Guide To Defensive Driving

May 02, 2019 at 1:55 PM


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What Exactly is Advanced Driver Training?
Why You Need An Advanced Defensive Driving Course.
Defensive Driving – A Skill For Life.
Why A Course In Defensive Driving Will Help Your Teen...And You.
Top 5 Benefits From a Defensive Driving Course.
10 Things to Take Away from a Defensive Driving Course.
Going The Extra Mile.

What Exactly is Advanced Driver Training? 

Advanced driver training is a safe and methodical way to learn how to drive, above and beyond the basic lessons required to pass your initial test. It teaches a driver to think about a variety of situations and to anticipate changes in the conditions and road ahead of them. This helps them to plan the way they will drive and prepares them to deal with any situations that may arise as they drive.

When you take an advanced driving course, you are learning how to safely control the position and speed of your car systematically and in a very smooth manner. You will learn how to maintain a positive and courteous attitude with a very high standard of driving competence. This requires a certain amount of concentration, constant observation, being able to anticipate situations and plan ahead.

Advanced driver training teaches drivers to be able to handle their vehicle in any situation, at the correct speed, using the right gear. It also teaches a driver to be able to stop safely at the correct distance behind another vehicle.

What are the benefits of Advanced Driver Training?

 When you undertake advance driver instruction you will reduce your risk of being involved in a crash. This is because you will be able to more easily anticipate the situation unfolding before your eyes on the road ahead of you and make the necessary corrections required to avoid a collision or other incident.

When you learn advanced driving techniques you learn the most cost effective way to drive your vehicle and reduce fuel consumption. This is very important, especially with today’s high petrol prices. When you drive in a smoother manner your vehicle will incur less wear and tear.

Drivers that take advanced driver training are sometimes eligible for some insurance discounts – check with your provider. They may also enjoy a much shorter restricted licence period and be able to acquire their permanent drivers licence more quickly.

Can You Take Advanced Driver Training?

 Absolutely! If you have a valid learner’s licence and have already had some driver training, you can take advanced driver training or a Defensive Driving Course.

For many young drivers, it is expensive to learn to drive and to insure a vehicle so shortening the time spent to learn driving can save money. Advanced driver training can give you the confidence that you need to be in full control of your vehicle at all times and avoid any situation that can put you in the path of danger.

And advanced driver training isn’t only for the average driver. There are advanced driving lessons for those special drivers on the road too:

Advanced Driving Lessons In Trucks

Learning to drive a truck can make you much more employable. We can help you bolster your CV by offering training in Classes 2, 3, 4 and 5. In other words, all weight ranges are covered, from light trucks right up to any combination vehicle over 25, 000 kg.Advanced_Driving_Lessons_In_Trucks.jpg

We can also help you out with endorsements for forklifts, dangerous goods and passengers. All of our courses are LTSA approved, with time reduction courses available in all classes. In a shrinking job market, a potential employee boasting driver's licences across several classes, and suitable endorsements, stands out from the crowd.

For Drivers With Disabilities

Independence and mobility do not have to be restricted because of disability. Advanced vehicle technology makes it possible for a person with a disability to drive a car, and we offer specialised tuition to try and make that happen. Regrettably, many people think their disability is such that there is no way they could possibly drive, and they fail to find out if it is possible to get a licence. They miss out on the independence that a driver's licence would give them, simply because they didn't ask. Don't make that mistake!

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Why You Need An Advanced Defensive Driving Course

You're never too experienced to take an advanced defensive driving course. After all, has there ever been a wrong time to try and become a safer driver? A course in defensive driving, no matter your age or number of years on the road, will change the way you think about your driving. It could even save your life.

The Worst Drivers In The World?

Learner drivers are flocking to defensive driving courses, and that's obviously a good thing. Never mind that their main reason for doing so is a substantial reduction in the restricted licence period! Regardless of their motivation, learning to become a defensive driver can only benefit a young person, something quite apparent when you look at the statistics. For example, 15 to 19-year-old drivers make up just 5% of licensed drivers, yet between 2009 and 2011 they accounted for 13% of all drivers involved in minor injury crashes, 13% of drivers in serious injury crashes and 11% of drivers involved in fatal road accidents.

After reflecting on these figures, you might sit back and think that young drivers are responsible for everything wrong on our roads. However, the road toll is far too high across all age groups. Granted, the 2012 road toll of 307 was the second lowest in 60 years (thanks to better driver education in Auckland and nationwide) but that is still a shameful statistic for a country of our size. No wonder many international visitors consider New Zealand drivers to be among the worst in the world.

Why You Would Benefit From An Advanced Defensive Driving Course

Sure, you say. There are some bad drivers out there. But not me...I've been driving for years! Have you considered that years of driving might equate to years of bad habits on the road? Excessive speed. Reckless overtaking. Not driving to the conditions. Can you honestly say you're not guilty of doing any of these things? It's probably more by good luck than good management that you are not a statistic yourself. The longer you drive, it's easy to switch onto auto-pilot, and it becomes increasingly difficult to detect the bad habits that are creeping into your driving. A defensive driving course would make you aware of these bad habits, and teach you how to break them. You'll learn how to recognise hazards on the roads and how to avoid situations that cause accidents.    

Remember how easy it was to get your driver's licence? Compared to today's strict and graduated licensing procedure, it was nothing more than a spin around the block. Given that you had to do the bare minimum to get a licence back then, were you ever fully equipped to be a really safe driver?

You might be an experienced motorist but you might have picked up some baggage on your journeys, in the shape of those dreaded bad habits that creep into your driving until that fateful day when...well, that doesn't bear thinking about.

Your Luck Won't Last Forever

What you should consider though, is an advanced defensive driving course. Even at this stage of your driving career, it can teach you the things you didn't need to learn back in the days of 'round-the-block' practical tests.  It will give you a clear idea of the standards now expected of our learner drivers. And, it will change the way you drive. You can't rely on luck to stay alive on the roads. It's time you learnt the skills that our safest and most competent drivers possess.

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Defensive Driving – A Skill For Life

As a learner driver, you might see just one benefit in a defensive driving course. It will help you get your licence sooner! By taking a defensive driving course, you're rewarded with a substantial reduction in the restricted licence period - a six month reduction if you're under 25, and three months if you're over 25. However, as qualified driving instructors, we place a different value on a defensive driving course. We see such a course as vital in teaching you to become a safer, smarter motorist for a lifetime, not just as a tool to be exploited as you learn to drive. With professional tuition and enough practice, just about anyone can master the physical skills required to drive a vehicle. However, it takes a defensive driving course to make you a smart driver; one intelligent enough to manage risks, drive to the conditions and avoid dangerous situations.

Reducing The Risk Through Defensive Driving

Male drivers in the 15-19 year age group are about nine times more likely to crash than male drivers in the 55-59 age group. Female drivers aged 15-19 are seven times more likely to crash than female drivers aged 55-59. In 2011, drivers aged 15-24 were involved in 80 fatal crashes, with primary responsibility for 71 of them. If one thing stands out from those statistics, it's that the older you are the less likely you are to be involved in a motor accident. With age comes experience. Older drivers have racked up enough kilometres to become more aware of the risks on the road, and how to manage them. A defensive driving course won't give you years of experience in a matter of hours. But it will help you understand and avoid the factors that lead to accidents, in the same way an older driver does. By adding a defensive driving course to your driver education, you bridge the gap between youth and experience. It's like putting an older, wiser head on young shoulders!

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Why A Course In Defensive Driving Will Help Your Teen...And You

Defensive driving is more than just driving slow and wearing your seatbelt. Participating in defensive driving courses means being able to avoid accidents by understanding the potential dangers around you. By knowing the danger, you'll be better prepared should a hazardous situation arise. Defensive driving will teach you the best course of action for most circumstances, to save you precious seconds in an emergency.

A course in defensive driving, while not compulsory by law, is a MUST for your teen. As they make the exciting journey from passenger to driver, your child will face the same dangers on the roads as you do – and you know it takes a fair degree of skill to negotiate the hazards that any trip can throw at you. Learner drivers are taught effective methods of being defensive behind the wheel instead of being aggressive - which is a leading cause of accidents.  Simple methods of evasive driving are taught to drivers so that they will learn to make quick decisions at the last minute and avoid life-changing and deadly collisions.

By encouraging them to take a defensive driving course, your teen will start their driving career equipped with the skills to recognise and avoid these hazards. As you try and persuade your teenage driver to take a course, you can use the following reasons to strengthen your argument.

  1. Get Your Licence Sooner. If your teen completes a defensive driving course, they're rewarded with a six month reduction in their restricted licence period. What an incentive! This is the obvious place to start as you urge them to enrol in a course. This substantial carrot might be the only reason they do the course, but as long as they're learning to manage risks and avoid dangerous situations, does it really matter? Of course, the challenge for you as a parent is to ensure they continue to apply what they learn, and you can do this as a passenger. So that you can check their driving is defensive driving, why not do a course yourself? Any time is a good time to improve your driving skill, and as you monitor your child's progress behind the wheel, you really should be able to practice what you preach. Check out our advanced defensive driving courses for experienced drivers.
  2. Risk Management. Courses are run through an organisation called Street Talk. The sessions are intense and interactive, with theoretical and practical elements involved. The course will teach your teen how to recognise risks on the road, and how to avoid them. Excessive speed, a failure to drive to the prevailing conditions and reckless overtaking are regular contributors to our appalling road toll. These issues and more will be covered in the course, and by being aware of them, your child can't help but be a safer driver.
  3. A Wise Move. Young motorists lack “driving intelligence”. They're short on experience. However, they're not lacking in enthusiasm as they revel in their new-found independence. This youthful exuberance is often manifested in displays of excessive speed or foolish stunts while they're behind the wheel, often in an attempt to show off to their mates. Boys will be boys – and girls will be girls – but a defensive driving course will at least show them the consequences of their actions, and get them into the habit of actually thinking while they drive. They won't become an experienced driver overnight but they will become a smarter driver.
  4. Peace Of Mind. Young drivers are involved in more road accidents than anyone else. Young drivers are more likely to die or be hurt in a serious injury crash. In 2011, drivers aged 15-24 were involved in 80 fatal crashes, with primary responsibility for 71 of them. Obviously, these facts and figures are swirling around your head as you watch your teenage child learn to drive. This is an exciting time for them, and a worrying time for you. To alleviate your stress, and to maximise their driving skills and safety, you should encourage your child to book a few lessons with a qualified driving instructor and to enrol in a course in defensive driving. It's the best possible driver education your teen can receive, and much needed peace of mind for you!

Truthfully, these courses are a great investment not only for those who are learning how to drive but also for those who already have experience driving.  Young drivers who take defensive driving courses learn a variety of important driving skills including maintaining a constant speed.  These skills can help them with fuel economy and driving better in traffic.  They also learn to drive safely in a controlled environment.  An experienced driver will accompany them and help them to observe a variety of things including their surroundings and what the road conditions are.  When a young driver completes this course they can reduce the amount of time that they must remain on their restricted licence by as much as three months.  This time reduction does depend upon the age of the driver because if the driver is too young they cannot obtain an unrestricted licence too quickly.

Important Components of Defensive Driving Courses

 These types of courses are generally divided up into four class sessions.  There is a one hour assessment that is conducted with the student driver behind the wheel.  This is when the student driver will learn a variety of advanced techniques that will show them how to keep control of their vehicle in a variety of situations.  One must learn how to make the right decisions without having a chance to think about them – as an instinctive move.  These driving moves must be second nature because when an emergency occurs, there is no time to think about what type of action should be taken, especially in a dangerous situation.

These sessions can also help a driver to have a better understanding of the road, possible dangers that they might be faced with and unexpected things that can occur as they drive down the road.  When a person takes a course that teaches them the fundamentals of defensive driving, they learn how to make the correct decisions and manage risks.  They also gain valuable experience so that they can learn to be safe behind the wheel.  When a person learns to drive defensively, it can prevent accidents.  It saves lives when a person learns what is needed to drive safely in any situation, especially when unexpected danger presents itself.  Many lives have been saved since defensive driving has been introduced and taught as a course.  
Experienced drivers are also advised to take a defensive driving course.  These courses can help those drivers to reinforce their experience and hone their driving skills.  Older drivers tend to become set in their ways and they may overlook some components of safety that are very important.  These courses can help them to re-examine their driving habits and take a new look at the way that they drive, sometimes even opening their eyes to the possibility that they are making some critical errors or overlooking some important errors they make when they are driving.

Defensive driving courses help drivers to recognize driving hazards, reduce their restricted licence period, avoid dangerous situations, and react in a timely and evasive fashion so as to completely avoid an accident.  Injuries can be avoided, lives can be saved, insurance costs can be reduced, all because people are paying more attention on the roads.  This all adds up to a winning situation, because drivers are more careful, so accidents are reduced.  Many insurance companies are also willing to provide a discount to drivers on their insurance when they have taken a defensive driving course.  

Don’t leave anything to chance, learn from the best.  When it comes to driving, you want to feel confident behind the wheel and ready for anything to happen, whether it be bad weather conditions, unexpected road conditions, an accident or a mechanical failure, you will be ready to face it all.

Defensive Driving Courses Are Crucial

Defensive driving courses have a significant role in teaching people who are new to driving safety. While driving lessons will teach you how to pass your test, a defensive course will teach you how to survive on the road. These courses teach general safety guidelines such as staying alert, keeping a safe following distance from other vehicles and knowing when to check your blind spots, but they also teach the arguably more important skill of anticipating the moves of the other cars. Even if you drive safely, other people may not and might take risks, possibly endangering you and others. These skills can set up a beginner driver for safer driving, for life.

But it's not just beginner drivers that can benefit from these defensive driving courses. Commercial drivers can benefit by learning about fleet safety and refreshing their skills on safety on the road and responsible driving. Disabled drivers can take courses on how to better manoeuvre their adapted cars to avoid clashes with other drivers. Motorcycle riders are the people most at risk of injury on the road, due to the fact that there is not a car shell, seatbelt or airbags to protect them. Defensive driving, even learnt in a car, will increase your knowledge of the road and other drivers. Senior drivers can also benefit from these courses as even though they are the least likely to take risks, they also generally have the slowest reaction time. Defensive driving courses can help expose those risks and reduce them. This course can also be used as a tool to help make the decision of whether it's time to retire from the steering wheel for good.

Some people may believe that they do not need a defensive driving course because they are very experienced and have many years on the road. You may have never been in an accident, but that does not mean that you're not a ticking time bomb. Often when people have been driving for a long time, they fall into bad habits and will pay less attention to the road. A defensive driving course is an excellent refresher on why it is so important to stay awake and alert on the road, and can correct any habits you've learnt. You can also learn something new like how to perform a high-speed stop on a wet road or how to avoid aquaplaning.

Everyone can benefit from taking defensive driving courses, regardless of age, skill level or even vehicle type. As long as you have wheels on the road, there is nothing that will help save your life more than these courses.


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Top 5 Benefits From a Defensive Driving Course

Whether you are a new driver or an experienced one, a defensive driving course can really make the difference between getting involved in an accident or avoiding it altogether. Those who are unprepared for the situation up ahead may not know what they should do next. When you take defensive driver training, you are prepared for most of these types of situations so that you know exactly what to do.

Some people are court-ordered to take defensive driving courses by Judges if they are involved in motor vehicle offenses. When these people take these courses, it can mean a reduction of penalties and fines on their driving record, so it is definitely in their best interests to take these types of courses.

Defensive driving teaches many young people important driving techniques and how to improve essential skills. It helps them to anticipate situations that might develop as they drive and can prevent accidents from occurring.

Here are the top five benefits from a defensive driving course:

  1. In some cases, insurance companies will provide a very reasonable cost discount on insurance which can add up to a great deal of money over a year. Insurance companies know that defensive driving courses teach students very important lessons in how to separate emotion from the task at hand, which is focussing on the road and this alone can save lives and prevent accidents.
  2. Defensive driving can reduce driving risks. Drivers who have taken these courses instinctively anticipate dangerous situations and are better able to avoid risks that may occur. They also understand the importance of making allowances for adverse driving conditions such as bad weather. Defensive driving courses teach control of fear, snap decision making, quick reaction time, emergency care and safety.
  3. A defensive driving course will show a person what to do in the event that they find themselves involved in a road rage situation. These incidences are happening more and more with people being more stressed out, having less patience and overreacting to small driver errors. These can lead to people having confrontations and in some cases can lead to serious accidents and even death. Defensive driving courses can show drivers ways to avoid these situations.
  4. These courses can teach people how to be responsible and careful drivers who will avoid accidents and not be the cause of them.
  5. Taking defensive driving courses can help drivers to be aware of what other drivers may do and react to those moves in a manner that will help them to remain safe and avoid a collision. If drivers can avoid a collision, then they will prevent injury not only to themselves but to the other driver. 

If you have been thinking about taking a defensive driving course but are not sure if it would benefit you, now is a really great time to get it done.

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10 Things to Take Away from a Defensive Driving Course

A defensive driving course can mean the difference between someone being a mediocre driver and a driver that is fully aware of everything that is going on around them. This type of course can help a driver to predict the behaviour of drivers around them so that they will remain safe and also to help them make quick decisions to avoid a collision.

When you decide to proceed, here are 10 things to take away from a defensive driving course:

  1. You will be more aware of situations around you that may develop in to a more serious situation such as an accident and avoid those scenarios more easily.
  2. You will have more confidence that will help you to be a better driver. Confidence reduces hesitation which can in itself be a major cause of accidents.
  3. An understanding of the correct and safe distance to maintain between yourself and the vehicle in front of you at all times. If that safe gap has been closed by another driver, you will need to ensure that you re-establish that gap.
  4. A working knowledge of your vehicle's controls, including how long it will take you to stop if an emergency occurs.
  5. How to share the road with other drivers and be a more considerate driver.
  6. How to safely pass other vehicles on the road including leaving a safe distance between you and the vehicles around you.
  7. You will learn how to deal with road rage and aggressive drivers in a safe and effective manner.
  8. You will gain important and necessary skills such as driving in adverse conditions, driving in bad weather and driving at night or in poor visibility.
  9. You will learn how to assess your environment on a constant basis as you drive. This means you will take a visual assessment of your surroundings including where pedestrians and cyclists are in relation to your vehicle as well as other vehicles and what those vehicles are likely to do. You might see a vehicle drifting into your lane and understand that they wish to get into your lane but have not yet made an indication of that.
  10. Have you completed a defensive driving course?  If so, can you add one thing that YOU took away from the course?

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Going The Extra Mile

Advanced driver training recognises that every motorist is different. If you need professional tuition that doesn't fit the mould, contact us. With our range of services, and the combined experience of out fully qualified instructors, we're well placed to help you get the specialised training you need. It's all part and parcel of being the complete driving academy; one able to meet your unique requirements.

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