Member Story: Defensive driving saved my life

I was stopped at an intersection—the fifth car or so in line. When the light changed, I followed the line forward as usual. In the middle of the intersection, I looked over and saw that a huge dump truck was about to run the red light, headed right for me.

In that instant, I remembered something that my defensive driving instructor said when I took the course back in April—"Look where you want to be." Well, that’s what I did. I looked across the street to where I wanted to be, then gunned it so the truck wouldn’t hit me— and it worked. The truck ended up running off the road away from me.

I really believe that this instruction saved me from an accident that would have sent me to the hospital. I’m glad I remembered what I was taught in the defensive driving class. The instructor did a wonderful job and I'm happy to share my story.

—Barbara from Canandaigua, AAA Member Since 1995

Did You Know?

AAA Members save on Defensive Driving while lowering portions of your auto premium by up to 10% for 3 years—and you can even take the course online at your own convenience.
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A Question for You

Has a defensive driving maneuver saved you from a bad accident? Share your story with us in the comments below.


In light of the universal awareness of the dangers of texting and talking on cellphones while driving, I was very surprised that the Parent-Teen Driving Agreement posted on your Driver Education page makes no mention at all of either one.

Hi James, that's a good point. That document should definitely be updated to include that important suggestion. Thanks!

Defensive Driving Course
What topics are covered?
Are there simulations?
Does the classroom course cover more than online course?

Thank you for your question - topics covered include risk management, visual search, communication, adjusting speed, margin of safety, emergency situations and tips for keeping your vehicle (and yourself) in the best possible condition to drive safely. There are no simulations utilized. The online and classroom courses cover similar material and offer the same benefits(licensed drivers receive a certificate upon completion that can lower portions of their insurance premium by up to 10% for 3 years, as well as take up to 4 points off of their driving record for moving violations within the last 18 months). The classroom setting offers interaction with knowledgeable instructors and is offered in a variety of convenient locations and times; the online course offers the convenience of taking it at home and working at your own pace (once you begin the online course, you have 30 days to complete it).

Is there a Teenage Driver course that does not have the five hour course component? I have a teenager who has already completed the five hour session but needs more driving instruction.

How may hours is the online course? and how much is it? I have looked on many differents site and these seem to be two questions that are avoided till you sign up and register. Why can this not be more open and transparent?

The course is timed out to last 6 hours. It can be taken over the course of 30 days after registration. The cost is $29.95 for AAA members or $42.00 for non-members. You can get more information and register for the course on by going to Car & Driving and then clicking on Driver Training & Education.

When do you use the Horn on a Car?

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