brakes
How Do Drivers Communicate?
Turn/hand signals
Eye Contact