Defensive Driving Courses Timeline Starting From 396 BC- Year 2011
396 BC Camillus gave women unrestricted rights to drive and own chariots in Rome.
50 BC Julius Caesar prohibited downtown parking to relieve congestion and also established one-way streets.
1660 King Charles II of England issued this decree “Whereas the excessive numbers of hackney coaches in the city of London are found to be a nuisance, the streets and highways being thereby made impassible and dangerous; we command that no person or persons permit or suffer said coaches to stand or remain in any of the streets.”
1757 Boston passed an ordinance against “fast driving” — no faster than a foot pace.
1760 The first one-way streets in the United States were established in New York City.
1793 The first turnpike was begun between Philadelphia and Lancaster, PA. It was 62 miles long.
1796 The first macadam road in the US was completed at a cost of $7,500 per mile.
1805 The first self-propelled, steam-powered vehicle was developed in the United States. Built by Oliver Evans, the “Orukter Amphibolos” was used to dredge the harbor in Philadelphia. (French army officer Nicholas Joseph Cugnot built a similar vehicle in 1769.)
1817 Baltimore was the first American city to install streetlights.
1835 The Highway Act of 1835 passed into law the British custom of keeping to the left side of the road. Later, the ruling applied to motor vehicles in the Motor Car Act of 1904.
1886 Daimler built the first gasoline-powered car.
1889 The first recorded traffic death in the United States occurred in New York City when Wall Street real estate dealer Henry H. Bliss stepped off a trolley car at 74th Street and Central Park West. He had turned around to help a lady down the steps when he was struck and run over by an electric automobile passing the trolley.
1895 The Duryea Brothers beat the Olds Brothers in the first Chicago Road Race.
England passed a law prohibiting any power-propelled vehicle to travel the highway faster than 4 mph and required the vehicle to be proceeded by a man with a red flag.
The first recorded sales of an automobile in the United States occurred. Built by Charles and Frank Duryea, the gasoline-powered vehicle was purchased by a Massachusetts man. The Duryea brothers continued making automobiles into the early 1900s.
1899 President William McKinley was the first US president to ride in an automobile. It was a Stanley Steamer.
Mary Anderson of Birmingham, Alabama, patented a “window-cleaning device.” Her invention was an arm that removed snow, rain and sleet from the windows of electric motor cars of that period. The arm was manually operated inside the car by means of a handle.
New York City printed the first traffic regulations.
1905 There were 78,000 motor vehicle operating in the US
The first seat belt was offered in a Thomas Flyer.
A blacksmith attached a crude iron bar — or bumper — to a 1907 Oakland.
1908 Rhode Island was the first state to enact a driver licensing law.
1909 President William Howard Taft shocked the Americans when he drove a Packard around a racecourse at 56 mph.
1910 New York State enacted a motor vehicle bill which included annual registration and licensing of chauffeurs, lighting at night and reciprocity. State speed limits were 30 mph in the country and 15 mph in the cities. Fees and fines supported road maintenance.
1915 Prism lenses for headlights debuted.
1916 Hand-operated windshield wipers appeared as standard equipment on some cars, but wipers remained optional equipment for most manufactured vehicles into the 1930s.
1917 The Popular Hero Safety Fender, which resembled a bike rack, went into use.
1918 Malcolm Loughead developed four-wheel hydraulic brakes.
1921 The National Safety Council began the publication of death and injury statistical data.
1923 The first formal high school driver education course, including road instruction, was established in Gilbert, Minnesota.
Two-filament headlamps for direct and diverted lighting appeared on some cars.
Standardized Accident Reporting began through the NSC National Committee on Uniform Traffic Accident Statistics.
1925 Front and rear bumpers became standard equipment.
1927 The National Safety Council printed the first “Accident Facts” book.
1933 Power brakes were available from several automakers.
Iowa organized the first state safety council.
Memphis, TN passed an ordinance that required periodic motor vehicle inspections.
1935 The U.S. Navy experimented with self-inflating air bags to keep planes afloat after forced landings. Although the trials failed for the Navy, car safety inventors used the gathered data in the 1950s.
1937 The National Safety Council (NSC) made its first driver safety film. The topic was safe truck and bus driving. It was titled, With Care.
1952 A series of patents were filed for “automatic cushions” designed to protect passengers in crashes. The Bertrand Patent of 1958 featured six air cushions as big as circus balloons.
1953 The 83rd Congress on August 13, 1953 passed Public Law 259 which formally established the National Safety Council as a federally chartered organization.
1954 Safety padding was introduced for dashboards.
1960 Halogen headlights replaced seal-beam headlights.
1961 U.S. automobile manufacturers announced that seat belt anchorages would be standard equipment in all 1962 models.
The Executive Committee of the Women’s Conference of the National Safety Council recommended the development of an adult driver improvement program.
The Driver Improvement Program Department was opened on November 4, 1963.
Based on studies from Accident Facts determining the causes of motor vehicle deaths on U.S. highways, Chris Imhoff drafted a driver safety program called the Driver Improvement Program. The program during the field-testing process became the Defensive Driving Course (DDC).
The first DDC pilot program was sponsored by the Women’s Conference of the Toledo-Lucas County Safety Council in Toledo, Ohio. It was taught in two one-hour sessions, one evening a week for four consecutive weeks in mid-April and early May.
The first DDC class was presented as a part of Safety Congress in 1964. Shortly after that, the first “Instructor Development Course” (IDC) was held.
The first DDC at the NSC staff consisted of three people: Chris Imhoff, George Boyd, and Linda Smith.
Packard Electric Division of General Motors in Warren, MI was the first company to sponsor DDC for employees.
The first labor union to become a DDC training agency was IBEW-Local 702 in West Frankfort, IL.
Ray Martinez trained the first group of instructors to attend an IDC in the field; the class was held in New Orleans, LA.
The US Army adopted DDC for their Proving Ground in Fort Huachuca, AZ.
CBS, Shell Oil and the National Safety Council’s DDC staff produced the National Driver’s Test, viewed by roughly 80 million people on CBS-TV.
October 25, 1965 at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago the “Advisory Committee for the Driver Improvement Programs of the National Safety Council” was founded.
The first DDC Instructor Development Course was held in Canada.
Springfield, IL was the first municipality in the U.S. to require all city employees to take DDC.
Finley S. Lake of Interstate Motor Freight in Grand Rapids, MI was elected the first Chairman of the Advisory Committee.
CBS and Shell Oil approached DDC, again, for help with the new National Driver’s Test.
At the Motor Transportation Conference, NSC’s recommendation of the new “timed interval concept,” developed by Boeing aerospace engineer Ralph Peak to help motorists determine safe following distances, was approved.
West Virginia became the first state to allow point reduction to drivers who attend the eight-hour DDC.
Edward S. Adams of Iowa Farm Bureau in Des Moines, IA was elected the 2nd Chairman of the Advisory Committee.
DDC traveled overseas to New Zealand. Mr. Imhoff said, “This gave me a vision of an international defensive driving community.”
Israel National Council for Prevention of Accidents translated DDC.
In Jacksonville, FL the one-millionth DDC student graduated.
DDC entered the European and Asian markets.
Cross-shoulder belts were added in automobiles.
Norman Ledgin of the Greater Kansas City Safety Council in Kansas City, MO was the third Chair of the Advisory Committee.
Detroit Edison and the city of Honolulu presented DDC in Japanese for the first time.
The US Navy launched service wide DDC training.
There were now 770 DDC training agencies.
Edward R. Klamm of Allstate Insurance Co. in Northbrook, IL was the fourth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
The 2,000,000th DDC student graduated in Seattle, WA.
The Arabian/American Oil Company translated DDC for their employees.
The Defensive Driving League was founded.
Ford offered “ignition interlock,” which prevented drivers from starting their cars unless their seat belts were fastened. A flop with motorists, Congress eliminated the ignition interlock as a federal auto safety requirement.
C. S. Waters of the North Carolina, Department of Motor Vehicles in Raleigh, NC was the fifth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
South Carolina made it mandatory for drivers holding suspended licenses to take DDC.
The first Defensive Driving Course Instructors’ Association was formed in Sacramento, CA.
Hartford Insurance Company became a corporate DDC training agency.
The Canada Safety Council trained 250,000 DDC students.
The 3,000,000th DDC student graduated at Fort Polk, LA.
Harry Verdier of the Greater Philadelphia Safety Council was the sixth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
NSC announced the first annual Defensive Driving Week (April 30 – May 6).
The DDC Motorcycle Supplement was created.
The DDC self-instruction program was introduced.
The Texas State Board of Insurance granted a 10 percent premium discount to Texans who successfully completed DDC.
The 4,000,000th DDC student graduated at Fort Collins, CO.
Saab 99E was the first car to surpass U.S. safety standards for 5 mph bumper.
Merrill Pollard of the Tampa Citizens Safety Council in Tampa, FL was the seventh Chair of the Advisory Committee.
DDC was adopted by the Republic of China.
The 5,000,000th student graduated DDC in Long Grove, IL.
The DDC-School Bus Supplement made its debut.
The U. S. DOT required all 1973 model cars to sustain 5 mph front-end collisions.
GM field-tested 1,000 Chevrolet Impalas with driver- and passenger-side air bags.
Laura Watts of the Alabama Safety Coordinating Committee in Montgomery, AL served as the eighth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
1974 The Inter-American Safety Council translated DDC into Spanish and Portuguese.
The 6,000,000th student graduated DDC in Honolulu, Hawaii.
A DDC Air-Ramp Vehicle program was designed for the safety of airline support drivers.
NSC promoted the proper positioning of sun visors--pulling the visor all the way down and all the way up until it touches the windshield so it points away from the driver.
NSC first advised drivers that when they stopped behind another vehicle, they should be able to see the other vehicle’s rear wheels touching the pavement. This allows for easier maneuverability around stalled cars or to escape a robbery or car-jacking situation.
A. B. Gardner the Director of Safety at Ft. Monroe, VA served as the ninth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
The 7,000,000th DDC student graduated in Sacramento, CA. (For the first time 1,000,000 DDC students had graduated in a single year.)
The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints began using DDC for all of their drivers.
Edmund G. Hession of the Canada Safety Council in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada was the tenth Chair of the Chair of the Advisory Committee.
1977 The state of Florida included DDC in its point-reduction program.
The Coast Guard joined the other armed service branches that taught DDC.
The 9,000,000th DDC student graduated on the Papago Indian Reservation in Sell, AZ.
DDC Self-Instruction program was revised.
The governor of American Samoa made DDC mandatory for all government-employed drivers.
M. Worth McDonald of the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles in Raleigh, NC was the eleventh Chair of the Chair of the Advisory Committee.
The Drinking, Driving and You supplement was added to DDC.
1979 The 10,000,000th DDC student graduated in Fort Worth, TX.
New York State mandated a 10% insurance premium discount for DDC graduates.
NSC modified the two-second rule (originally, the “timed interval concept”). The “two-second-plus” rule added one additional second of following distance for each driving condition that deteriorates.
The German electronics company, Robert Bosch G.m.b.H., introduced an anti-lock braking system, first used by European cars.
George Gustafson of the Texas Safety Association in Austin, TX was the twelfth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
DDC developed the Make It Click campaign.
Robert W. Thomas of Swift & Co in Chicago, IL was the thirteenth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
DDC-II was written and designed as a four-hour program.
New York lowered its eight-hour requirement for point-reduction and insurance-discount programs to six hours. DDC instructor James A. Solomon, Rochester Safety Council, edited the pilot program for the National Safety Council.
Jack Porter of NL Industries in Houston, TX was the fourteenth Chair of the Advisory Committee.
DDC celebrated its 20th anniversary with a total rewrite of the eight-hour program, including a new name, color code and use of state-of-the-art equipment.
New York passed the first mandatory seat-belt law.
The “Advisory Committee for Driver Improvement Programs of the National Safety Council” was renamed “Center for Driver Training – Advisory Committee”. Grant Clarke of the Central Florida Safety in Orlando, FL became the fifteenth Chair.
The NSC began offering FLI Learning Systems Inc.’s DDC-Coaching the Experienced Driver and Coaching the Professional Truck Driver.
DDC-II was updated and renamed to DDC-4.
The “Center for Driver Training – Advisory Committee” was renamed “Driver Improvement Programs - National Advisory Committee”.
The 20,000,000th student graduated from DDC.
The second edition of DDC Motorcycle Module was released.
DDC-Professional Truck Driver was introduced.
FLI Learning Systems Inc. and DDC introduced their first co-venture program, DDC-Coaching the Mature Driver.
New York State approved DDC-6 for point reduction and insurance discount.
The second edition of DDC Alcohol Program was introduced.
The audio DDC self-instruction program was revised.
The “Driver Improvement Programs - National Advisory Committee” was renamed “Driver Improvement Programs International Advisory Committee”. G. Lincoln Sidwell of the Columbus Area Safety Council in Columbus, Ohio became the sixteenth Chair of the “Committee”.
U.S. Department of Transportation passes the Commercial Driver’s License Act, requiring all professional truck and bus drivers to possess a “CDL”.
DDC-Straight Truck for truck drivers who do not operate tractor-trailers was introduced.
DDC-Coaching the School Bus Driver was introduced.
DDC Motorcycle was redesigned and introduced specifically for Florida State.
Robert A. Draper of the Texas Safety Association in Austin, TX was the seventeenth Chair of the “Committee”.
The 25,000,000th student completed DDC.
DDC-4 was totally revised, with offering ease of translation to meet the needs of slow readers.
DDC-PTD-Independent Training Program was introduced as a self-study program for tractor-trailer operators.
Chrysler became the first domestic automaker to put air bags in certain models as standard equipment.
NSC introduced DDC-Coaching the Transit Bus Operator and the video version of the DDC self-instruction course.
Valvoline and CBS Entertainment approached the Driver Improvement Program for help with the third National Driver’s Test.
All vehicles manufactured in Canada were required to have automatic daytime running lights.
Jack Smith of the Canada Safety Council in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada served as the eighteenth Chair of the “Committee”.
NSC renamed the DDC Accident Prevention Formula to the DDC Collision Prevention Formula, so drivers would better understand that collisions are preventable.
DDC-Coaching the Experienced Driver was introduced in Spanish.
DDC-Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving was first introduced.
NSC introduced Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator, which included CEVO-Ambulance/CEVO-Fire/CEVO-Police.
DDC-Audio Self-Instruction Program was reintroduced in its 4th edition.
DDC-4 videos and workbooks became available in Spanish and a video became available in open caption for the hearing impaired.
NSC Introduced the DDC-IBM Computer-Based Instruction.
Chuck Schwarting of the Illinois State Police in Springfield, IL served as the nineteenth “Committee” Chair.
DDC-8/6, 6th edition, was introduced with videotapes available in open caption for the hearing impaired.
NSC introduced the new DDC-PTD Driver’s Notebook and a DDC-PC program.
DDC-Illinois, the first course designed to reflect one particular state’s needs and drivers was introduced for use in the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office Probationary Driver Licensing program.
DDC-4 was revised and released in the 3rd edition.
Honda became the first high-volume automaker to equip all of its cars with dual air bags.
The “Driver Improvement Programs – International Advisory Committee” was renamed the “Defensive Driving Courses International Advisory Committee” with Dewey Bullard of the New Mexico Driver Improvement Institute in Santa Fe, NM as the twentieth “Committee” Chair.
All-new DDC Instructor Development Course materials were introduced. “Teaching DDC”, which included the Instructor Development Course-Instructor Trainer Manual, Candidate Instructor Guide, and Reference Material Set for DDC-8/6, DDC-4, DDC-PTD and DDC-CMD.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts accepted DDC-ADD-MA, the second program designed for a specific state’s drivers.
Connecticut began using a special four-hour version of DDC-ADD for young teen drivers, taught by state DMV trainers.
Some Laws Can’t Be Broken (two-hour occupant restraint and safety system program); It’s Closer Than You Think (two-hour drug and alcohol program); and Lines, Signs and Roadway Skills (one-hour program on interpreting the topic) were developed by NSC and introduced into the DDC product line.
DDC-PTD Self-Instruction and DDC-PTD PC are introduced.
DDC- Alive at 25 was introduced for 16 – 25 year old drivers.
Florida approved a 12-hour version of DDC-ADD for its Advanced Driver Improvement Program for multiple offenders.
GM offered daytime running lights as standard equipment on 600,000 cars and trucks. Volvo became the first automaker to offer a side air bag option.
B. J. Evans of Safety Services International in Tallahassee, FL was the twenty-first Chair of the “Committee”.
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles approved the DDC-Connecticut program for the state’s repeat offenders.
Teaching DDC-Alive at 25 was introduced for Instructor Courses in this program.
DDC-Professional Truck Driver was introduced in the 2nd edition.
The second edition of DDC-ADD was put on shelf.
DDC-ADD was modified to fit the specifications of the Illinois Secretary of State for the state’s probationary license program.
DDC-ADD was modified to fit the specifications of the Connecticut DMV for the state’s multiple violators program.
Mary K. Briatta of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, IL became the twenty-second “Committee” Chair.
IL Secretary of State adds teen 3rd time offenders (GDL) to DDC—ADD - IL
The 7th edition of DDC-8/6 was introduced.
DDC-PC98 was put on shelf.
DDC-Coaching the Mature Driver, CEVO-Ambulance, and CEVO-Fire went into the second editions.
Teaching DDC-ADD was introduced for Instructor Courses in this program.
IL Secretary of State puts teen 3rd time offenders (GDL) to DDC – Alive at 25
The fourth edition of DDC-4 was introduced
“Accident Facts” is renamed “Injury Facts”.
NSC introduced the three-second and three second-plus flowing distances.
2000 Dr. Portia Plummer of Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN becomes the twenty-third Chair of the “Committee”.
DDC-PTD Alcohol and other Drugs Supplemental Module was introduced.
DDC-PTD Winter Driving Supplemental Module was introduced.
Bob Davie of Tri-Met in Portland, OR elected as the twenty-fourth “Committee” Chair.
NSC introduces the six-second and six second-plus following distance for commercial vehicles.
The third edition of DDC-PTD was introduced.
Twenty-one states, including the District of Columbia had adopted primary enforcement of safety belt laws.
Forty-six states, including the District of Columbia have adopted 0.08 as the illegal BAC limit.
Lisa Daniels of Lake County College named First DDC Instructor of the Year.
The second edition of DDC-Alive at 25 is put on shelf.
Erickson Fonseca of Rescue International, Brazil named Second DDC Instructor of the Year.
The 8th edition of DDC – 8/6 is released. (New style flip chart, action Power Point, video/DVD.
Charles “Chuck” Schwarting of National Safety Consulting Services, Inc. of Summerfield, FL is elected as the twenty-fifth “Committee Chair”
All fifty states now have adopted 0.08 as the illegal BAC.
Twenty seven states have enacted older child “seat belt positioning” booster seat laws.
DDC-8-VA approved for point reduction by Virginia DMV
DDC- 4 –IN; DDC-8-IN; DDC-PTD-IN & DDC-IN Online approved for point reduction by Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
DDC – 6 – NY approved for point reduction by NY DMV.
Trooper Scott Hinshaw of the Colorado State Patrol named Third DDC Instructor of the Year.
Chuck Stebbins III of the Virginia State Safety Council, Inc is named the First DDC Instructor Trainer of the Year.
Kentucky State Police adopt DDC-Alive at 25 for teen operators and train 38 officers to teach the program across the state.
NSC launches the new Fleet Excellence Process group of programs with the release of The Dynamics of Fleet Safety.
DDC-8-OH approved for state mandated driver retraining in Ohio.
DDC-8-Virgina 8th edition released
DDC-6 – NY 8th edition
DDC- 6 – TX 8th edition
DDC-4 - AZ (based on 6/8 8th edition)
DDC-Alive at 25 – IN 2nd edition
DDC-Online (regular program) 8th edition
Glade Wilkes of Joe Morten Ins of Bloomington, IN is elected as the twenty-sixth “Committee Chair”
John W. Pinckney of C&J Training International named Fourth DDC Instructor of the Year.
Mike Ezzell of Texas Training named second Instructor Trainer of the Year.
DDC-4 5th edition
DDC-8 – Delaware 8th edition
Agreement with Colorado State Patrol for Law Enforcement Alive at 25
Teaching DDC 5th edition
Alive at 25 Parent’s Program
MA RMV Junior Operator’s License program
DDC-4 - AZ Spanish (based on 6/8 8th edition)
Jack Hanson of the College of Lake County named Fifth DDC Instructor of the Year.
Tom Diveley of USAF McGuire Air Force Base named third Instructor Trainer of the Year.
DDC – Professional Truck Driver 4th edition
DDC-PTD Self Study
DDC – Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving 3rd edition
Teaching DDC-Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving 2nd edition
US Marine Corps adopts Alive at 25
US Marine Corps adopts DDC-Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving
Nena Meyers of the Illinois State Police named sixth DDC Instructor of the Year
Bob Edwards of Safety and Health Council of North Carolina named fourth Instructor Trainer of the Year
DDC- Alive at 25 - 3rd edition
Teaching DDC-Alive at 25 3rd edition
DDC-Online – NY (Internet Point and Insurance Reduction Program)
U S Air Force adopts Alive at 25
DDC - Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving Young Adult – 1st edition
Distracted Driving Resources Kit
SCARR (JOL offenders under MA State Police)
Matthew E. Kelly of the Greater Omaha Chapter and the Omaha Police Department named seventh DDC Instructor of the Year
Master Trainer Carey Cox name fifth Instructor Trainer of the Year
New 9th edition of the Defensive Driving Course (DDC-8/6)
New edition of DDC self-study program patterned after 9th edition
New edition of DDC Online with graphics package and progressive learning patterned after 9th edition
New DDC-Online IN
New 9th edition of DDC-8-VA
New 9th edition of DDC-6-NY
New 9th edition of DDC-8-OH
NSC Conducts first "Forum to Keep Teen Drivers Alive" (Itasca, IL)
Michigan Office of Secretary of State begins state wide point reduction program using DDC-6.
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