Matthew Staal


Who says you can’t mix heart-thumping action with learning skills to bring into your everyday life? Whether you’ve got some epic road trips lined up in the near future, you drive to work every day, or you just want to feel more confident when you get behind the wheel of a car, a defensive driving course is a fun, exciting way to get your driving know-how down to a fine art.

We think nothing of jumping behind the wheel of a car. But, in fact, hitting the road in a vehicle is one of the most dangerous things we do every single day. Cars move fast. Hazards are all over the place – and many of them are unexpected. The road is a high-pressure environment that we put ourselves into without a second thought, even in adverse conditions like rain, strong wind and storms. With a defensive driving course, you can help make each and every drive you take safer and give yourself the confidence to navigate sticky situations with ease.

What is a defensive driving course
What is a defensive driving course
 

Defensive driving courses are usually one- or two-day programs packed with all the tricks, tips and lessons on how you can make being on the road safer. There’s often a theoretical component, where you learn the ins and outs before you get out onto the road and put all those tactical driving skills into practice.

Defensive driver training takes your driving to the next level, sharpening your skills on the road, boosting your hazard-detection prowess and helping to make your reactions while driving as quick as lightning. And while taking a defensive driving course is a whole lot of fun, it could also save your life one day.

Why take a defensive driving course?
Why take a defensive driving course?
 

Defensive driving courses are designed to help you level up your driving skills, but along with teaching you how to anticipate and manage dramas on the road and giving you a better understanding of how your vehicle works, a defensive driving course can also help boost your confidence behind the wheel.

Defensive driving courses aren’t just for experienced drivers, either. There are loads of course providers who invite L-platers to come along (with a supervising fully licensed driver, of course) and learn these essential skills so they can get out onto the road with all the best risk-management know-how from the get-go.

What will you learn on a defensive driving course?
What will you learn on a defensive driving course?
 

Defensive driving courses go way further than reminding you to keep an eye out for pedestrians as they cross the road. You’ll kick things off with some interactive classroom time, during which you’ll cover things like driver attitudes and risk-taking behaviour on the road; speeding, fatigue, drugs and drink driving (and other common driver distractions); and, of course, you’ll be shown how to apply all your new knowledge. Then there’s all the on-road action, like ‘swerve and recover’ techniques, cornering skills and what to do if your car slides.

But what is a defensive driving course without putting that new knowledge into practice? The theory component is followed up with some time on the racecourse, putting those new skills to the test and ensuring you have a good grasp of the concepts.

If you want to ramp up the extreme factor, you might want to check out some of the more advanced driver training courses available, going deeper into on-road skills such as skid control and performance driving. Or, for full-throttle adventure, try a V8 supercar experience, rally driving or even a day of drifting.

How much does a defensive driving course cost?
How much does a defensive driving course cost?
 

The price of defensive driving courses can vary depending on how long the session is and how advanced the training is. For a standard defensive driving course, you’re looking at anywhere between around $250 to $300. To tackle a more advanced course or performance drive school, expect to pay a little more – from $330 to $525.

WHERE CAN I DO A DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE?
Defensive Driving Courses in Sydney
Defensive Driving Courses in Sydney
 

If you’re looking for defensive driver training in Sydney, you’re in luck because there are a couple of great locations you can head to in order to finesse your on-road skills. Hone your car control at Eastern Creek’s Sydney Motorsport Park or head around the track at Quakers Hill in Western Sydney. Either way, you’ll get all the skills you need to hit the open road safely and get to practice them on a purpose-built racetrack. If you’ve already aced the defensive driver training, take on an advanced course for even more precision driving skills.

Defensive Driving Courses in Brisbane
Defensive Driving Courses in Brisbane
 

Whether you head to Mt Cotton or Lakeside Park, you’ll get the complete defensive driving adventure in Brissie. Even better? Drivers on their L plates can give it a go at both locations, setting them up with skills for life. For something a little more extreme, take on the skid pan driver training. Zip around the slicked-up diesel- and water-covered track and learn to control your car like a pro under some of the riskiest road conditions.

Defensive Driving Courses in Melbourne
Defensive Driving Courses in Melbourne
 

One of the many great things about the defensive driving course offerings in Melbourne is they’re divided into different levels. There’s a driving adventure for 12- to 16-year-olds, a program for L- and P-platers, level 1 and 2 driving courses and an advanced driver training day for anyone wanting high-end vehicle control action. Melbourne’s famous Sandown Raceway and TabCorp Park Stadium are the ideal settings for these defensive driving courses.

Defensive Driving Courses in Adelaide
Defensive Driving Courses in Adelaide
 

Adelaide’s Murray Bridge Racing Club is the perfect spot to hone your driving skills under the watchful eye of experienced and friendly trainers. Get a jump on things like emergency braking, swerving and multiple direction changes by practising them at speed. The best bit? Drivers from 16 years up to 80 are welcome – and there’s always something new to learn.

 

 

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