Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Defensive Driving Tools for Safety was written and presented by Jeff Hohlstein, a Community Traffic Safety Team member in Clay County, Florida. This educational driving and traffic safety video is geared towards aging road users. However, these are essential tips and reminders for all drivers.

Watch the Defensive Driving Video Presentation:

Learn about setting side view mirrors for blind spots. Understand the importance of keeping a safe following distance and obeying the speed limit. The “three-second rule” is a good idea for all drivers to keep in mind. While this rule is flexible and isn’t always appropriate in every driving situation, it can foster good driving habits that reduce the risk of rear-end collisions and similar accidents.

Gain an understanding of observing a vehicle’s front wheels, approaching intersections safely, and scanning through a signalized intersection. Learn how to use the OODA Loop while driving. OODA is an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. When you do it again and again, it becomes a constant decision loop. Retired Colonel John Boyd, USAF, developed this rapid decision-making tool. Today, OODA is used by many Armed Forces and Police agencies and can be used as a defensive driving tool for motorists.

Flip through the Defensive Driving Tools for Safety Presentation:

Most people set their side view mirrors straight back and miss their blind spot completely. The video covers how to set your side view mirrors to cover your blind spot.

This video discusses how to use OODA to stay safe while driving. Defensive driving is much about managing space around your vehicle. The most controllable area you have is your safe following distance. OODA will help you do that right. OODA will also help you develop scan patterns for navigating intersections and avoiding a collision when someone unsafely enters your right-of-way.  

Uses of OODA in defensive driving:

  • Observe > Following distance, traffic patterns; intersections of all kinds; vehicles around you.
  • Orient > Calculate the following distance; identify other potential conflicts.
  • Decide > Action to maintain safe following distance; plan to avoid those other conflicts.
  • Act > Establish/reestablish safe following distance; avoid those other conflicts whether or not the crash would have been your fault.
  • Do it again > Practice OODA until it’s as natural as driving itself.
Jeff Hohlstein presenting Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Click here to read Jeff Hohlstein’s first article, Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact, and what the video presentation from 2020.

Teen Drivers Speeding

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Team examines the tragic trend of teen drivers speeding.

Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle Report

In January, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, released a new report, Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle.  The new analysis for GHSA found that from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16-19 years of age) accounted for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups (30%). During this five-year period, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in speeding-related crashes in the United States.

Recently, we created and shared a video of a local teen driver. He shared his reasons not to speed after receiving a hefty speeding citation. His story is a positive one as no one was hurt. Unfortunately, there are too many injuries and fatalities among teenage drivers and passengers.

Teen Driver Statistics in FDOT District Two

FDOT District Two had 6,928 total teen driver crashes in 2019. Despite a strong Graduated Driver License (GDL) law in Florida, we are still experiencing a high volume of teen crashes. Below are some more statistics on teen drivers in our communities.

The numbers of crashes with injuries increase as inexperienced teen drivers get more confident and start showing careless driving behaviors like speeding. Males and females injured in teen driver crashes are about even. Serious injuries and fatalities are predominantly male, by almost double. Duval County, with the higher populated–urban areas, illustrates a drastic increase of injuries and fatalities among teen drivers. Together, our traffic safety community, partners, parents and caregivers can help reduce risky and careless teen driving through education, training, and law enforcement.

More Teens and Speeding Reports

Click here to read the complete GHSA news release: As Traffic Deaths Spike During COVID-19, New Report Examines Unsettling Trend of Teen Drivers Speeding – and Dying – on America’s Roads.

Click here for the full GHSA and Ford Motor Company Fund PDF report: Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle, which examines the significant role speeding plays in teen driver fatalities and offers practical tools to help parents rein in this lethal driving habit.

Additional Teen Drivers Speeding Resources:
Florida Teen Safe Driving Coaltion
FDOT State Safety Office – Speeding and Aggressive Driving

Drive to Save Lives

U R The Key: Drive to Save Lives tour at area high schools

Car crashes continue to be the number one cause of death of teens. Cara Filler, whose identical twin sister was killed in a crash while riding with her boyfriend, who was speeding and showboating, presented Drive to Save Lives to many Jacksonville and St. Augustine high school students. She uses her personal tragedy to educate teens in a positive and simple way on how to be a safe passenger, how to get out of driving with an impaired or dangerous driver, and how to take personal charge of your own safety, emphasizing “your life, your choice.”

Special thanks to Florida SADD and grants from State Farm and the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition for making Cara’s life-saving presentations available at eight of our schools.

Your Community Traffic Safety Team and other educational outreach of groups such as SADD and the Teen Safe Driving Coalition continue to do all possible to decrease teen deaths on our roadways. Through presentations such as Cara’s, our community leaders and partners are helping to ensure that teen drivers have the information, motivation, and tools to keep them safe on the road.

Cara’s powerful presentation will not be forgotten by students and faculty, whose response was enthusiastic and positive. A video recorded and produced by Favorite Studios is a highlight of the full presentation.