Defensive driving courses

Most defensive driver training tends to concentrate on skills and knowledge relevant to crash situations, that is, what to do to avoid crashes or how to minimise the severity of a crash situation. However, crashes, particularly those involving death or injury, are rare events for most drivers so these skills seldom need to be applied. When the skills are not practised, they are to a large extent forgotten when required at some time in the future. Most drivers develop additional skills which are more important for day-to-driving, such as hazard perception and the ability to manage distractions, through experience and practice.

Higher crash risk

In recent years, Australian and international research has shown that new drivers—particularly young males—who undertake a defensive driving or advanced driving course have a higher crash risk than those who do not.

Courses that concentrate on car control (for example skid recovery, cornering, and braking) have been shown to increase new drivers’ confidence—making them overly confident in their skills—and encourage them to try risky manoeuvres and put themselves in dangerous situations on our roads.