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What Are the 8 Keys to Defensive Driving?

December 10, 2018 | Category: Automobile Accidents | Share defines defensive driving as “…a set of driving skills that allows you to defend yourself against possible collisions caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, and poor weather. Defensive drivers are able to avoid dangers on the road by using their safe driving practices. Tips for defensive driving: Plan ahead for the unexpected.”

What are the 8 keys to defensive driving - Spivey LawWhen drivers first learn to drive, many of them learn through driver’s education classes. These classes rarely have defensive driving training. Society Insurance says that defensive driving would teach students how to avoid accidents by recognizing and reacting to problems on the road before they happen. A defensive driver is proactive, not reactive. has the following 8 tips to help reduce a driver’s risk when getting behind the wheel:

  1. Think safety first.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings, pay attention.
  3. Do not depend on other drivers.
  4. Follow the 3- to 4-second rule.
  5. Keep your speed down.
  6. Have an escape route.
  7. Separate risks.
  8. Cut out distractions.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides an on-line course in defensive driving. AARP says the course will refresh attendees on

  • Effective safe-driving practices, skills and strategies you can use on the road every day.
  • Defensive driving techniques to help deal with aggressive drivers.
  • Local laws and traffic rules for drivers.
  • Proper maintenance of your vehicle so it is safe before you drive.

According to the American Safety Council, there are psychological factors involved when driving. Some of these factors are beyond the driver’s control, but other psychological factors can be controlled by the driver. These factors are unneeded stress, fatigue, emotional distress, and road rage. Many defensive driving courses offer instruction in developing a positive attitude behind the wheel while increasing focus on driving.

ABC Action News reported on September 13, 2018 that Florida leads the nation in road rage cases. In the segment, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, “It’s too many people in too small an area trying to get to their place, and someone else is in their way. Put them in a small environment and there is going to be conflict.”

In the same ABC Action News report, psychologist Dr. Nydia Conrad said, “When frustrated drivers get behind the wheel, they stop seeing others on the road as people and more as obstacles. What the studies show is that as the population increases, so do the incidents of aggressive and impulsive behavior. Once you stop seeing someone as a person, once you start seeing them as an object, people are more likely to act aggressively, because they don’t have empathy or sympathy toward the other human being.”

ABC Action News Reported Statistics

Road rage in Florida by the numbers: 

2018: 38 cases

2017: 95 cases

2016: 80 cases

2015: 38 cases

2014: 27 cases 

Road rage cases since 2014:

Statewide: 277 cases

South Florida: 46 cases

Orlando area: 37 cases

Tampa Bay region: 37 cases

Southwest Florida: 30 cases

“Defensive driving skills are important when driving on our roads and highways. Should you or a loved one be injured by a negligent driver, please contact our experienced legal team. We are here to assist you, and there are no costs or attorney fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.


Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.



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