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.

Be Our Virtual Volunteer

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer” – It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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Become a virtual volunteer! As part of our Northeast Florida Department of Transportation’s Community Traffic Safety Program, we create and share original traffic safety reminders and tips on our social media channels several times per week! Topics include Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan key emphasis areas to work towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on our local roadways.

Each year, we have thousands of combined views and impressions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube, but we need your help.

Join us and help change behavior and save lives! You can do this by:

  • Liking or following us.
  • Sharing or reposting our content (don’t forget to tag and/or mention us).
  • Inviting others to follow us.
  • Repeat!

Connect with the Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Team on social media!

Volunteering without being physically present is not new. For years, volunteers have been off-site and have used the telephone, fax and postal mail to communicate. However, the revolution in information technology has opened up many new possibilities for volunteering and giving back to your community.

Even prior to the COVID-19 healthcare crisis and social distancing, there has been an increase in working from home. Virtual volunteering is a wonderful way to take advantage of contributing volunteer work over the internet. Social media has opened the door to expand the reach of our traffic safety tips and campaigns.

Benefits of Virtual Volunteering:

  • Increase community awareness.
  • Minimal investment of your time.
  • Flexible to your schedule with no time constraints.
  • Easy and feels good to send positive messages.
  • Help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on your local roadways.

We also love sharing YOUR photos, stories and events! You can email us at TrafficSafetyTeam@dot.state.fl.us. Be sure to let us know how to tag and mention your organization on social media!

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Thank you for your time and consideration!

Recipes for the Road

Welcome to our 24th Annual Recipes for the Road! This year’s edition is a 20-page digital recipe booklet filled with nonalcoholic drinks, mocktails, appetizers and treats along with traffic safety tips. Our goal is to help stop impaired driving and reduce alcohol-related traffic crashes and fatalities in Northeast Florida this holiday season and throughout the year. See below for over two decades of past editions.

Recipes for the Road is part of our Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver program. They focus on the SHSP strategies of both education and insight into creating safer communities. They are specifically designed to work with local partners including law enforcement, team members, restaurants, and bars to promote responsible alcohol service and personal use at events or party hosting. They also promote safe transportation choices that encourage alternatives to driving while impaired.

Click here to view the digital flip-book online.

Be Responsible – Do Not Drink and Drive

Thanksgiving through the New Year is a fun and festive time of year. Throughout this fall and winter season there are many celebrations, family gatherings, festivals, football pre-game tailgating and holiday parties. They are all best enjoyed when we celebrate responsibly. Please always drive safe and sober.

Please share and enjoy all these mocktails, food recipes, safety activity games and traffic safety tips. Click here to view our Mocktail drink and food recipe videos available online.


Previous Recipes for the Road Editions

Our past booklets from last year to the inaugural issue in 1997! Click on the titles below to view or download a PDF copy from these past editions:

Walk Safe Activity Card

Presenting our Walk Safe Activity Card. Since last year’s Florida Mobility Week through this October’s Pedestrian Safety Month, the FDOT District 2 Community Traffic Safety Program distributed 15,000 Walk Safe activity cards. They are available for free at all 18 county local library systems in Northeast Florida.

Walk Safe - Walk the Path to Safety card
Walk Safe – Pedestrian Activity Card with Safety Tips for Drivers and Walkers

This Walk Safe activity card is double-sided with a walking wise crossword puzzle and a walk the path to safety maze. Great for kids, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. Libraries are a wonderful place for key traffic safety education and information resources for our CTSP to distribute at no cost to our local communities. Pedestrians and drivers should always pay attention, put phones down, keep eyes up, look, and listen.

Walk Safe - Walk the Path to Safety card

We have also created this free digital, one-sided 8.5×11 Walk Safe, Pedestrian Safety resource available here for downloading, printing and sharing with your community.

Remember to Always Be Cautious and Pay Attention – Walk Safe!

Walk Safe, a pedestrian safety and educational resource, is part of a series. The Ride Safe, Drive Safe and Bike Safe pieces are available online below. Each piece has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders. Our goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways through education and community outreach.

More Pedestrian Safety Tips

Pedestrians are a vulnerable road user. Whether walking for enjoyment, exercise or engaged in work on the roadway, they need to be safe. Our goal is to increase driver awareness and education of pedestrian traffic safety. Click here for more pedestrian safety tips.

Traffic Safety Wise Words

The Northeast Florida CTSP launched the Wise Words safety campaign in 2018 with team member Walt Duffany’s Walt’s Wise Words. Walt began working with the District Two CTST when he was an FDOT Lake City shop supervisor. He retired from FDOT in 2015. He now serves as Deputy Reservist Coordinator for Columbia County Fire Rescue as a volunteer. Walt and his family moved to Florida from Watertown, New York in 1986. In New York, he worked for the Town of Adams highway department. He is also a Navy veteran and spent time in Vietnam. Thank you, Walt, for all of your clever safety messages and for your service!

When the campaign launched with Walt’s Wise Words, the graphic consisted of a car with a bumper sticker with a Wise Words slogan. It has since morphed into a campaign with colorful images, graphics and catchy phrases which are all original and created by District Two CTST team members. The traffic safety Wise Words are short, smart messages targeted to drivers. They are focused on a variety of topics like distracted, impaired, tailgating, turn signals, and buckling up. Additional traffic safety campaigns were created for Work Zone Awareness, Occupant Protection, Distracted Driving, Safe Distancing Driving, Stop on Red, and Impaired Driving, among others. 

Share Traffic Safety Wise Words

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer”. Share these Wise Words on your social media accounts. Don’t forget to tag us! Facebook / Instagram@trafficsafetyteamTwitter / Pinterest / LinkedIn@trafficsafetyfl 

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