Defensive Driving

Driving on Highway ca. 1990s; vehicle visible in side rear view mirror
MCIT offers defensive driving training to its members to assist in keeping their employees safe while driving on the job.

Defensive Driving: Safe Driving Saves Lives, Protects Property

What Is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving goes beyond following traffic laws and procedures. It involves anticipating situations, rather than reacting to them, and making safe, well-informed decisions based on road and environmental conditions. Defensive driving means understanding a vehicle’s capabilities and limitations, and maintaining control while maneuvering it away from hazards.

Why Provide Defensive Driving Training?

Auto physical damage claims continue to be the most frequently reported loss by members. Training drivers to be safe does more than protect a member’s fleet from physical damage; it also helps prevent injuries to employees and citizens.

Defensive Driving Training Available Through MCIT

The defensive driving training offered to members through MCIT is designed for those employees who drive as part of their job duties on behalf of the member organization. MCIT offers two formats for defensive driving training: online and onsite. The options are provided at no charge as part of MCIT membership. 

Note: Members looking to provide general safe driving instruction and information to its employees regardless if they drive on behalf of the member for business are referred to the Minnesota Safety Council’s options.

Interactive On-site Classes

MCIT partners with the Minnesota Safety Council for two-hour on-site training. Each on-site session requires a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 participants. The programs provide students with written materials, the chance to ask questions and certificates of completion.*

Classes have been tailored to meet members’ needs:
• Experienced Drivers/Passenger Vehicles
• Maintenance Vehicles/Highway Departments
• Multiple Passenger Vehicles/Vans and Buses

The curricula include discussions about:
• Safe driving behavior, practices and strategies
• Factors that impair safety
• Specific issues related to city and rural driving
• The effects of motor vehicle accidents on the employer and employee

Schedule Training

For more information about or to schedule defensive driving training, members should contact  MCIT Internal Services at

MCIT pays for up to two sessions of on-site training for defensive driving per member per year. Additional sessions can be scheduled at a cost to the member. When a member requests two sessions, they must be scheduled for the same day. To cancel an on-site class, members must give five days of notice or be subject to a cancellation fee.

Online Defensive Driving Video Training

Online defensive driving training is available through a partnership with the Minnesota Safety Council’s free streaming video service. This is not an interactive course. Here’s how it works:

  • Select a defensive driving training video from multiple choices among the streaming videos.
  • Once chosen, assign the video to an individual viewer/employee with a special login. The individual has access to the video for one week.
  • The assigning person can send a quiz to the viewer. This can serve as both a tool to show understanding of the material and give proof the video has been watched and offer a record.

LEARN MORE … about the video streaming option, and how to access and assign defensive driving videos.

More Safe Driving Resources for Members

Members also have access to other resources that reinforce safe driving habits.

Videos: “Driver Education Volumes 1 and 2,” “Preventing Road Rage,” “Saved by the Belt” and “Stay Alive When You Drive: Professional Drivers”

“Seat Belts Must Be Worn” stickers: These are great for placing at exits and in vehicles, and are available in two sizes. Members can request stickers at no cost by contacting MCIT.

Man and woman look at each other in a car holding coffee cups while a deer is in the path of the car. Text: Oh deer! It's that time of year. Be alert for deer while driving.Deer collision prevention and awareness materials: Posters, lockscreen images and an animated video remind drivers to slow down, scan for deer and to take appropriate action when encountering deer on the road.

Minnesota Safety Council: Members have access to a number of resources and additional courses, including mature driver classes and “Alive at 25,”  to help reinforce safe driving habits among its employees. Many of the resources are free, but some are offered at a modest cost. All MCIT members have a membership with the Safety Council as part of participation in MCIT.

Hands-free Driving Law FAQs: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety answers common questions about the 2019 hands-free driving law.