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Best Safety Feature

What is the best safety feature in a vehicle? Airbags? Sure, great technology. Seat belts? That would be the obvious answer. How about ABS? Yes, an extremely valuable feature.

At the Defensive Driving Academy, we still believe the most valuable and effective safety feature is the DRIVER. As DDA founder, Danny McKeever, likes to say, “You can’t just leave a note for your car and tell it to go hit a tree.” Ultimately, the driver is in control of their vehicle, and more often than not, they have the ability to avoid potential collisions.

Although automotive technology has come a long way when it comes to safety, it’s all about the driver and how they react behind the wheel. DDA puts an emphasis on providing drivers the tools and techniques to understand the dynamics of their vehicle so they are prepared. Let’s face it, you can’t “practice” getting in an accident, but in a closed-course environment, you CAN practice techniques to avoid an accident. Hopefully it won’t, but if the time comes when you need to slam on your brakes for an emergency stop or swerve out of the way at a moments notice, you are prepared.

At the Defensive Driving Academy, we focus on what a driver can actively do behind the wheel to control potential situations. Every driver, especially new drivers, should know that respect, skills and attitude can affect the outcome of a potentially dangerous situation.

Driving 101

Seat belts - ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS
Be aware of your surroundings - who are you sharing the road with?
Anticipate by looking far ahead and having a 'way out'
Driver is KING/QUEEN... allow them to focus on driving
Understand the limits and capabilities of your vehicle

Coaching Tips

Coaching Tip #13

Is your teen having a problem parallel parking? You can try this technique at home.

To be honest, most adults find parallel parking to be challenging, so this my be an exercise for the whole family. Take rubber trash cans and put them far enough apart to represent two parked cars and mark off a "curb" with tape or chalk. Practicing this way allows for mistakes without consequences and gets the driver used to turning angles and size/manueverability of their vehicle.

Coaching Tip #20

Here's a techniqe for new drivers to help make them more aware of their surroundings and how they take in information from what they see.

It's useful in that it allows both you (perhaps the uneasy passenger) and the driver to be aware of what exactly the driver is seeing and taking in. The driver calls out what they see... something like..."I see a red truck behind me, a stop sign coming up, a man in the crosswalk, etc..." This exercise makes the driver aware if they are simply staring at the bumper of the car ahead of them. This is a great habit to develop early on because you simply cannot react to something you don't see.

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