Delaware Defensive Driving Tips and Techniques

Defensive Driving Tips

The main purpose of a Delaware defensive driving course is to help drivers improve their safety on the road. Even if you aren't ready to start one of these programs, or, if you have already completed one and want to refresh your memory, you have come to the right place. In the interest of "saving lives and preventing injuries on our highways," the Delaware Office of Highway Safety has provided some helpful tips. Keeping these defensive driving tips in mind every time you get behind the wheel can assist you in avoiding traffic tickets and making it to your destination in one piece.

Buckle Up!

Buckle Up!

We've heard the lectures, we've seen the commercials, and we've seen them in action. We all know how important seatbelts are. Still, there is an alarming number of cars with unrestrained passengers in them on our roads every day. The state of Delaware has been fighting to increase Seatbelt Usage for years, and they don't plan to ever stop. Outreach events, surveys and year round enforcement are some of the efforts aimed at encouraging a higher percentage of Delaware residents to wear their seatbelts. Safety belt usage fell to 88% in 2012 from an all-time high of 91% in 2010. If you ever debate whether or not you should buckle up, here are some facts that might change your mind:

  • Every person in your vehicle is required, by law, to wear a seatbelt properly.
  • Both lap and shoulder belts must be worn.
  • Shoulder belts may not be worn under the arm or behind the back.
  • Drivers will receive a fine of $83.50 for every unrestrained passenger.
  • 45% percent of traffic accident deaths weren't wearing seatbelts.
  • Your chances of surviving a traffic accident increase by 50% when buckled up.
  • If you choose not to fasten your seatbelt, you are four times more likely to be thrown from your vehicle and killed in a crash.
  • If you are involved in a traffic accident while unrestrained, you are three times more likely to require a hospital stay.

You are always reminded to wear your seatbelt because it is important and can save your life. One of the best defensive driving tips anyone can give you is to spend three seconds protecting yourself by buckling up every time you get behind the wheel, and to require the same of your passengers.

Stay Calm!

The state of Delaware is ready to crack down on Aggressive Driving. In 1999, the state passed its first aggressive driving law. This law puts drivers guilty of excessive aggressive driving violations in danger of fines, license suspension, and Behavior Modification/Attitudinal Driving requirements. Aggressive driving violations include actions like:

  • Speeding
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Disobeying traffic signs and signals
  • Tailgating
  • Running stop signs
  • Making unsafe lane changes
Stay Calm!

If you often find yourself making unsafe driving decisions like these, you might just be an aggressive driver. The state has even put together a Quiz to help you determine what type of driver you are. Becoming an aggressive driver, however, is not the only danger here; even if you aren't one, dealing with one can be equally as hazardous. There are a few defensive driving techniques that can help keep you safe in the event that you encounter an aggressive driver:

  • If you are being tailgated, get out of their way as soon as you can safely do so, and let them pass.
  • Give yourself as much distance from the offender as possible.
  • Don't challenge them, gesture at them, honk at them, make eye contact with them, or attempt to match their speed.
  • If you can safely do so, call 911 to report an aggressive driver. Give good descriptions of the vehicle and the direction they are heading.

Always keep these defensive driving tips in mind and remember to stay calm. You never know when you will find yourself involved with an aggressive driver, and engaging in their antics is never a safe answer.

Put the Phone Down!

Distracted driving has been a growing problem since mobile phones and text messaging have grown in popularity. The state of Delaware, however, is not the only concerned party. Superstar Oprah Winfrey started a No Phone Zone Campaign and Delaware safety officials want you to join it! There is a pledge that you can take, agreeing to put the phone down while driving and focus on the task at hand. While this might seem like a problem that only affects our youth, it is actually killing drivers of all ages every day. The facts are staggering:

Put the phone down!
  • In 2008, almost 6,000 people were killed and more than 500,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving.
  • The amount of drivers that were reportedly distracted at the time of a traffic accident has increased from 8% to 11% in four years.
  • At any given time during daylight hours, more than 800,000 drivers are being distracted by use of mobile phone.
  • According to recent research, drivers using hand-held mobile devices are four times more likely to be involved in injury-causing accidents.

The state of Delaware has taken an active stance against Distracted Driving. They have joined the fight by enacting a law that will see those caught using a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle fined $106 for their first offense, with subsequent offenses reaching up to $350 in fees. Don't risk your life, or your savings, for a phone call or a text; it can wait. Putting your phone down while driving in one of the best defensive driving techniques you can use to keep yourself safe on the road.

Learn More!

Our Defensive Driving Courses have many other defensive driving tips to offer. To learn even more about increasing your safety on the road, Enroll in one of our Quick and Easy online programs that will teach you all of the defensive driving techniques you'll ever need!

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