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Importance and Benefits of Defensive Driving Course

A driving instructor standing next to a coupe car in a traffic course to illustrate reasons to take a defensive-driving course.

Defensive driving is a set of skills and techniques that enable drivers to anticipate and avoid potential hazards on the road. Defensive driving courses are designed to provide drivers with the knowledge and skills necessary to stay safe on the road and reduce the risk of accidents. These courses teach drivers how to identify potential hazards, how to react to dangerous situations, and how to make responsible decisions while driving. The importance of defensive driving cannot be overstated, as it can save lives, reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries, and help drivers to avoid costly and time-consuming legal battles. In this article, we will explore the benefits and importance of defensive driving courses in more detail.

Importance and Benefits of Defensive Driving Course

You should take a defensive driving course if you want to save money and be a better driver. We all know that car insurance companies reward good behavior. When we were first learning to drive, many of us attended driving school, not only because in many cases it is required, but also because we knew it’d better prepare us for the written and driving exam. 

Auto insurance companies agree that those who have attended these classes may be at less risk of hurting themselves and others while behind the wheel, because they have been properly trained. Similarly, a defensive driving course teaches you not only the basics of safe driving, but educates you on the consequences of dangerous driving. These courses further improve your skills as a driver to better anticipate common collision mistakes and make more well-informed decisions, thus reducing the risk of injury or possibly even an accident. 

What are the Benefits of Taking a Defensive Driving Course?

When you take it after a first-time traffic violation, it may reduce the points on your driver’s license and could also erase the offense from your record so that your auto insurance costs will not go up. These benefits vary from state to state. 

Improved Driving Skills

Taking a defensive driving course can be incredibly beneficial for improving driving skills. Such courses are designed to teach drivers how to anticipate and avoid potentially hazardous situations on the road, such as distracted or aggressive drivers, inclement weather, or unexpected obstacles. Defensive driving courses also teach drivers how to maintain control of their vehicle in emergency situations, such as sudden stops or skids. By learning these skills, drivers become more confident and aware on the road, which can lead to safer driving habits and fewer accidents. Additionally, completing a defensive driving course can often result in lower insurance premiums, making it a worthwhile investment for any driver looking to improve their skills and save money on their insurance.

Lower Insurance Premiums

Taking a defensive driving course can help to lower your insurance premiums by demonstrating to insurance companies that you are a responsible and safe driver. Defensive driving courses teach participants techniques for avoiding accidents and driving defensively, which can help to reduce the risk of accidents and claims. Insurance companies often offer discounts to drivers who have completed a defensive driving course, as they are considered lower-risk drivers. You not only improve your driving skills but also potentially save money on your car insurance premiums in the long run.

Safer Driving Habits

Taking a defensive driving course can be incredibly beneficial in developing safer driving habits. Defensive driving courses are designed to teach drivers how to anticipate and avoid potentially dangerous situations while on the road. By learning how to identify potential hazards and how to react appropriately, drivers can become more confident and competent behind the wheel. Defensive driving courses can also help drivers learn how to better manage their emotions and how to avoid distractions while driving. Overall this can help drivers develop the skills and habits necessary to stay safe on the road, making them better drivers and reducing the risk of accidents.

Avoiding Traffic Violations

Taking a defensive driving course can be an effective way to avoid traffic violations. Defensive driving courses teach drivers advanced driving techniques that help them anticipate and respond to potential hazards on the road. By learning how to identify and avoid risky driving situations, drivers are better equipped to make safe decisions and avoid traffic violations. These courses also educate drivers about traffic laws and regulations, helping them stay up-to-date with changes in the law and reinforcing good driving habits. 

Reduced likelihood of being found at fault in an accident 

Taking a defensive driving course can significantly reduce the likelihood of being found at fault in an accident. These teach drivers how to anticipate potential hazards and react appropriately to avoid accidents. By learning defensive driving techniques, drivers are better equipped to navigate challenging driving situations and make better decisions on the road. These courses also cover topics such as traffic laws, road signs, and other important safety regulations. By becoming more knowledgeable about these topics, drivers can reduce their risk of being involved in accidents and being found at fault if an accident does occur. Overall, you’ll gain valuable skills and knowledge that can help drivers become safer and more responsible on the road.

Reduced stress and anxiety while driving

Taking a defensive driving course can be incredibly beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety while driving. Defensive driving techniques can help you feel more confident and in control behind the wheel, as you’ll have a better understanding of how to avoid accidents and navigate challenging situations. This increased confidence can help to alleviate the stress and anxiety that often comes with driving, particularly in busy or high-pressure situations. Additionally, defensive driving courses often teach techniques for staying calm and focused while driving, which can be particularly helpful in high-stress situations like rush hour traffic or bad weather conditions. Overall, taking a defensive driving course can provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to feel more comfortable and less anxious when you’re on the road.

Are There Online Defensive Driving Courses?

Some courses are available online for those who find it hard to go to a physical location. Others can be attended in person. The average length of the course is four hours, but it can go as long as six or eight hours. They usually involve some sort of a test to ensure that you retained some of the material that was covered during the course. 

The courses are designed to: 

  • encourage drivers to be more aware of the dangers of driving and also the consequences of bad decisions and unsafe driving habits
  • explore the emotional, financial, and psychological trauma and costs of collisions to prevent reckless and risky driving behaviors. 
  • teach methods of keeping a positive attitude behind the wheel so that you can avoid unnecessary stress, distractions, and road rage. 

Will the Course Teach Me Anything New?

Probably. Although there are circumstances and factors that are out of the control of the driver, the courses try to focus on what can be prevented, or what red flags the driver should look out for in order to reduce the risk of any danger. 

Among the controllable variables that contribute to 38% of all fatal car crashes is alcohol or substance abuse. 

This course goes over the legal state limits for alcohol, and the impairing effect it has on a driver’s motor skills, reactions, judgment, and senses. They also go over safety equipment in your vehicle, which simply serves to protect and decrease the risk of injury or death in the event of a collision.  

Not only do they emphasize wearing your seat belt each time you drive, but also encouraging your passengers to do the same, and also going over other common safety features, such as airbags, child safety seats and headrests, and their proper usage. The two most common and simple ways to increase the chance of safe driving is to obey the law: don’t drink and drive and remember to use your seat belt. If you decide to break the law, each state has varying consequences, however, you will not only have to pay costly fees and possibly cause injury, you will face long-term increased costs in the form of increased auto insurance costs. 

Can I Get a Car Insurance Discount for a Defensive Driving Course?

Very possibly. If you decide to take it voluntarily, you will want to report it to your car insurance company to see if you qualify for a good driver or training discount. If nothing else, it may save you money and stress in the long run by helping you to recognize the signs of danger and avoid an accident.  

Most of the time, for experienced drivers, the course serves a refresher and reminder. However, anyone can benefit from taking this course. And if you take it as a result of a moving or traffic violation, then it can help to prevent another incident and also has the added benefit of possibly erasing the mark off your record and not affecting your auto insurance costs. 

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