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Defensive Driving. Chapter 5. Preventing Collisions…. In order to be a successful defensive driver, a simple formula must be followed: Be Alert Understand other drivers will make mistakes 2. Be Prepared Know what to do in all situations 3. Act in Time

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Preventing collisions
Preventing Collisions…

  • In order to be a successful defensive driver,

  • a simple formula must be followed:

  • Be Alert

  • Understand other drivers

  • will make mistakes

  • 2. Be Prepared

  • Know what to do in all situations

  • 3. Act in Time

    • Try not to panic and follow

    • the rules you learned

Defensive driving

Activity: In your groups, use the formula you just learned to come up with an action the driver could do for each step in the formula for both situations…write them down.

Situation 1: You are following a SUV on 295 with a mattress tied to the roof. You can see the mattress is not properly secured and looks like it may blow off any minute. You are in traffic traveling at 55mph.

Situation 2: A traffic light quickly changes to red and you have to brake hard to stop safely. You look in your rearview mirror and observe a driver on his cell phone not paying attention to the road. You think he is traveling too fast to stop before hitting you.

Aggressive driving
Aggressive Driving…

True or False: Emotions play the largest part in aggressive driving?


Aggressive Driving is when a driver displays unlawful driving actions such as:


-Improper/Excessive Lane changing

-Improper passing

Aggressive driving may lead to road rage
Aggressive Driving may lead to Road Rage!

What is Road Rage?

When a motorist loses their temper or becomes frustrated because of a

traffic disturbance.

Activity: In your groups, come up as many signs of road rage as you can…write them down.

Signs of Road Rage


-Running stop signs or red lights


-Weaving through traffic

-Making hand gestures


-Honking your horn

-Flashing High Beams

Road rage continued
Road Rage Continued…

Road Rage…it is real and it is scary…let's watch


To be a defensive driver, you must not allow distractions…

Can you think of distractions to driving?

Always pay close attention…

Highway hypnosis
Highway Hypnosis…

If you have been driving for a long period of time, you may experience “Highway Hypnosis”, or a trance-like state that reduces focus and attention.

To avoid highway hypnosis, a driver should avoid looking at any one object for more than a few seconds and rest every two hours when driving.

Maggie s law
Maggie’s Law…

Has anyone ever heard of Maggie’s Law?

In 2003, Maggie’s Law made it illegal for a driver to knowingly drive while impaired by a lack of sleep.

True or False? Tired driving is more dangerous than drunk driving?

False…Tired driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving!

Defensive drivers
Defensive Drivers…

Remember, Defensive Drivers avoid all these bad habits when driving!

Keep a safe following distance
Keep a safe following distance…

The One Car Length Rule:

A driver should keep one car length (20 feet) back

from the car in front of them for every 10mph.

How far back (in feet and car lengths) should you

be when traveling 20mph?

2 car lengths, 40 feet

2. How far back (in feet and car lengths) should you

be when traveling 50mph?

5 car lengths, 100 feet

How fast could the green car be traveling?

Following distance
Following Distance…

The Three-Seconds-Plus Rule:

A driver should pick a fixed object (overpass, sign, etc) and begin to

count “one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand

when the car passes the chosen object. The driver should not reach the

same object in less than 3 seconds.

Lets see how it’s done…

4, 5, or 6-Second Rule!

(Wet Roads)


True or False: Road surfaces are most slippery during the first few minutes of rainfall?

True! Oil and Dirt is lifted during this time, but washed away after a few minutes.

Use extreme caution when driving during this time!

Steady rainfall
Steady Rainfall…

During Steady rainfall, rain tends to accumulate on roadways…these conditions increase the chance of hydroplaning…Does anyone know what hydroplaning is?


-Car has to be traveling 35mph or more

-Tires ride up on a film of water, causing the driver to lose control

-Controlling car becomes impossible


Activity: Get in your groups and create a list of ways a defensive driver would prevent hydroplaning. If you do begin to hydroplane, what actions can you take?

To Avoid Hydroplaning:

Do not drive on bald tires

Slow down during steady rain

Drive on the highest point of the road

What to do if your car begins to hydroplane…

Snow and ice
Snow and Ice…

During Snow, a driver must triple their following distance, or allow a 6-second following distance.

Question: If a driver is traveling at 30mph on snow, what is the correct following distance?

9 car lengths, or 180 feet

During Ice, a driver must multiply normal following distance by 6.

Question: If a driver is traveling at 20mph on ice, what is the correct following distance?

12 car lengths, or 240 feet

Snow and ice continued
Snow and Ice Continued…

In NJ, Drivers may use studded snow tires or tire chains to help keep traction with the road between November 15 and April 1.

Drivers who use these tires or chains are hoping to avoid situations like this…

What would a defensive driver do
What Would A Defensive Driver Do?

Activity: In your groups, come up with an action a defensive driver would take if they encountered these situations:

#1 You are driving in snow or freezing rain and your defroster stops working.

Stop the car, close the windows and let the heater warm up the windows.

#2 You are driving and run into a bad fog storm.

Immediately slow down, put on low beams (fog lights if you have them) and follow road markings.

#3 You are driving and over a hill you hit a very bad sun glare.

Immediately slow down, put down sun visor, put on sun glasses and follow road markings.

Night driving
Night Driving…

To drive safely at night, slow down and drive within the range of the vehicle’s headlights. You should be able to stop within the distance you see ahead.

Remember the stopping distance formula:

Reaction Distance


Braking Distance


Stopping Distance

How would night affect stopping distance?

Let’s see how speed affects braking distance…

City driving
City Driving…

Defensive Drivers should use extra caution when driving in a city.

Follow the 12-second Rule:

A driver should be able to see an object far enough ahead so that it takes at least 12 seconds to get to it.

Country driving
Country Driving…

A defensive driver should be cautious when driving in the country as animals often run into the road without warning.

A driver should slow down and stop until the animal has passed through the road.

Does anyone have an animal story?


Activity:list as many instances as you can think of that will cause a vehicle to skid.

Caused By:

-Sudden Turns

-Lane Changes

-Hard braking

-Wet Roads

-Icy Roads

How to Handle a Skid:

-Take your foot off the gas pedal

-Turn the steering wheel in the direction the

rear of the vehicle is skidding, without over


-Apply light pressure to brakes

-Straighten the wheels when the vehicle grips

Let’s see what to do when your car is skidding…

Emergency stops
Emergency Stops…

With a Paved Shoulder:

-Signal a turn

-Turn onto shoulder at near

traffic speed

-Slow down once in shoulder

-Turn on Hazard Lights

With an Unpaved Shoulder:

-Signal a Turn

-Slow down to a safe speed while

still on the roadway

-Pull off onto shoulder once a

safe speed is reached

-Turn on Hazard Lights

Emergency stops continued
Emergency Stops Continued…

Hazard Light Button

Flashing Hazards

If Help is Needed:

-Raise the Hood

-Place marker 300 ft back

-Tie a white cloth/bag to

antenna or left door handle

-Call for help

Driving off the road
Driving off the Road…

If you drive off the road by accident:

-Slow down to 25mph or less

-Regain control

-Turn slowly (1/4 turn) back onto road

Let’s see how to correctly re-enter the roadway…

Car fires
Car Fires…

Most car fires are caused by a short circuit in the electrical system

What should you do in the event of a car fire?

-Get passengers out and away from car

-Call for help

-Do not attempt to put out the fire

Plunging into water
Plunging into Water…

Activity: In your groups, come up with a step-by-step action plan on what you would do if your car plunges into water… Write it down.

If You Plunge into Water:

-Close windows and doors to increase floating time (3-10 minutes)

-Wear your seatbelt to survive impact with the water

-Attempt to escape through an open window while car if still floating

-Attempt to break glass if windows are not operational

-Once pressure inside and outside the car is equal, the doors can be opened

Let’s watch what to do if your car plunges into water…

Stalled on railroad tracks
Stalled on Railroad Tracks…

What to do:

-Put the car in Neutral and attempt to move it

from the tracks

-If the car can not be moved, run as far away as

possible…but in what direction?

These accidents are more common than you think…

Brake failure
Brake Failure…

Activity:Can I have a volunteer explain what they would do in a situation where their brakes stopped working?

What To Do:

-Shift to a lower gear (3rd, 2nd, 1st)

-Pump brake pedal hard and fast

(This may build pressure enough to

stop the car)

If the car still does not stop…

Brake failure continued
Brake Failure Continued…

What To Do if Pumping Fails:

-The driver should use the

parking brake while also

holding the brake release

(This is done so the driver can let up

on the parking brake if the rear wheels lock or car skids)

-Look for a safe place to stop off

the roadway

Let’s Recap…

Tire blowout
Tire Blowout…

What to do:

-Hold steering wheel firmly

-Drive straight

-Remove foot from gas, but

don’t brake!

How to handle a blowout safely…

Headlight failure
Headlight failure…

What to do:

-Retry headlight or dimmer switch

-Turn on Parking lights, emergency flashers or turn signals

-Pull safely off the road

Gas pedal stuck
Gas Pedal Stuck…

What to do:

-Keep eyes on the road

-Shift into Neutral

-Apply the brakes

-Steer safely off the roadway

Don’t Panic!

Let’s see what to do if this happens…

Hood latch releases
Hood Latch Releases…

What to do:

-Slow down immediately

-Look under hood or out of the

window to see

-Use road markings as a guide

-Pull off road safely

Windshield wiper failure
Windshield Wiper Failure…

What to do:

-Slow down

-Pull off roadway

-Turn on hazard lights

Defensive drivers will a lways t ry to a void collisions
Defensive Drivers Will Always Try to Avoid Collisions…

Activity: In your groups, come up with a list of actions a driver could do to if he/she sees their vehicle is about to hit something…Write them down.

Actions to take to avoid collisions:

-Stop quickly (pump or slam brakes and retain steering control)

-Turn quickly (Turn off the road if necessary to avoid a collision)

-Speed up (If a driver is gong to hit you from the side or behind)

If you are in a collision
If you are in a collision…

What to do:

Rear Collision:

-Slam on brakes to avoid being pushed

into the car ahead of you

-Brace yourself between the steering

wheel and seat

Side Collision:

-Keep a tight grip on the steering wheel

to avoid being thrown sideways

-Be ready to turn in case vehicle is spun around

If you are in a collision1
If you are in a collision…

What to do (continued):

Head-On Collision: (Airbag or Shoulder strap)

-Cover your face with hands and arms

to protect from the airbag deploying

Head-On Collision: (No Airbag or Shoulder strap)

-Throw body across seat to protect from

getting hit with windshield or steering wheel

Reporting accidents
Reporting Accidents…

A driver must notify the police if:

-They hit a parked car

-An accident involves:

-Property damage



-Vehicle damage

Remember these are all actions a defensive driver would take
Remember…These are all actions a Defensive Driver would take!!!