Defensive Driving

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program presents: Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Impact, by Jeff Hohlstein, a Traffic Safety Team member in Clay County, Florida. From 2009 through 2016 Jeff was a Traffic Cycling Instructor certified by multiple organizations. There he learned a lot about vehicles’ next actions without looking at the driver. He also adopted OODA, a quick decision-making tool originally developed for combat by Retired Colonel John “Forty-Second” Boyd, USAF. The OODA Loop is easily adopted to defensive driving, to help you see and avoid conflicts before they become crashes.

Learn about the OODA Loop: Observe • Orient • Decide • Act and other defensive driving tips to help reduce crashes on our roadways in this educational traffic safety video.

Downloadable version of the video as a PDF presentation file for viewing and sharing:

Read the complete article, “Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact” below:

safe driver

Jeff Hohlstein

What do OODA, Three Mississippi’s, and a vehicle’s front wheels have in common? They can all be defensive driving tools that will alert and prepare you for potential conflict situations and avoid a crash.

In another year or so, I’ll enter that age range of 78–85, when most people decide to quit driving. Over the years, I’ve learned some tools that I hope will allow me to drive safely far beyond that range. I’m not a certified driving instructor, so I’ll describe the tools and how I use them. How you choose to use them is up to you.

The OODA Loop: See and avoid trouble

So what’s an OODA? The OODA Loop is a rapid decision-making tool developed by Retired Colonel John Boyd, USAF. In combat, OODA is used to totally confuse and demoralize the enemy. In defensive driving, OODA is a disciplined way of thinking that helps one see and avoid trouble. OODA stands for Observe > Orient > Decide > Act, and then do it again.

It sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But then there’s a joke—Two crows were sitting in a tree above a corn field. Crow One said, “Let’s fly down and eat some corn.” Crow Two, “We can’t. There’s a man standing in the field.” Crow One, “That’s a scarecrow. If it was a man, he’d be looking at his cell phone.”

How many times do we see people who aren’t even observing? And, as we age, we need a conscious, disciplined decision-making tool to drive safely. OODA can be that tool. Let’s start with an easy example.

Three Mississippi’s: Three second rule Continue Reading