- Pages: 4
- Word count: 897
- Category: Alcohol
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The standard Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations, ANSI/ASSE Z15.1, defines defensive driving as “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others.” This definition is taken from the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course. It is a form of training for motor vehicle drivers that goes beyond mastery of the rules of the road and the basic mechanics of driving. Its aim is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or the mistakes of others. This can be achieved through adherence to a variety of general rules, as well as the practice of specific driving techniques.
A driver safety program called the Driver Improvement Program was developed in 1964 by Chris Imhoff of the (US) National Safety Council. The program instituted a Defensive Driving Course (DDC). Defensive Driving Courses, along with Instructor Development Courses were offered beginning 1964 and 1965, typically through corporate sponsorships. Training and Courses
Several government agencies, non profit organizations, and private schools have launched specialty courses that improve the public’s driving skills. In the United States a few of the familiar courses in defensive driving include Alive at 25, DDC or Defensive Driving Course, Coaching the Mature Driver, Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving, Professional Truck Driving, and DDC for Instructors. In relation to this, the government has launched active Air Bag and seat Belt safety campaigns that encourage High Visibility Enforcement. In addition to improving one’s own driving skills, many U.S. states provide an incentive to complete an approved defensive driving course by offering mandated insurance discounts or a way to mask a traffic ticket from one’s driving record. In some instances these courses are referred to as traffic school or a defensive driving school. States with the biggest incentives include Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York. A number of private providers offer a variety of courses. The methods and styles of the courses
Driving can be a dangerous endeavor. If you add speeding, drinking and driving or talking on the cell phone, it can become deadly. Speeding is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. Alcohol is also a leading cause of deadly accidents. And one of the most controversial distractions right now is the use of cell phones while driving. Even without distractions, you are operating a 2000 lb machine at speeds of 40 to 70 miles per hour. Speeding is one of the major concerns of driving. It increases needed response time, it is costly to society, which is why the government is looking for ways to stop it. Speeding alters the ability to steer around objects. It increases the time and distance a driver needs to react. Speeding is expensive to our society. The NHTSA estimates the cost to society for speeding related accidents is 29 billion dollars a year. The NHTSA is studying ways to reduce the speed of drivers. Early indications show more traffic police, higher fines and electronic devices in cars will help. So not only is speeding dangerous, it is also costly.
Alcohol also plays a major role in traffic accidents. Because alcohol causes impairments and increases drivers speeding there are stiff penalties for driving while intoxicated. Even though a driver may not feel intoxicated, alcohol and other drugs impair your awareness and response time. Even sinus medication can impair you. When drivers are under the influence they are more likely to speed. According to the NHTSA, 42% of speeders involved in fatal accidents were over the legal blood alcohol content. States have enacted tougher fines and penalties for DUI offenses. In most states if you register .10 or over you lose your license for a year and have to pay fines up to $2500.00. Any time you choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated you have a 4 in 10 chance you could harm someone in an auto accident. One of the most controversial distractions right now is the use of cell phones while driving. Cell phones can be beneficial but also cause distractions if not used properly.
There are a lot of benefits to having a cell phone in your car. If you break down or have a medical emergency. There is not a lot of data on cell phone use in accidents because getting people to admit they were on the phone at the time of an accident is hard. But a recent poll conducted by the Insurance Research Council found 89% of cell phone users admit that cell phones are a distraction while driving. There are some things you can do to make them safer. You can purchase a speaker phone for your car or simply purchase a $20.00 headset, this way you will have your hands free t operate your vehicle. Due to the increased awareness of cell phone distractions while driving, several states are enacting laws to ban cell phone use while driving. Its no wonder parents worry themselves sick when their teens begin to drive. Driving is very dangerous. Looking at percentages like these it is very likely they will be involved in an accident. One thing we can do is arm them with the information. If you speed, drive while under the influence or talk on the cell phone, your chances of being involved in an auto accident increase