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  • Defensive Driving in Iowa

    What is Defensive Driving?

    Defensive driving is a method of driving that minimizes the number of driving risks, using more advanced skills than just your basic training.

    When you employ defensive driving techniques, you become a better, safer, and smarter driver―one who is better prepared for the hazards ahead.

    Defensive Driving Techniques

    Assume the worst, see and be seen, and slow down are three key rules to remember when practicing your defensive driving skills.

    Assume the Worst

    When driving, it's actually good to be a pessimist! A defensive driver never assumes that other motorists are in complete control of their vehicles. You never know for sure if a driver has forgotten to turn off his/her turn signal or is lost in an unfamiliar area.

    Drivers talking on cell phones or chatting with their passengers are also hazards, because they may not be aware of your vehicle until it is too late to prevent an accident.

    See and Be Seen

    A defensive driver is always surveying the road to look for danger. Look ahead, look around, and look behind. Don't talk on your cell phone, eat while driving, or engage in other nonessential activities that will keep you from remaining alert.

    In addition to staying alert for potential obstacles, a defensive driver must strive to communicate with other motorists. Always use your turn signals appropriately and never drive in the blind spot of another motorist. Take care to avoid making any sudden movements that may startle other drivers.

    Slow Down

    Speeding is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents. Leave for your destination a few minutes earlier so you won't be tempted to rush, and check traffic and weather reports before you leave to see if you'll need even more time to arrive.

    Driving too fast makes it harder to stop in time to avoid an accident. When you're worried about being late for an appointment, you're also more likely to be distracted and less attentive to potential dangers.

    Although driving over the legal speed limit is always dangerous, sometimes even obeying the speed limit means you're driving too fast. During a heavy thunderstorm or blizzard, for example, poor road conditions and low visibility mean you should slow down to ensure that you're able to keep your tires firmly on the asphalt.

    True or False

    Doctors don’t work with the same urgency to save your life if they know you’re an organ donor.

    True False


    Every doctor's first priority is to save your life regardless of your organ donation status.

    More Organ Donor Myths ▸ Become an Organ Donor ▸