Defensive driving or low risk driving

Defensive driving or low risk driving goes beyond simply knowing the road rules and having a good driving technique. After you have learnt the road rules and developed the necessary driving techniques, you then you need to develop your defensive driving techniques. When you have accomplished this you will be able to minimise your risks of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident.


Most people like to think of themselves as being good drivers. Unfortunately a lot of people think they are good drivers because they know the road rules or because they have mastered a particular driving technique like reverse parking. Too many of these people then proceed to take more risks like speeding or tailgating other cars. They convince themselves that they are a good driver therefore it is safe for them to take these extra risks.

As a driver you will have to deal with the dangers created by other road users. The fact is some drivers on the road do things that are very dangerous. Research shows that learning good driving techniques and practicing them in real life situations under the supervision of experienced instructors, significantly reduces the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

The goal of defensive driving is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating potentially hazardous situations or adverse driving conditions. The RMS refers to this as low risk driving and you will be required to demonstrate low risk driving techniques during the driving test.


There are many defensive driving techniques that you can use to reduce the risks of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident. At Learn to drive you will learn defensive driving techniques including

  • Attitude: By learning and thinking about driver safety and the various techniques of defensive driving you will be in the right frame of mind to be a safer driver
  • Vision: By learning the correct scanning techniques and how to identify potentially hazardous situations you will become more aware of your surroundings. This will give you more time to react and avoid accidents
  • Hazard perception by being able to identify hazards you will have more time to react and take appropriate action to avoid accidents
  • Planning ahead allows you to have an escape route. This will help you avoid accidents
  • Buffering or maintaining a safety cushion gives you time to react in the event of an emergency