What Are Defensive Driving Courses?

Defensive Driving is essentially driving in a manner that utilizes safe driving strategies to enables motorists to address identified hazards in a predictable manner. These strategies go well beyond instruction on basic traffic laws and procedures. A defensive driving course, or what some call traffic school, benefits all drivers, regardless of age or driving ability. Furthermore, it will give you access to some car insurance discounts.  Just use free car insurance quotes and compare prices after graduating a defensive driving course.

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A typical class, which includes online defensive driving programs, covers:

  • Traffic crash statistics, including times when most crashes occur and age groups with the highest accident rates.
  • The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI or DWI).
  • The dynamics of a crash. This pertains to how speed, place of impact and size of vehicle affects the severity of the collision.
  • An extensive look at safety equipment, addressing the importance of seat belts, head rests, air bags, and child safety seats.
  • Crash prevention techniques. This touches on a long list of driving tactics including proper following distances, scanning roadways, sharing the road with other vehicles, proper passing procedures, speed adjustments in different weather conditions, and knowing your vehicle’s braking distance.
  • The risks of driving while fatigued, stressed, or angry.
  • Your respective state’s traffic laws.

The benefits of taking a defensive driving class vary with each state, but often include a reduction of points on your driver’s license following a ticket and the assurance that insurance rates will not increase. In some states, taking a defensive driving course can mean a reduction of up to 10% in your insurance rates for a period of three to five years. While most basic defensive driving classes are four hours long, some can be as long as six or eight hours.

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