NYS Defensive Driving Tips and Techniques

According to the New York State Motor Vehicle Crash Data, there were 307,550 traffic crashes in the state in 2011 alone. In these crashes, 128,036 people were injured and 1,077 lives were lost. These numbers are sobering to consider, and hopefully quite eye-opening as well. Every New Yorker on the road needs to ensure that they are driving defensively every time they get behind the wheel if we want to improve the safety of our roads. To help meet this goal, we have listed some NYS defensive driving tips and Safety Resources to help boost your confidence and safety on the road.

NYS Safe NY: Motor Vehicle Crash Data

NYS Safe NY: Traffic Safety Place

NYS Defensive Driving Tips and Techniques


In New York, Speeding is a factor in almost 30% of traffic crashes. We all do it, probably more than we would like to admit. As a defensive driver, however, speeding is one of the most dangerous things you can do while behind the wheel. Speeding also increases the likelihood and severity of traffic crashes. Be sure to look for and heed posted traffic signs and you'll be much safer while driving.

NYS Safe NY: Speeding and Speed Limits

Rules of the Road

You will learn about Traffic Laws and the Rules of the Road when you take an NYS defensive driving course. You'll get even more helpful defensive driving techniques to use on your daily commutes that will increase your safety. Learning things like How to Share the Road and Vehicle Equipment Safety will help you protect yourself and your family. A car is like a loaded gun; make sure you learn to use it correctly.

NYS Safe NY: Vehicle & Traffic Law

NYS Safe NY: Rules of the Road

NYS Safe NY: Be Smart. Share The Road.

NYS Safe NY: Vehicle Equipment Safety

Driving Under the Influence

We all know how dangerous Driving Under the Influence is, yet there are still reports of drunk driving fatalities every day. Driving with a high Blood Alcohol Concentration makes us drowsy, inhibits reaction time and decision making skills, impairs our vision and perception and limits our ability to focus. With so many myths and false beliefs when it comes to the subject, not many really know the Truth about Drinking and Driving and when to hand over the keys or call a cab. Drunk driving is such a problem in the state of New York that Leandra's Law, enacted in 2010, requires any driver convicted with a DUI to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles at their own expense.

Looking for NYS defensive driving tips concerning drunk driving? We only have one: Don't do it! Even if you've only had one drink, it's not worth the risk. Plan a designated driver or call a cab; whatever you have to do to avoid getting behind the wheel after you've been drinking.

NYS Safe NY: Alcohol, Drugs & DWI

NYS Safe NY: Leandra's Law

NYS Safe NY: Blood Alcohol Concentration

NYS Safe NY: The Truth about Drinking and Driving

Drowsy Driving

Did you know that Drowsy Driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving? Driving while tired is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. Signs that you may be drowsy include having trouble keeping your eyes open or head up, drifting into other lanes, and impaired reaction time. Some tips to avoid drowsy driving include:

  • Make sure to get adequate sleep at night.
  • Travel with a friend.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Take frequent breaks when driving a long way.
  • Be aware of signs that you are tired.

If you do find yourself driving while drowsy, pull over. Tricks like turning up the radio or rolling down the window do not work. Pull over in a safe area and rest or call a ride if you need to, but don't continue to drive.

NYS Safe NY: Drowsy Driving

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving has become an epidemic. This is not just a factor with the younger generation; all age groups are guilty of inattention while driving. Driving distractions include:
  • Personal Distractions: These are things that you distract yourself with. Things like daydreaming, reading, using your cell phone, applying makeup, eating, and adjusting your radio.
  • Internal Distractions: These are distractions that come from inside your car, such as speaking to passengers, interacting with a pet or tending to children.
  • External Distractions: Things like other drivers, road workers, billboards and scenery that appear outside of the car.

All of these things take your focus off of the road and the driving task and endanger the lives of you, your passengers, other motorists and nearby pedestrians. Some defensive driving techniques to help you limit distracted driving include:

  • Focus on driving and only driving while on the road. All else can be handled before or after the drive.
  • Ask passengers to remain calm and quiet while driving.
  • Set the radio before you take off.
  • Put your cell phone and other electronic devices in your bag or glove box.

Do everything you can to reduce distractions while you drive to increase your safety and protect your wallet; the fine for distracted driving in New York can be as much as $150 and will add three points to your driving record.

NYS Safe NY: Distracted Driving

Aggressive Driving

We've all been there before; an angry driver, tailgating, honking, cursing at you while you simply try to get from point A to point B. Maybe we've been the angry driver. Either way, whether you are on the giving or receiving end of Aggressive Driving, it is unsafe for both parties. If you encounter an aggressive driver, some defensive driving techniques to help you deal with them are:

  • Remain calm
  • Maintain a safe distance
  • Avoid passing unless you need to
  • Contact 911 if it gets out of hand
The general rule of thumb; stay as far away as possible and don't aggravate them any further. People experiencing rage can be quite irrational. But what if you are the

person experiencing the road rage? Try to control your emotions. More than likely, the other driver that upset you didn't do so on purpose. Getting upset is counter-productive and will only increase your chances of injury or receiving a traffic citation. Breathe and let it go; then get back to focusing on driving defensively.

NYS Safe NY: Aggressive Driving

Learn More

Are you ready to get serious about being a defensive driver? Would you also like to save up to 10% on your auto insurance rates and get a point reduction on your driving record? If so, Sign Up for our NYS defensive driving program and get started today!

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