Things to remember on the road

Minot, ND - Here in North Dakota - the Safety Council tries to cut down on fatalities by encouraging people on the road to drive defensively.

There are even courses offered to teach people how to do that --  but what exactly does it 'defensive driving' entail?

If you're so curious, a defensive driving course will be held tonight at the Minot Adult Learning Center.

Without giving all of the main points away, KX News learned that a part of it is just going over the basics that many of us forget after so many years behind the wheel.

An emergency response consultant for the NDSC said, "Trying to be a little more cognizant to recognize there could be a potential hazard."

That's a basic, but fundamental element to defensive driving.

"In North Dakota, we have one crash every 35 minutes, so the potential is quite high for someone to get into a minor accident all the way up to a severe accident."

That's why former highway patrolman and current defensive driving course instructor Mike Mccloud took the time to show me key things to remember.

"The other thing that's very common that you'll see, as people are turning left onto a four way roadway, a lot of people will turn into the outside lane rather than the inside lane," he explained.

When making that left turn to the opposite side of the road, stay on the inside lane and then use your blinker to merge into the outside if need be.

Mccloud said it's crucial to consider all things going on outside of your own vehicle.

"There's definitely a reason why we have the equipment that we do, whether it's emergency hazards or headlights or turn signals," Mccloud said.

"It's to notify other drivers on the roadway of your intentions, and it just creates a more safe environment."

Another thing to remember;

"When you're stopping behind a vehicle at an intersection, make sure you're behind them to where you can see the bottom of their tires. Just to stop back far enough so you can give that driver that time or space that they may need," he said.

And if you're the first to stop at a red light, don't roll over that white line - it's there for a reason.

It might take you back to the days of driving school, but these are just a few of the many things to remember.

There's a lot more to be learned at a defensive driving course and if you're interested, there is one here in Minot October 9th at the Adult Learning Center from six to 10.

Click here to register or find more information about the class and other available classes through the North Dakota Safety Council.


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