What is Defensive Driving and Why is It Important

Whether you’re going to work or heading to a certain destination, you are exposed to safety risks whenever you are on the road. 

That is why defensive driving is frequently recommended as the key to safe driving. If you’re planning to take a defensive driving course in New Zealand to avoid road accidents and acquire your driver’s license, you should first understand what it implies. 

Defensive driving involves taking precautions that lessen your danger and the risk of other drivers travelling close to you.

What is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving is all about being aware of potential risks and other road users’ movements so you can take preventative measures to avoid an accident. It lowers the likelihood of being in a car accident since it minimizes the inherent dread that many drivers have.

Taking a defensive driving course in NZ is complex. Despite the activities of other drivers or the existence of hazardous driving circumstances, as a driver, you must use this formula to avoid accidents. You will learn to give way a little and adapt your driving behaviour to the unexpected behaviours of other drivers and pedestrians, to the unpredictable and constantly changing factors of light, weather, road and traffic conditions, and even to the mechanical condition of your vehicle. Your coordination and observational abilities must be continually strengthened, and you must mentally review such scenarios and prepare your defence when you want to learn to drive in New Zealand.

Here are five defensive driving guidelines that every driver should be aware of before getting behind the wheel.

5 Common Defensive Driving Techniques

#1 No mobile phones while driving

Even if you receive an urgent text or call while operating a motor vehicle, you must consider how crucial it is for you to respond immediately. The short response is that it can wait unless the call is vital. You can only concentrate on your driving if you’re on your phone and can pay enough attention to the other nearby drivers. Too many people disregard the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, even though they are incredibly distracting. Wait until you have found a secure parking spot before responding to that critical text or taking that urgent call if you need to. Make everything straightforward and fast.

#2 Pay attention to all traffic signs

All defensive drivers must pay close attention to all traffic signs and signals. After thoroughly investigating the most effective ways to instruct drivers to run their vehicles properly, they were placed on the road for a reason. Making sure that your driving is predictable by other drivers is one of the cornerstones of defensive driving. The best way to maintain predictability is strictly adhering to the signs and signals.

Also, remember that you should never copy what the driver or drivers in front of you are doing. What if the other driver disregards or does not observe the traffic signs? He might be driving carelessly, which could put you in a collision.

To prevent any threat of an automobile collision, always obey the traffic signs.

#3 Maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you

Awareness of the vehicles around you is crucial to defensive driving. It entails paying attention to how far your car is from the automobile in front of you and ensuring you are always far enough away to stop safely. There may only sometimes be enough area to brake when you need to stop quickly and safely. 

You are in charge of maintaining a safe distance and preventing rear-end collisions. Make sure there are at least two car widths between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you as a general rule of thumb. Even if the rear-end collision wasn’t your fault, it may increase your auto insurance premium and other liabilities.

#4 Develop your driving skills in all weather conditions

Newly licensed drivers commonly feel uneasy about driving in inclement weather or at night. Defensive driving dictates that you strive to delay going until you feel confident enough to do so if you are concerned about operating a vehicle in those circumstances. You can drive under supervision until you are more comfortable with your abilities. You can also practice in various weather conditions and locations where there is no chance of getting into a car accident, such as large, vacant parking lots.

#5 Always give other vehicles the right of way

Anyone who has completed a defensive driving course in NZ has had a teacher coaching them on what to do at each 4-way intersection. You start by counting from one to three; then, you watch for any nearby pedestrians or vehicles before continuing to drive carefully. It is good advice for practising defensive driving in nearly any circumstance. Always give way, even if you need clarification on who has the right of way. Since it is frequently unclear who has the right, it is always preferable to presume that the other cars do and to allow them to move first. 

Driving carefully and paying attention to the other vehicles around you while anticipating other drivers’ reactions in challenging situations will make you far safer than more aggressive drivers.

How Can a Defensive Driving Course Help You

The advantages you can get when you take a defensive driving course vary by state. Still, they frequently include a reduction in the number of points added to your driver’s licence after receiving a ticket and the guarantee that your insurance rates won’t go up. Participating in a defensive driving course in some states for three to five years can result in an insurance rate decrease of up to ten percent. 

The advantages of defensive driving classes and the requirements for taking them also differ depending on the state. Some – like an introductory defensive driving course in NZ – can last up to eight hours, while most are only four hours long.

While some jurisdictions only permit students to study defensive driving in a classroom environment, others allow them to take the course online or by watching a videotape or DVD.

By anticipating circumstances and making wise, safe judgments, students who take defensive driving programs learn to drive in NZ more safely and improve their driving skills. When carrying out a safe driving manoeuvre, such decisions are put into action based on the conditions of the road and the surrounding area.

Take Your Defensive Driving Course with Right First

Various defensive driving courses are offered, but for many drivers, essential driving behaviours may be picked up simply by being more proactive and paying attention at all times, keeping yourself informed and prepared to anticipate any problems. 

If you’re asking yourself now, “are there driving lessons near me?” there are! Right First Driving School in New Zealand offers a defensive driving course NZ to teach you thorough lessons that’ll help you practice safe driving wherever and whenever you are on the road.