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What is Defensive Driver Training?

defensive driver training

Regardless of skill level, all drivers should implement defensive driving practices. Defensive driving is a practice that helps drivers to utilise increased levels of observation and anticipation, to decrease the risk of incidents. Through defensive driver training, drivers learn how to identify different risks and control different road situations. There are many benefits of defensive driver training, including, increased driver safety, improved driving skills and reduction of risk when driving for work. This helps businesses to improve their level of driver safety and ensures their compliance with health and safety laws. Defensive Driver training can include an eyesight check, driving licence check, vehicle safety check, classroom training, observation training, awareness and anticipation, spatial awareness training, speed awareness training, post-collision training, country road training, and motorway training.

Tips for Defensive Driving

What is defensive driver training Keep a safe distance

Keeping a Safe Distance and Looking Ahead

Keeping a safe distance while driving is one of the most effective ways to keep other road users and yourself safe. In good weather conditions, you should leave at least a 3-second gap, (Remember in wet conditions your stopping distance is 2 times greater and 10 times greater in icy conditions). This should provide you with time to react and avoid any potential hazards.

 Stopping distance is dependent on several factors while driving, these can include:

·        The speed that you are traveling at.

·        The weather and road conditions.

·        The conditions of your vehicle’s brakes

As a defensive driver you should always look as far ahead of you as possible, not just the car in front of you. This will help you see any hazards earlier or developing hazards before they occur. What is the car 3 in front of you doing? Is there a traffic light ahead? Can I see brake lights? These are the things you should be asking yourself while driving.

only trust you

Only Trust Yourself

As a driver you only have control of your own actions, and shouldn’t trust anyone else on the road. It’s hard to know whether another road user is paying attention to the road conditions and other vehicles. They could be driving dangerously, or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As a defensive driver, you should create a ‘safety bubble’ around your vehicle where you have full control of your surroundings. By ensuring that you drive safely, you will reduce the level risk that may be posed by other drivers.


what is defensive driver training stay focused and alert

Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

      This tip may seem obvious, but many road users don’t follow this guidance. When driving it is important to focus on the task at hand without any distractions which may divert your attention. As such, you should never drive when tired or when taking medication which may affect your ability to drive safely. In addition to this, you should take steps to avoid any potential distractions such as mobile phone notifications or calls as these may divert your attention and focus while driving. The safest place for a mobile phone is switched off and in the glove compartment. 

what is defensive driver training stay calm

Stay Calm and Avoid Red Mist

     When driving on the road you should maintain a cool demeanour. You shouldn’t allow anything to take your mind off the task at hand and affect your ability to identify possible hazards. ‘Red mist is used to describe a state in which the drivers’ attention isn’t on the road but on a specific goal, for example catching the vehicle in front. This fixed attention on a particular goal can lead to blindness to other potential hazards including pedestrians or other road users. 

There are a variety of techniques that can be implemented to stay calm when driving and avoid red mist. This can include avoiding getting into conflict with other road users, taking a break if you begin to feel stressed, focusing on driving, and talking through the hazards you identify can help keep negative emotions in check and help you stay focused on driving. Staying calm is key to defensive driving as it will assist you in keeping a level head when behind the wheel.


Know How to Escape

You should always have a escape route. You should be consistently checking your surroundings, taking a few seconds to check your blind spots and scan the lanes around you. Make sure there is space for you to change direction if required. If someone pulls up next to you matching your speed you should maintain your current speed and allow them to pass. You must keep a safe following distance and keep your sides free from vehicle obstruction where possible.

What Are The Benefits of Defensive Driver Training?

Reduced level of Risk When Driving for Work

Defensive driver training will enable your drivers to anticipate and avoid potential hazards. This is achieved through the development of your drivers’ awareness and anticipation skills. Through this training, you will reduce the likelihood of being involved in an incident. 

improved skills

Improves Your Driving Skills

Most significantly, defensive driving will upskill your drivers’ driving knowledge and ability. Your drivers will have a better understanding of the regulations of the road and learn how to drive safely. This will help improve your drivers’ vehicle control and awareness skill on the road.

Maximum protection

Maximum Protection

Through defensive driver training, your drivers will learn and develop techniques to identify, recognise and avoid potential hazards, which significantly reduces the likelihood of them being involved in an incident. This is achieved through upskilling their current driving abilities and training them to create a safety bubble, and area of control around their vehicle. Through this, your business will benefit from highly skilled drivers, as they will avoid incidents, cause less wear and tear on your vehicles, and drive more efficiently. This may also help to reduce your business’ insurance costs.

less maintenance

Less Maintenance Costs

Through defensive driving practices, your drivers will cause less wear and tear on your vehicles. This will not only reduce your spending on maintenance costs but help to ensure that your fleet of vehicles runs more efficiently and effectively. The less time that your vehicles spend in the garage, the more time they have to deliver your products and service to make your business money.

accident free

Accident Free Techniques

Defensive driver training enables your drivers to drive to the conditions of the road in all conditions. Whether your drivers are driving at night or in challenging weather conditions, their advanced driving skills allow them to drive safely and responsibly. Defensive driver training encourages effective route planning and driving to the conditions of the road to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a defensive driving course take to complete?

Our defensive driver training courses start from half a day’s training but can be tailored to your company’s schedule and needs.

Where do you offer your training services?

Our training services are available across the UK and Northern Ireland. We also can offer international driver training for businesses. 

Whose vehicle do you use for this training?

We typically use your company’s vehicles to deliver our defensive driver training.

The most important aspect of defensive driving is to be prepared for any situation which could occur when driving. Defensive drivers are constantly aware of their surroundings, reducing the risk of them being involved in an incident. If you think that your business could benefit from defensive drivers, or would like to find out more, get in touch today.

Thank you for taking the time to find out all about defensive driver training and the benefits it provides you and your company. If you have any questions or queries you would like us to answer please do not hesitate to get in touch. 



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