Defensive Driving Course Tips
For drivers who have acquired several tickets or for those who have just received their driving licenses, a defensive driving course offer several benefits that you can use when out on the road. In addition, those who have suffered from demerits can address that situation by taking this course that has been approved by the authorities.
Redeem Three Demerit Points
Taking a recognized defensive driving course will redeem three demerit points from your record. Keep in mind that you can take a defensive driving course well before your demerits become an issue with the authorities. It’s far easier to act now before your license becomes suspended.
Lower Insurance Rates
Insurance companies will often lower the premiums for drivers who have taken a recognized defensive driving course. If your insurance rates are going up, you may want to consider taking this course to help reduce them.
Develop Proper Driving Skills
A defensive driving course teaches you the right skills that will help limit the potential for accidents. It provides a method that you can practice in your daily driving that helps avoid situations that might result in accident, injury, or worse.
Readjusts Bad Behaviors
This type of driving course provides virtually every driver with valuable information and the potential to learn new driving skills that can benefit them when on the road. Defensive driving is a mindset that allows for the driver to stay in control of their vehicle by keeping a safe distance from everyone else. This means fewer accidents which not only protects you, but those in your vehicle, and other drivers as well.
Understand Traffic Laws
Another good reason to take a defensive driving course is that it helps make you aware of all the traffic laws in your community. You may be surprised by some of the traffic laws, rules, and regulations which this type of driving course can provide. If you are an experienced driver looking to get rid of some demerits or if you are a young driver who needs more experience, then taking a defensive driving course will be right for you.
New Student Driver Tips
While nothing takes the place of experience, there are several tips that young drivers to follow which will reduce the chances of being in an accident.
Avoid Assumptions: Just because a driver has used their turn signal does not mean that they are going to turn. All it means is that they have used their turn signal. Play it safe and wait for them to take action.
Avoid Left Turns: Unless the busy intersection has a traffic light for left turns, you should avoid them until you are more prepared. This is because it takes some time to properly judge the speed of the oncoming traffic, so once you have mastered that, making left turns will be easier.
Clear Intersection: Before you proceed on a green light, be sure that no vehicle or pedestrian is still in the intersection.
Obey Speed Limits: This should be an easy one, but too many young drivers are not aware of the dangers that speeding presents. An extra five to ten miles per hour greatly reduces your time to react if the unexpected should occur.
Obstructions: If something is obstructing your lane, wait for the oncoming traffic to clear first before going around. Remember, you do not have the right of way in this circumstance.
School: Get to school a little early and leave a little late so that you avoid the congestion of the mad rush both in and out of the parking lots. Considering the many of the accidents which do take place are caused during this time, you can avoid a considerable amount of trouble by timing your entry and exit differently than your fellow students.
School Bus: One big danger is striking a student who has exited a school bus. When the school bus has stopped, posted its “Stop” sign, and starts flashing its red lights you should not pass. Instead, stay where you are so that you avoid striking students who may be getting on or off the bus.
In addition, you should always remember to buckle your seat belt before your vehicle moves and make sure everyone inside is buckled up as well. Never overcrowd your vehicle because that is asking for trouble.
Plus, obey all traffic laws which include not running red or even yellow lights. Also, get into the habit of using your turn signal even when there is no one behind you. Turn signals tell others what you are going to do and making that a habit may prevent an accident, injury or worse. Remember, you need to drive like you own your vehicle and not the road.
Winter Driving Tips
Winter in Alberta presents some unique challenges to drivers, especially young drivers who have little to no experience on the slippery roads and cold conditions. The key is to plan ahead and provide yourself with plenty of time to get to your destination. Of course, you should not go in the first place unless you absolutely must get to your location.
Winterize Your Vehicle
This means you will need to get the oil changed, replace the other fluids if necessary and inspect the following items;
- Tires & Spare Tire
- Belts & Hoses
- Defroster & Heater
- Windshield Wipers
Be sure you are carrying a first aid kit and a blanket, sleeping bag, or another item to keep you warm if your vehicle should breakdown.
Clean Off Your Vehicle
Be sure to wipe off all the large chunks of snow and make sure that you can see out of all the windows and use your mirrors. Also, make sure that your lights are not covered in snow so that others can see you properly. In addition, top off your gas tank if it is below a half-tank so that you have extra fuel in case you need it.
Even if the snow and ice are patchy, there is no reason to drive fast. The faster you drive, the more likely you will lose control of your vehicle when hitting a slick spot. You’ll want to be reasonable and drive the minimum speed if possible, but during winter weather conditions you can drive slower. Just remember to let others go by, especially on the highway.
Keep Away from Traffic if Possible
It’s more difficult for your vehicle to run into another vehicle if you keep your distance. Remember, under slick conditions it can take as much as three times the distance to stop. So, when you are operating your vehicle, drive with that in mind so you can avoid accidents.
Steer, not Brake
One of the most difficult aspects for young drivers to understand is not using your brakes if your car starts to skid or slide in another direction. Instead, take your foot off the gas and steer the vehicle into the direction you want to go. That way, your tires can regain their traction and you can gain control of your vehicle. Braking only makes it worse, so remember to steer instead.
In addition, unless it’s bright and sunny out you should keep your headlights on at all times. This will help others to see you when on the road. In addition, you’ll want to use your turn signals well in advance and generally operate your vehicle in a manner that maximizes control and visibility to others on the road.
High Way Driving Tips
In many ways, driving on the high way is safer than city neighborhoods and intersections despite the greater speed. This is because the traffic on high ways is all going in one direction with no intersections to cross and incoming traffic comes onto the road in a predictable fashion. However, there are some tips that you will need to follow to stay safe on the high way.
Obey the Speed Limit
While it seems that the designated speed limit is not high enough for many drivers, the truth is that you increase your chances of having an accident for every mile above the limit that you drive. By staying at the speed limit, you provide yourself with more opportunities to avoid potential accidents because of the additional time that you have available.
Keep Your Distance
You should keep your distance from the vehicles in front of you when at all possible. The further behind you are from a vehicle, the more you can see to avoid obstacles and the more time you have to react to unexpected events. Tailgating at high way speeds is dangerous because you have so little time to get your vehicle out of the way in case something bad should occur.
Use Your Headlights in Less than Ideal Weather
You should turn on your headlights when facing inclement weather conditions that include rain, sleet, snow, and hail. In fact, any weather condition that reduces visibility is good cause for turning on your headlights. Many accidents have occurred because drivers were surprised by a vehicle that they did not see until it was too late. So, when inclement weather strikes, turn on your headlights so others can see you.
Braking Options are Limited
At high way speeds, your braking options become quite limited because of the distance needed for your vehicle to stop. In many instances, you are better off getting into the other lane or even on the shoulder of the road depending on the unexpected event that takes place in front of you. In many high way accidents, braking was not an option, so you will need to think about redirecting your vehicle while slowing down or even speeding up depending on the circumstances. By following these tips, you can drive safe on the highways and reduce your chances for having an accident.