Defensive Driving.

Our committment to defensive driving at Antonine.

The open road is an extremely dangerous place, even more so, nowadays, with so many vehicles on Scotland's roads. At Antonine Driving School , we are committed to teaching learners to drive defensively. It is a very strong focus for us.

Defensive driving is an approach to driving that focuses on safety. The principal requirements of a defensive attitude to driving are to develop:

  • a high level of observation, planning and anticipation when on the road in order to be fully aware of, and prepared for, what could happen in any given situation.
  • a resistive and conservative attitude toward other drivers.
  • It is an approach that actively avoids combative driving behaviour, whilst maintaining your own driving safety.

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    Having the correct attitude when driving is probably the most important way that anyone can reduce the risk of an accident happening. Being able to get ourselves out of a potentially dangerous situation is a good thing, but it's even better if we can plan effectively and avoid the dangerous situation in the first place. If we drive in a way that not only protects ourselves, but helps to protect others, we can help to reduce the number of serious accidents on our roads.

    Some of the major factors contributing to road traffic accidents are:

  • Poor road conditions.
  • Poor visibility.
  • Bad weather conditions.
  • Time of day.
  • Poor vechicle condition.

  • All of the factors above contribute to the occurrence of accidents on Scotland's roads. Driving can be hazardous enough, but the state of our roads today makes it even more hazardous. Add to that bad weather conditions, and rush hour driving, and you have an excellent recipe for potential accidents. In many cases, these accidents are avoidable, but the two most common causes of accidents on our roads are driver behaviour and driver error.

    There are several factors that affect driver behaviour and judgement on the road, and that contribute to driver error. These include poor concentration, general state of mind and general fitness to drive. All of these factors can lead to a driver acting and behaving in an unpredictable way, and recurrently contribute to potential accident situations.

    Some of our behaviours that contribute to accidents are:

  • Lack of attention when driving.
  • Stress, fatigue and anxiety.
  • Impatience with other road-users.
  • Discourtesy toward, and disregard for, other road users.
  • Vehicle abuse.
  • A disregard for, or neglect of, the 'rules of the road' (that often, also, results in the committment of a traffic offence).

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    As learner drivers we are looking to use our anticipation and observation skills to take defensive action before any given situation develops into an accident. We should avoid confrontation with other drivers and be prepared to give way to others who take priority, even if priority is ours. We should always be asking ourselves "what if?" and plan well ahead, at all times, for all eventualities. And we should be prepared to respond safely to what we see in order to avoid the risk of accidents. It may be an accident that someone doesn't walk away from, and pride and ego can never be worth that.

    Driving lessons with Antonine Driving School focus strongly on defensive driving. When dealing with junctions and roundabouts you will be focusing on approaching traffic, and make decisions based on what you observe in front of you, beside you and behind you. We will teach you to act defensively.

    When you are driving in a school area you will constantly be observing and anticipating where danger is likely to be, and what hazards are around you e.g. schoolchildren, pets, people crossing from all angles. These are regular hazards. We will teach you how to respond to them defensively and how to be aware of, at all times, what the traffic in front of, behind you and beside you is doing.

    The situation above is one of many high risk situations where people are in a hurry, trying to get in and out of an area as quickly as possible, and where people may often resort to more unpredictable, or even aggressive, driving behaviour than they normally would. This is just one of those situations when a defensive driving approach is a vital safeguard.

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    Learning a defensive driving approach with Antonine Driving School will enable you to become more aware of potential danger in busy traffic situations from all manner of road users, and prepare you for how other motorists can act stupidly, carelessly or antagonistically in certain situations. We will teach you how best to deal with these situations and give you the skills to avoid potential accident situations. Accidents are avoidable and we could all reduce the risk to ourselves and others by adopting a more defensive driving approach, where making acute and timely observations, anticipating the actions of others, and responding conservatively means a much higher degree of safety on the road.

    At Antonine Driving School, we begin to teach a defensive driving approach, and a defensive ttitude to driving, relatively early on in our lessons. In the early stages of learning to drive, this will be fully guided, with full talk through and full explanation about why a defensive approach is a vital component of driving safely. As lessons progress, and you progress through each of the lesson phases in each of the skill elements, we will guide less and, instead, prompt you to think about how you would respond defensively to different driving situations.

    The different stages of learning to drive, Driving Lesson Phases, are covered on our next page. Have a browse to see just how learner drivers move through the stages of being a learner who is dependent on their instructor guiding them in every element of driving, to becoming an independent driver who can drive safely without the help of an instructor.

    We hope you've found this page interesting, and useful. If you have any queries, or if you are encouraged to book driving lessons with us, please do not hesitate to contact us .

    Antonine Driving School , for a DSA Approved Driving Instructor.

    Please click on the DSA logo below to see the DSA's advice on 'choosing a driving instructor'.

    choosing a driving instructor

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