Angela Lehner: Vater Unser
Mittwoch, 4. Dezember 2019
What is defensive driving and how it helps fleet managers
Defensive driving is the key mindset that will keep your fleet safe, vehicles in order and drivers in check. And it will save you and all fleet drivers the embarrassment of a typical dressing down by the interstate and highway police.
Being a mindset, defensive driving incorporates a set of driving behaviors that enables drivers achieve a daily routine that is as uneventful as possible. And that is preponderantly important in the life of a fleet manager.
What is defensive driving?
Defensive driving is a mindset that enables a motorist to identify and anticipate driving hazards. That said, it requires certain driving skills that enable the motorist to control their speed, expect the unexpected and always remain alert. It also requires respecting all drivers, as well as weather and road conditions, leveraging adjustability. Check more from these driving safety programs for teens.
According to Wikipedia, there is a standardized way to look at it. To that end, the “Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations” standard, defines it as a set of defensive driving skills, where you —the driver — are aiming to “save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others”.
The basic principles of defensive driving
In 1937, Mark Everard Pepys introduced the roadcraft system of car or motorcycle control. Interestingly, it’s purpose was to educate motorists on how to operate their vehicles safely. A lot has changed since this first attempt at safe driving; all for the better. Especially since the number of vehicles increased from a few thousand in the 1900s to around 1.32 billion in 2016. Without a doubt, driving safely is all the more important in 2020. To that end, certain principles were developed, to describe and support the efforts in fostering defensive driving.
- Always respecting the minimum and maximum speed limits
- Being alert and distraction free at all times, so that if faced with a difficult situation you can anticipate an odd predicament and avoid the danger
- Being respectful and pay attention to other drivers
- Maintaining a safe distance from the preceding vehicle
- Looking ahead, expecting the unexpected, as other motorists might not behave as you ordinarily would. This includes both motorists and pedestrians.
- Always keeping weather and road conditions in mind, adjusting driving behavior accordingly
- Adjusting speed before entering a bend, avoiding the need to hit the brakes in the middle of a bend.
- Observing all driving regulations
Defensive driving: Pros and Cons
The obvious advantage of defensive driving is, of course, road safety. Today, modern fleets tend to incorporate defensive driving programs as one of the core aspects of their business. Not only is it beneficial on the road, but it brings a few business advantages, as well.
- It’s easy to learn and adopt
- It’s a very good way to prevent accidents
- Leverages fuel economy and savings
- Keeps maintenance costs as low as possible
- Keeps insurance costs as low as possible
We have covered this subject more extensively, with 5 key defensive driving behaviors your fleet drivers need to adopt.
And, of course, there is always a flip side to the coin. Sure enough, there are a couple of cons in trying to adopt the defensive driving mindset. Undoubtedly, they’re hard to countermand, as they’re mostly related to some kind of involuntary behavior. But, it’s certainly worth the effort.
- Not easy to adopt if the driver is a hurry
- Extremely dangerous when the driver is fatigued
Ingesting more calories or greater quantities of coffee won’t help either. And, therein lies the difficulty of driving defensively. But it’s imperative that all fleet businesses implement some kind of defensive driving program. It will save you heaps of trouble in the long run.