Defensive Driving Blog

Defensive Driving Videos

Defensive Driving Videos

Defensive Driving Videos in Texas.

Texans send in videos of what they see and witness while driving. These Defensive Driving videos show how attitudes and skills can, and do, save lives everyday. Take a look at these few examples we have received in the past few weeks. We will keep this blog fresh with new videos and updates. Be safe and keep you eyes open while on the road in Texas and anywhere else.

How to cause an accident when exiting a Texas freeway – Video of a missed freeway exit.

This driver has missed the exit of the freeway. Instead of taking the next exit a couple of miles down the road, he decides to cut across and exit at the last minute. While doing that he also decides to reduce his speed to less that 20 mph on the exit ramp where vehicles are traveling at 40-50 mph. This is exactly how accidents happen…sudden change of direction and grossly mismatched speeds causing unavoidable obstacles. Thankfully, the driver exiting the freeway was able to clear the bad driver without causing an accident.

 

What should be in your car Emergency Kit. – Video of last second ugly surprise.

Look how a dark road can reveal a surprise at the very last second! The driver in the right lane notices the stopped car very late and slams on the brakes to change lane. It would have made a huge difference if the stranded driver had an Emergency Kit with visible signals like flares, flashing lights, roadside beacon, etc…etc.. Nice defensive driving video showing quick reflexes.

 

Aggressive driving increases chances for road accidents. – Video of aggressive driver causing problems.

Check out this driver… comes fast on the left, cuts in front and starts tailgating the other car in front applying pressure, causing panic and erratic driving. This is the kind of driving that can get you killed, even if you are minding your own business. Always be safe and aware of your surroundings and keep sending in those defensive driving videos to be shared.

Check out all our original content videos on you YouTube Channel below:

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Thank you,

WirelessDefensiveDriving.com

Mindless Driving and Defensive Driving

Are you following an unconscious script when you drive? Let’s examine defensive driving vs mindless driving.

Is driving a routine?Whether we know it or not, we all have “scripts” for what we do every day in our normal routine. Psychologists define a script as “executing a sequence of actions appropriate to the situation base on habit and practice” (Dr. Leon James, 2012). For instance when we enter a restaurant we know what to do: wait to be seated, order from the menu, eat, pay the bill, etc. That is our restaurant “script”. Driving is very much the same – we develop driving behaviors that are practiced daily and become so automatic that we are no longer aware of them.

There are separate scripts for every driving situation and for what you expect from your passengers. You may drive differently on the highway by yourself than you would in a crowded parking lot with a car full of kids. Our scripts are influenced by not only our own driving experience, but by driving habits of our parents or other adults we had to drive with while growing up.

So is there a down side to having a set script for your driving? Not necessarily but scripts tend to include negative behaviors that you may not even be conscious of, including prejudices and stereotypes. Take lady drivers for instance. Have you even been with someone who becomes impatient with someone driving too slowly in front of them and pulls around, looks at the driver and says:
“Oh, it’s a lady driver. No wonder she doesn’t know what she’s doing”. There are a number of unfair biases that creep into our driving psychology that color our attitudes toward others on the road.

If you could sit down and list the number of assumptions you make about drivers based on age, ethnicity, types of cars, sex, etc., it would probably be quite a shock. But how do these interfere with driving? I think it is easy to see that these scripts can create mounds of negative feelings toward other drivers and cause our own driving  behavior to be more irrational.  The constant drain of those behaviors can affect us emotionally and intellectually. We see the culmination of this in “road rage” incidents where the anger and resentment toward other drivers finally builds to the breaking point.

Don’t let long held beliefs or “scripts” about how others should driver cloud your ability to be a good driver. Identify consciously each time that you have one of these thoughts and become more aware of how often they occur. Once identified you can take steps to re-write your script.  Label each negative reaction as inappropriate and toss it  out of your head. At the very least take a minute to think about why you feel a certain way and consider re-writing that feeling. Doing this can help you be a more considerate and less aggressive driver.

And for all the information you need to be a good defensive driver go to Wirelessdefensivedriving.com.

Safety defensive driving tips for the fall

Safety Driving Tips to keep in mind this fall season.

Believe it or not, we made it through another scorching summer season and soon enough summer will officially will be over. We welcome the fall season with its lower temperature, shorter days and much needed rain. We have some safety defensive driving tips for this coming fall season you may find useful. The driving conditions, road conditions and weather will require any driver to adjust their driving skills to the task. Here is a quick reference checklist.

  • Hydroplaning – 
    With the increase in rain, the condition of the tire’s threads are of paramount importance. Aqua-planing or hydroplaning causes a vehicle to lose traction due to a thin layer of water between the tire’s and the ground.
    Wet road safety defensive driving tips
    Basically, the grooves in the tire can not remove or displace all the water between the tire surface and the road causing the tire to lift and slide as if it was on a layer of ice. Of course the faster the vehicle moves over water, the more water has to be displaced by the tires. Look at image above and notice how the contact surface reduces how the speed increases. That is why the right amount of thread and the proper pressure in the tires are very critical.

 

  • Hypothermia – (here is the actual definition)
    Heat may no longer be the issue, but cold temperatures, especially at night, may cause hypothermia should a driver get stranded in a isolated road overnight. A blanket and thermo pads are always a good idea to have as the colder months are approaching. Thermo pads are particular effective since they can be stored safely and activated only when needed. Once activate they can generate enough heat to prevent someone from going into hypothermia.

 

  • Poor Visibility – 
    When driving in the rain, visibility is already reduced by the falling water droplets. It is very important the windshield wipers are working and with the rubber blade in prefect condition.safety defensive driving tips
    Additional additives can also be used and wiped on the windshield glass itself to cause the water to bead-up and slide away . Also, reduce the amount of time the car stays in other cars water spray zone. While this is sometimes inevitable in city traffic,  heavy spray can completely blind and remove any visibility. Even if for just few seconds, that is extremely dangerous.

 

  • Emergency Signals –
    With the days getting shorter and the visibility being poorer, having the right emergency signals is critical. Please include flares, refractive triangles or anything that can be lit and visible from a long distance should you need to pull over or break down in the path of traffic.

    reoad emergency

 

  • Stopping distance –
    Increase the distance from the vehicle in front. Wetness or poor visibility will cause stopping distances to increase dramatically. Please use the 4 second rule when following another car while the road is wet.

 

Can Defensive Driving Lower Your Insurance Rates?

Lowering Insurance Rates with Defensive Driving

It can and in a lot of instances it does. However, each insurance company has different policies on how to best reward defensive drivers. Some companies do not give discounts so it is best for your to check with your agent to verify. In most cases insurance companies like to see drivers taking defensive driving courses since it has been proven that a refresher or the extra education will reduce your likelihood of getting in an accident.

Insurance Discounts

These are some links to a few major companies and their pages regarding defensive driving.

Geico –

http://www.geico.com/information/states/tx/defensive-driver/

Texas Defensive Driver Discount

If your policy is rated for the state of Texas, you could save up to 10% on applicable coverages by taking a defensive driving course…

In Texas, you may be eligible for this discount if:

You have voluntarily completed a Defensive Driver Course, Professional Driver Course or Instructor’s Course approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), including the State Board of Education or the Commissioner of Education, the National Safety Council and/or the American Safety Council, and your auto insurance ID card indicates

 

Progressive –

http://goo.gl/gddifL

Couple of questions — first, do you offer a discount for completion of a safe driving/defensive driving course? Second, is the ‘snapshot’ discount available to existing policy holders, or just new policies? Thank you for your assistance.
Posted on 1/21/2011 at 3:39 PM by Brian
@Brian, Yes to both of your questions. In some states, we offer a driver improvement/accident prevention course, and Snapshot is available to existing customers, as well as new customers, in most states. You can enroll online, by logging into your policy, or by phone.
Posted on 1/28/2011 at 9:57 AM by Progressive

 

State Farm Insurance –

http://goo.gl/NkouYZ

Defensive Driving Course Discount
Save up to 5%. Depending on where you live, taking a driver safety course may help you get a discount. Check with your local State Farm agent for a list of qualifying courses and requirements

Of course this is not a complete list, but you get the idea…most companies would be more than happy to give a discount if you show the intent of being a safer driver. Our mobile defensive driving course (can also be taken from a regular PC/Mac) is approved by the Texas Education Agency and officially recognized valid in the entire State of Texas.

Start saving money, Register and Start now!

Back to School Driving Tips

Drive Safely in School Zones

Texas School Zone

Are you familiar with those black, yellow and white speed zone signs in School Zones? They are a common sight and with summer coming to an end next month we will need to pay attention to them once again. Some of these signs have the posted limit (20 mph) with the times that it is in effect, and some have flashing lights that are only on when the school zone speed limits are in effect. This can also relate to extra-curricular events so don’t ignore the flashing light just because you don’t think it is during school hours.

There are also places where the road is painted with the words “School Zone” and the speed limit. The signage is all so apparent so that it is almost impossible to claim you did not know it was a School Zone. And believe it – the police will not buy that either!

Texans are pretty good about taking school zones seriously but as of Sept. 1 there is a statewide ban on the use of cell phones (unless using a hands free device) as well.  Using a phone for any purpose will take attention off the road. In Texas anyone caught using a cell phone in a School Zone will face a $50 fine, but as of yet not all school zones have put up the signs. Accoding to the Texas Department of Transportation these signs are in the process of being put up state wide but since the bill was only signed in June, there has not been enough time to accomplish this. These signs each cost from $450 to $650.

Fines for speeding in a school zone vary but generally are $200 – $230 for going 1-10 miles over the limit and $325 for going more than 30 miles over the limit.

Always count on WirelessDefensiveDriving.com to bring you the most up to date information on driving laws and rules.

Missing License Plate

Front License Plate Required as of September 2013

Money Saving News From WirelessDefensiveDriving.com

Did you think it was okay to be missing one of your license plates? I have always known that you needed at least one so that law enforcement could identify you – “run your plates”, so to speak. But as of Sept. 1, 2013, you have to have both of your plates, front and back, to be legal. If you do not, you may be looking at a fine of no more than $200.

Now, my first thought was, “Didn’t we already have a law in place for this?” And I would be right with a big exception. Funny story; it seems that in 2011 legislators took out the punishment part of this law by mistake. The law was in place but there was no fine mandated.  It had been deleted. So a cop was less likely to pull you over for this in the last two years, even though they could issue you a ticket, there would be no payoff for them.

So this is how it works.  A police officer can stop anyone for not having a front or rear license plate; along the same lines as stopping you for changing lanes illegally, driving too slow or running a stop sign (not exactly defensive driving :)). With the fine in place now we will undoubtedly see this happening more often.

Defensive Driving Plate Missing

Why is it so necessary to have front and back plates? Dave Lieber, in his current Dallas Morning News report, brought this issue to light: “I see it as a safety tool that helps eyewitnesses and law enforcement identify the bad guys. Front plates double the chance for a clear ID of, say, a hit and run driver, a child molester or killer.” He also makes the point that police from several cities lobbied for the new law saying that having both plates makes it easier and safer for them to do their jobs. No license plate will give them reason to pull a person over where they can check for driver’s license, insurance and any outstanding warrants.

So, as of Sept 1, all registered vehicles, even commercial vehicles must have front and rear plates.

The result is a misdemeanor with a fine of no more than $200. For most of us that won’t be much of a problem but for some Corvette and Prius owners it could be. Some of those models do not come with a place for a front plate. So some drivers will be out on the holiday weekend scrambling to find a way to comply.

No matter what the case, always turn to WirelessDefensiveDriving.com for the most up to date information on driving safety in Texas.

Defensive Driving Tips for Labor Day.

Tips to Stay Safe While Traveling this Labor Day

Fellow travelers will need to share the road with a very high number of drivers this Labor Day holiday.

AAA is estimating 34.1 millions travelers will hit the road this Labor Day weekend (source AAA – http://goo.gl/NvgVUB). That is a new high record since the recession hit. 29 million of these travelers will travel by car (85%). That’s a lot of cars on the road in a very short amount of time.

Ride in cab - wirelessdefensivedriving.coma

 

Texas drivers can take some measures to minimize the risk and make sure the week-end is not spoiled by accidents or bad driving experiences. Here are some tips for the folks that will be traveling on the road:

1 – Make sure the vehicle is in good condition. Check all the fluids, tires and brakes. Being Texas, temperatures are still pretty high across the state and the stress on the vehicle is usually high due to the long distances and the heavy loads (even just by having a car full of passengers).

2 – Drivers should take an emergency kit along for the ride and some extra water if traveling in wide open areas where rest areas and gas stations are not easy to find.

3 – Sleep, rest and relax. Before taking to the road, the driver should make sure they are rested and not agitated, fatigued, or under the influence of alcohol. With all the celebrations, over eating and drinking, drivers need to be extra careful and make sure their senses are sharp and focused.

4 – Keep the distraction to a minimum. Usually holiday travels means a car full on people in high spirits, excited in anticipation of a great time. Without being the ‘downer’ and bringing everyone down, the driver needs to remind the passengers to help him or her with the task of driving. Instead of creating constant distractions, passengers can help by looking for problem drivers, problems with the road and by keeping the driver alert.

Labor Day car travel has always brought an increase of fatalities on the highways. The usual suspect is alcohol and the fatalities due to DWI. This Labor Day, the Texas Dept. of Transportation, together with other law enforcement agencies, will enforce the no-refusal anti-DWI campaign from Aug-30th to Sept 2nd.

Along with TxDOT’s “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail.” campaign, law enforcement across the state will work thousands of overtime hours as part of the national crackdown effort being coordinated and sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Please be safe, “We are counting on you”… just like in this video from TXDot of 1965

WirelessDefensiveDriving.com

 

Old School Defensive Driving

Defensive Driving Video from 1936.

It was obvious even in the 1930’s that someone had to be extra vigilant when taking to the road. Watch this old defensive driving instructional video where, even if the rules were a lot looser than today, there was already a push for more road safety.

Never mind terms like ‘poking along’, almost non existing lanes, double parked cars and the lack of turn signals…it was clear that defensive driving skills and attitudes were going to become increasingly necessary.

Can you imagine how much more needed those skills are today with so many more cars, trucks and motorcycles on the road? Enjoy this video made by the Chevrolet Motor  Company and keep the guard up while driving.

 

 

Teen Drivers and New Car Safety

Keep Safety in Mind While Car Shopping for Your Teen

Want to find the best and safest car for your new teen driver? Think in a defensive driving mode. Young drivers do not have the driving experience to know what to look for but you should. No matter how much pressure they put on you to buy what they want, you need to keep certain guidelines in mind.

Focus on safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain airbags as well as good crash test results. Never consider a car without antilock brakes. In general the larger, heavier autos do better in crash tests. But extremely large vehicles can be difficult to handle and too much for a young driver, as well as poor fuel economy and would allow your teen to carry more passengers than necessary.

Think Defensive Driving When Buying New Car

For the most part, SUVs and large pickups are not recommended due to their high centers of gravity, which may cause them to roll over more than other vehicles. And sports cars are always a bad choice for a new driver. They just have too much speed for that level of maturity. So as much as your young son wants to have a car he can race, you need to put the brakes on a potentially dangerous combination.

Consumer Reports has done extensive research on autos that are appropriate for young drivers. Their conclusions take into consideration desirable features and safety and budgetary constraints. The best bet is to find the newest, most reliable model with the most safety equipment you can afford. You can view their results at:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/01/cars-for-teen-drivers/index.htm

To insure your teen is equipped to drive safely you should always enroll them in an advance driver training course. And to be sure they know the rules of the road have them take the Wirelessdefensivedriving.com course. As Sir Francis Bacon put it, “Knowledge is power”.

Happy Independence Day!

Stay Safe this Independence Day

This 4th of July there will be 34 millions cars on the road going and coming from relatives, family gathering, lakes, beaches, mountains and where ever else we like to go and spend our beloved Independence Day.

Many of those 34 millions cars will have drivers and passengers that have had not enough sleep, too much to drink and are tired after a long day in the sun. Your defensive driving skills need to be as sharp as ever. Be attentive, pay attention of your own driving and vigilant of the drivers around you.

As always do a few things to make your journey safer.

1 – Check your tires before getting on the road.

2 – Check your battery and replace it if needed. Most auto parts stores will be more than happy to check the condition of the battery for free.

3 – If your car does not have automatic running daylights, turn your lights on (and remember to turn them off when you park). You want to be as visible as you possibly can and having the lights on helps a lot, even during the day.

4 – Have water in the car. We know that some parts of the State of Texas are enjoying a cooler than normal 4th of July, but during the sun’s peak time, temperature and exposure can still cause dehydration.

5 – Avoid traffic congestion if at all possible.

6 – Stay positive and do not engage in aggressive behavior. Diffuse any friction with other drivers you may encounter on the road. Remember why you are on the road in the first place…to have a great day with family and friends. Be cool, stay calm.

7 – Put that phone away please! Texting while driving turns out to be just as bad as driving drunk…and speaking of drinking, have a sober designed driver.

And last but not least, HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Wireless Defensive Driving Happy 4th

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