IDPE Identify Decide Predict Execute
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IDPE Identify Decide Predict Execute

Tip Thurs IDPEIDPE = Identify, Decide, Predict and Execute

While working towards my I4WDTA Certificate, Bill Burke used a few different acronyms.  One of them was IDPE when considering a offroad recovery.  The words make a lot of sense, and it's interesting how many people don't think about #3!


The first step to any situation is to do a Stuck Assessment.  Understand what is happening to and around the vehicle.  Identify the problem, the challenges and the potential challenges.


Knowing the tools that you have to recover the vehicle, work on a recovery plan.  Decide the best method to recover the vehicle.


Think about how the recovery is going to be executed.  How is the vehicle going to react to the angle that you are pulling?  What issues or challenges could potentially arise?  Are there any safety concerns with the recovery?


Execute the well thought out plan.  While executing, paying attention to challenges that weren't thought of.  If necessary, go back to Identifying and start over again.  The first idea isn't always the perfect idea.  Be prepared to adjust.

IPDE Process and Defensive Driving

In everyday defensive driving we use this same method. Driving is such a regular part of our lives that we're often figuratively asleep at the wheel. IPDE is an organized thinking and acting process that you should use over and over again when you are driving.

  • I—Identify—Locate potential hazards within the driving scene.
  • P—Predict—Judge where the possible points of conflict may occur.
  • D—Decide—Determine what action to take, when, and where to take it.
  • E—Execute—Act by maneuvering the car to avoid conflicts.

IPDE can help you avoid collisions. Take a moment to think through the IPDE process and how you should use it while driving. IPDE can help you become a defensive driver.

You Use IPDE!

Take a minute and think back to a couple of situations where you were stuck.  Did you indirectly go through these steps in your mind, or did you go straight to executing and potentially make the situation worse?  If you are in the beginning phases to learning recoveries, write these words on a post-it note and (discretely) tape it to your dashboard.  As something happens, look at the post-it to remind yourself of the steps.

When you are driving, you are subconsciously using these steps.  Try to consider your defensive driving steps on your next trip to the grocery store!

Author: Charlene Bower

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