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Reasons why truck drivers should practice defensive driving

31st March 2021 Print

Situations that endanger you as a driver and other road users happen all the time: unfavorable weather, aggressive drivers, mechanical malfunctions. 

Defensive driving is the practice of learning to drive consciously in a way that minimizes the dangers associated with driving. 

Truck driving particularly can be dangerous. A defensive driving course teaches techniques for handling fatigue, emotional stress, mechanical difficulties, and road rage. 

Here are good reasons truck drivers should practice defensive driving. 

To Save Money

A study by the University of California at Davis found that online defensive driving courses yielded twice the profit on investment. 

This means that you get back the money you invest in online defensive driving courses plus profit, because of its benefits. 

In most states, you can reduce your insurance premium for successfully completing training.

States like Pennsylvania and North Dakota require insurance companies to give discounts to drivers who study a defensive driving course. 

Also, you can save money by being eligible to deduct points from your driving record.

To Avoid Accidents


Defensive driving is one of the most effective ways to reduce vehicle collisions and save lives. 

The National Transport Insurance Company states that the number of truck driver fatalities has risen by 65% since 2018. 

This alarming statistic proves the urgent need for truck drivers to learn defensive driving techniques. 

Many collisions need not have happened if the right protocol was adhered to. 

For example, leaving the required “cushion space” or “buffer space” in front of and around your vehicle can prevent situations where another vehicle runs into yours. 

Again, knowing how to navigate driving on an unfamiliar road will reduce the risk factor of a potential crash. 

Defensive driving training teaches how to anticipate and properly react to dangerous scenarios like poor visibility, fatigue, and careless drivers.  

To Become A Better Driver

Becoming the best driver you can be for yourself and the safety of everyone else requires learning and training. 

While certain factors are beyond your control, others, like psychological factors, are not. 

Defensive driving teaches techniques on how to become a better driver like:

- Properly handling negative psychological pressures such as stress, fatigue.
- How to stay focused on the task of driving.
- The importance of not driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and the disastrous legal consequences when you do.
- How to remain calm and deal appropriately with road rage.

To Maintain Your Truck

An added benefit of defensive driving is that it’s better for your truck. Learning it will mean fewer repairs on your truck. 

For example, aggressive driving involves a lot of needlessly slamming on breaks in a way that damages brake pads, which tire down faster. 

Also, aggressive driving negatively impacts gas mileage. 

Defensive driving techniques train you in the right way to drive, disabusing you of bad driving practices which have the effect of saving your car from accelerated wear and tear. 

Operating a truck is not an easy feat, so any additional training and experience, like defensive driving, that makes this easier and safer is essential.

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