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Defensive driving beneficial to road safety of Zimbabwean roads

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He said defensive driving for those driving passenger vehicles and goods and last price charged for its learning was 3400 rtgs Zimdollars. Mr Muchena explained what defensive driving is and its benefits. He said ''...Defensive Driving is essentially driving in a manner that utilizes safe driving strategies to enable motorists to address identified hazards in a predictable manner. These strategies go well beyond instruction on basic traffic laws and procedures...''
Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) Acting Director of Operations Ernest Muchena said this whilst being interviewd on a live TechMagTV interview.
Mr Muchena said it is imperative that drivers learn defensive driving so that they may be able to fully protect themselves on the road even if the other driver is careless so as to avoid road carnage irrespective of who is wrong or who has the right of way on the road as some drivers may drive drunk and kill innocent drivers who may be doing everything correct on the road.
He said defensive driving for those driving passenger vehicles and goods and last price charged for its learning was 3400 rtgs Zimdollars. Mr Muchena explained what defensive driving is and its benefits. He said ”…Defensive Driving is essentially driving in a manner that utilizes safe driving strategies to enable motorists to address identified hazards in a predictable manner. These strategies go well beyond instruction on basic traffic laws and procedures…”

”With defensive driving classes, students learn to improve their driving skills by reducing their driving risks by anticipating situations and making safe well-informed decisions. Such decisions are implemented based on road and environmental conditions present when completing a safe driving maneuver.”

The benefits of taking a defensive driving class vary with country to country, but often include a reduction of points on your driver’s license following a ticket and the assurance that insurance rates will not increase. In some countries, taking a defensive driving course can mean a reduction of up to 10% in your insurance rates for a period of three to five years. Just as the benefits of defensive driving classes vary with each country, so do the requirements. While most basic defensive driving classes are four hours long, some can be as long as six or eight hours.

In some states, students have the option to take defensive driving courses online or by watching a video tape or DVD, while other states only allow students to take defensive driving in a classroom setting.

 

The contents of a defensive driving course are regulated by each country and are designed to train you based on the laws of your country. However, most defensive driving classes contain similar information.SADC Southern African Development Corporation has decided to have a uniformity in all member states when it comes to driving and this includes the following  basic outline of the information that is typically covered in defensive driving courses.

 

Losses from traffic crashes have both social and personal impacts. Approximately 41,000 die annually as a result of traffic collisions, with an additional 3,236,000 injuries. About 38% of all fatal car crashes are alcohol related with another 30% attributed to speeding.

The causes of these crashes, emotional impact and cost in dollars spent on car crashes are typically covered in defensive driving courses. The goal of good defensive driving is to reduce the risk of these accidents by properly educating students to exercise caution and good judgment while driving.

On the roadways, drivers have to deal with several factors that can affect their driving. Though some of them are beyond the control of the driver, psychological factors can be controlled by the driver if he knows what to look for and how to handle it.

Defensive driving courses tend to focus on how drivers can overcome negative psychological factors such as unneeded stress, fatigue, emotional distress and road rage. They also offer instructions for developing a positive attitude behind the wheel and increasing your focus on the driving task.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to impact thousands of Zimbabwean drivers each year. While the specific effect of each drug on your body takes place in differing stages, the effect of drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence is disastrous.

A very common component of all defensive driving courses is education about the role that drugs and alcohol play on Zimbabwe’s roadways. Topics tend to include limits as to blood-alcohol level, how your judgment, inhibitions, motor skills and senses are affected by drugs and alcohol and the consequences of being found guilty of driving under the influence.

 

The TSCZ Acting Director said  ”Vehicle crashes are almost always a preventable result of a series of events. The combination of speed, place of impact and size of object being impacted can determine the severity of the crash. In every accident, however, the act of one vehicle hitting another vehicle or other object is not the only collision that can occur.The concept of the second collision, in which the driver and other passengers collides with the windshield, seat or other object within the car when not wearing a seat belt can be just as dangerous as the initial collision.Defensive driving courses address the issue of vehicle crashes and second collisions by listing the elements of a crash and illustrating how the forces of impact can be avoided or limited…..”

 

Approximately half of all deaths that are result of an automobile crash could have been avoided if the victim were wearing a safety belt properly. Of course safety belts are only the most commonly thought of vehicle safety equipment. Items such as air bags, child safety seats and head rests all serve to protect drivers and passengers and reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a crash.

Defensive driving courses offer tips on how to use these devices properly and ensure your safety when traveling the roadways.

Mr Muchena lamented the deaths by human error citing even as humans when we follow the laws of the road it is a technological manner of elimating road carnage on its own just as much as it is physical to practice defensive driving.

Ross Moyo

TSCZ denies road safety campaigns done only@festivities

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