Defensive Driving and Why You Should Take a Course

Defensive driving is understood as the set of good habits by which you get to avoid collisions, hit-and-runs, rollovers, and all kinds of traffic accidents.

You can find some Florida defensive driving course online, but most must be attended in person. The average duration is four hours, and sometimes they last up to eight hours. In addition, they usually require some tests to ensure that you assimilated the course content.

The essential elements of defensive driving can be divided into five general categories: preparation, visibility, communication, space, and attitude.


Concentrate on the act of driving, observe the big picture, regulate your speed, and be aware of the position of other vehicles and people around you so that you are prepared to react to emerging danger. This means being free of all distractions and keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. If you are prepared to brake the moment you perceive danger, you can help avoid a crash. 

Pay special attention to changes in traffic signals, crosswalks, and other areas where confusion over right-of-way could cause a crash. Make eye contact whenever possible with other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to help gauge their intentions. In short, expect the unexpected. When the unexpected occurs, respond as safely as possible. 


Check your mirrors frequently to make sure no one is in your blind spot before changing lanes. Look for motorcyclists, who will choose lane positions for better visibility but are still more challenging to see than cars. You should also be aware of driving in other people’s blind spots to help them avoid crashing into you.

If you have any doubt about whether another vehicle or pedestrian can see you, be prepared to yield. Again, even if you are sure you have the right-of-way, approaching the situation defensively can prevent injury or fatality.

Be aware of any conditions that may reduce visibility and adjust to improve your chances of being seen. For example, bad weather and low light conditions may require you to slow down or use headlights during the day. Also, watch your speed on curvy roads where it may be more difficult for pedestrians or cars on side streets to see you.


Always communicate your intention to turn or change lanes using your turn signal. Likewise, it would be best if you respected other vehicles when they signal. Allow other drivers to change lanes safely, merge and turn. Then, when you accelerate and brake predictably, other drivers can anticipate and react safely.

If there are hazards ahead, signal other drivers as best you can. If you can avoid the risk by changing lanes, do so so that other drivers behind you will notice your behavior and do the same. Use your horn only to signal imminent danger and help keep yourself and others safe.


Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and others. Respect this cushion when following or passing other cars, giving a wider berth to more vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians.


Observe all traffic signs and right-of-way rules. Consider this a matter of respect if it helps you remember the laws. When another driver has the right-of-way, give them room to maneuver their vehicle comfortably. If another driver is lost, struggling to merge, or asking for help, be polite. A little courtesy goes a long way. Acknowledge the courtesy of others as well and say thank you every time you drive.

Most well-known auto insurance companies believe that drivers who have taken Florida defensive driving courses online are less likely to hurt themselves or others because they have been appropriately trained. This is because the system includes the basics of safe driving and shows the consequences of dangerous driving.

These Florida defensive driving courses online improve your driving skills because they teach you how to prevent the most common mistakes that could lead to collisions and make better decisions, reducing the risk of injury or accidents.