Learning how to drive defensively

Defensive driving can mean many things. To many defensive driving is referring to a defensive driving course that professionals can take to learn how to control slides, evasive driving, and convoy formations etc. These courses are used to educate those working in field of protection, law enforcement, or other various government agencies.

So What Is It?

Driving is a mind set or attitude that all motorists can and should engage in. Defensive driving isn't learning to perform high risk manoeuvres to escape some sort of danger but rather a more simple fundamental combination of awareness and foresight during driver training.

It can be as simple as choosing to not to drive in another driver's blind spot or leaving ample space between cars. We believe that by educating young drivers how to drive and instilling this mental attitude will enable our students to not only pass their Class 5 Alberta road test, but to carry with them defensive driving habits for the rest of their lives. These students in turn will hopefully pass on this defensive driving attitude to their children and leave this legacy for the next generation's driver training.


This is where awareness comes into play, always try to have a good understanding of what is around you. Part of learning how to drive means understanding where the other vehicles are and where they are not. By doing this you can have a mental map of other vehicles and objects surrounding you, this way if you have to make a quick lane change or swerve to avoid something you will know which side is clear and which lane you can use to avoid the danger. Our driver training courses will expand on the topic of positioning.

Scanning The Road

In addition to knowing what your surroundings are, learning how to drive also means learning to set your sights farther ahead of you. This enables the driver to understand what's happening ahead of time so that they may react accordingly.

For example - highways have signs for merge zones or exits many kilometres before they appear; knowing this a driver should move out of the lane to help vehicles who want to merge onto the highway. When accidents occur on the road it may require a driver to come to a complete stop or move out of the way; scanning the road lets the driver perceive this information as soon as possible to give them the maximum amount of time to react appropriately. During in-car driver training you will be practicing scanning the road for these types of situations.

Constant Vigilance

Never assume that everyone is going to follow the rules. There can be many instances and reason for why an accident occurred, often times these incidents are preventable but there are many cases that accidents are unforeseen.

In this case the best policy is always leave lots of space around your vehicle and other vehicles so that you may allow yourself room and time to access and react to the situation. Learn to read the body language of a driver is a big part of learning how to drive. Many times you can tell when someone wants to make a lane change even before the signal light and vice versa - signal lights can be misleading if turned on unintentionally.

The bottom line is to use all of the information available to you in order to make better and safer decisions.