The Defensive Driving Process

Jul 22, 2023 | Business Insurance, Personal Insurance

Driving is, without a doubt, an essential part of our ability to be self-sufficient. Good driving skills are required for safe travel. However, learning to drive is a difficult task, and we may encounter numerous problems while driving on roads. People must be aware of the fundamental defensive driving technique in order to reduce the number of incidents that occur while driving.

The method is known as IPDE defensive driving. IPDE is an acronym that stands for Identify, Predict, Decide, and Execute. This strategy assists you in avoiding potential hazards, and troublesome issues cause unnecessary road accidents.

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How to Learn Defensive Technique

The four critical steps to learning defensive driving are detailed below.


Identify is the first process in which a learner surveys the surrounding area to identify potential hazards while driving. You must use your visual abilities to scan, analyze, and assess the situation at hand. Examine the conditions, circumstances, and features in your surroundings, and your vehicle is required to take the appropriate action.

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The learner must be able to use instincts and quick thinking to predict and foresee what might happen when confronted with a new problem. You may also need to anticipate potential actions while driving that could cause a problem. A prediction step is necessary and difficult because you must understand what could happen in a matter of seconds.

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Decide means to predict the best course of action to at least mitigate the worst-case scenarios in a given situation. When you’re in this situation, your braking distance shrinks with each second, making it more difficult to make the right decision.

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Execute is the final step that refers to, once you have chosen the right action, you must execute by maneuvering your vehicle to avoid conflicts as soon as possible. Depending on the situation, the action could include braking, accelerating, steering, decelerating, and much more.

You will become a defensive driver if you follow the driving steps outlined above. The IPDE is an extremely useful principle for all drivers to follow in order to avoid accidents on the road. Contact Universal Driving School in Calgary if you want to learn defensive driving techniques. Our knowledgeable instructors assist students in learning safe driving techniques.

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Capabilities that Put You in Command

Before you get behind the wheel of that two-ton frame of glass and steel, consider the following advice:

Maintain your concentration.

 Driving is primarily a thinking task, and there is a lot to think about behind the wheel: road conditions, your speed and position, observing traffic laws, signs, signals, road markings, following directions, being aware of the cars around you, checking your mirrors — the list goes on. It is critical to stay focused on driving — and only driving — in order to drive safely.

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Distractions, such as talking on the phone or eating, impair a driver’s ability to detect and respond to potential problems. Not only teen drivers are at fault: people who have been driving for a while can become overconfident in their abilities and allow their driving skills to deteriorate. All drivers must remind themselves to remain focused.

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Maintain vigilance.

 Being alert (rather than sleepy or impaired) allows you to react quickly to potential problems, such as when the driver in the car ahead slams on the brakes at the last second. Alcohol and drugs (including prescription and over-the-counter medications) obviously impair a driver’s reaction time and judgment. Driving while drowsy has the same effect and is a leading cause of accidents. So get some rest before your road trip.

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Defensive Driving Techniques and Steps:

1. Maintain your alertness and concentration.

Being alert and focused on your driving and surroundings is an important aspect of defensive driving. If you are not alert and unable to concentrate, your response time to a hazard situation decreases and you may be unable to respond quickly.

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2. Scan for and identify the danger.

The Identify process is critical for quickly and accurately identifying hazards. This process will necessitate the driver constantly scanning the surrounding environment for hazards that could result in an unsafe driving environment.

For example, if you’re driving on the freeway, look far ahead to ensure there isn’t an accident, a large object on the road, or a traffic jam that requires you to slow down or come to a complete stop.

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3. Estimate the Implication.

In this phase, you must quickly predict what will happen if you do nothing about the hazard, or what will happen if you do something about it and create other hazards as a result of your action.

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4. Determine the best course of action.

During this phase, you must quickly make a safe decision to avoid the crash or hazard. You must remain calm in this situation to ensure that your decision is not emotional and will not result in a more serious hazard.

For example, if you see a large object on the highway, you must assess the situation and decide whether you can safely change lanes away from the object or if you must stop because you cannot safely change lanes.

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5. Carry out the best course of action.

During this phase, you are acting or reacting safely based on your best decision.

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Time of Perception and Reaction

There are four stages to recognizing a hazard, deciding how to react, and initiating the reaction. This four-stage procedure is known as “PIEV”:

The amount of time it takes a driver to notice a hazard is referred to as perception time.

The amount of time it takes a driver to realize that a hazard could cause a crash or a dangerous situation is referred to as intelligence time.

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Emotion is the amount of time it takes the driver to make a decision.

Volition is the amount of time it takes to initiate a reaction (e.g., moving the foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal).

Perception and reaction time are affected by a driver’s awareness and health. According to studies, the majority of alert drivers have perception and reaction times of less than one second.

Thus, if a driver is fully focused on driving, aware, not tired, and constantly scanning the road ahead and around for hazards, he or she can see and react to the hazard in much less time, increasing the driver’s chances of avoiding a crash or hazard.

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