There are certain activities in life that involve experience and active practice as much as any common knowledge. You have to get the basics in a class or by instruction, but then you find it's necessary to apply those lessons in the real world. Driving an automobile is one of those significant parts of life that benefits from such experience.

The Price of Learning

A great deal of study has been invested in determining how to make our highways and roads safer. Over the years, overwhelming evidence supports the fact that the more training and actual experience one has, the less likely they are to be involved in an accident. In fact, we have observed in our driving school that even older drives benefit from refresher courses that remind them of basics involved in safe driving.

According to a fact sheet prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more teens are killed in traffic accidents than any other cause. Moreover, drivers between the ages of 16 to 19 are three times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those aged 20 or older. Insurance rates, of course, reflect these statistics.

While experience and judgment are important parts of driving competence, there are other factors that enter into becoming a safe driver. These include the lessons learned the hard way while actually on the road with other drivers. Some of these lessons come in near misses, and others in minor accidents. If these lessons are learned early, they can help you avoid a more serious accident later in life.

Sharing the Road

Perhaps one of the most important driving lessons taught in our driving school is that of the need to drive defensively. While we stress this point repeatedly, it takes time on the road among careless drivers to understand how essential this attitude is for safe driving.

Here are a few of the lessons that you can learn from others who had to gain the experience the hard way:

  • Never turn into oncoming traffic without double checking. Left-hand turns cause accidents when drivers either miss the oncoming car or misjudge its speed. Also, one of the hardest lessons to learn is that other drivers often fail to use their turn indicators correctly.
  • Triple check your blind spot. It's called a blind spot for a reason. When you are changing lanes at high speed, it is very easy to miss a car on your side. Don't just trust your mirror, do an actual check of the area and make sure you use your turn signal.
  • Don't follow too close. We cover safe braking distances as a part of our driving lessons. However, relating that math to a busy road is sometimes a life-and-death issue. You have to have your heart jump into your mouth once or twice to realize that it does take time and space to keep from tail ending a car when you brake at speeds of 50 or more. In fact, even speeds of 20 can present braking dangers in slow moving traffic. It only takes a microsecond.

Insurance companies give drivers a break when they learn the basics in driving school. However, they also provide more discounts and lower rates as they gain experience and apply these hard lessons to become better and safer drivers.