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Defensive Driving Course – Everything You Need to Know

Defensive driving pertains to a manner of driving involving techniques that enable a motorist to identify and properly react to potentially hazardous traffic situations. These driving strategies are some of the things taught in a defensive driving course.

Many believe that this course is just like the usual driving class, particularly the kind teenagers are required to take. But traffic school, the other term for defensive driving course, is not the same as a drivers education class. 

A defensive driving course is designed to help motorists become safe drivers. The sole focus here is to improve driving skills in order to reduce the risk of road-related accidents. 

Meanwhile, a drivers ed class teaches the basics, particularly how to drive. While safe driving practices are tackled in this course, it is not discussed at length.

Simply put, a drivers ed class is for beginners while a defensive driving course is for experienced motorists. This is not to say, however, that new drivers cannot enroll in traffic school. They can if they want too! After all, a defensive driving course should be open to anyone with basic driving know-how.

What are you going to learn in traffic school?

The course usually begins with a lesson on accidents which includes statistic of car collisions and similar incidents in the country. There is also an in-depth discussion on their causes. In addition, it tackles how these road accidents emotionally and financially affect those who are involved.

The program also touches on risky driving behaviors like using mobile devices while driving as well as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Distracted driving and driving under the influence are extremely dangerous. In fact, over 3000 traffic-related deaths in 2017 were due to distracted driving. 

Although there are laws which prohibit these practices, many motorists, especially the young ones, still do them. Traffic school aims to lessen the violators by creating an awareness about the negative implications of these risky behaviors.

Of course, traffic school teaches safe driving practices. This includes helping motorists develop the ability to identify and anticipate dangerous road situations. More importantly, it teaches them the appropriate driving maneuvers and strategies in these circumstances (e.g. how to deal with aggressive drivers, how to drive during unfavorable weather conditions, etc.).

Should You Take a Defensive Driving Course?

It’s a no brainer – if you want to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you definitely should take this course. 

In fact, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a defensive driving course once every three to four years. This is to brush up on your driving knowledge and skills as well as to stay abreast with traffic laws in your state. 

Meanwhile, if you wish to get a discount on your insurance or remove points on your license, you should go to traffic school once a year.

Where to Take a Defensive Driving Course

There are classroom-based and online defensive driving courses. The latter is more preferred these days primarily because of the convenience it offers. With an Internet-based course, you can study whenever you want to, wherever you are. Also, you can learn at your own pace.

Regardless of which type you choose, one thing you should not fail to do is to gather information about the traffic school. 

On top of being a reputable company or institution, the defensive driving course provider needs to be accredited by the DMV. This is the best way to ensure that the defensive driving course being offered meets the standards of the DMV.