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5 Top Benefits of a Defensive Driving Course

Published: Oct 07, 2020 in Uncategorized

Defensive driving is a valuable skill for drivers of all ages – and a defensive driving course gives you more confidence behind the wheel. 

In a defensive driving course, you learn things like state traffic laws, defensive driving techniques, and how to avoid traffic accidents. A course normally takes 4-6 hours and can be completed entirely online. 

Whether you’ve been involved in a traffic accident or are looking for ways to save money, a defensive driving course also provides benefits that you might not have considered. Here are the top 5 benefits for taking a defensive driving course (and how to get started).  

1. Qualify for a 10% Car Insurance Discount

A defensive driving course normally qualifies you for a car insurance discount which means your monthly insurance rate is lowered. Although the exact percentage depends on the state, the discount ranges between 5%-10%. By lowering your monthly premium, you save money each month and year. 

Let’s break down the numbers. NerdWallet found that good drivers with poor credit annually pay over $2,500 on car insurance. If you receive a 10% at this rate, you’d save $250 annually or $20 monthly. And the discount lasts 3 years before you need to renew. In three years, you’ll save $750. 

A defensive driving course is also an excellent decision if you’ve recently been involved in a traffic accident. Your auto insurance rates can skyrocket by 31% or more after just one at-fault accident. Rates can also increase after receiving a speeding ticket. A defensive driving course helps you better manage your monthly premiums. 

2. Prevents Points from Being Added to Your Driving Record

You can use a defensive driving course to 1) keep points off your driving record and 2) get a traffic ticket or citation dismissed. You then lower your risk of losing your license. 

The number of points applied on your license depends on how many accidents you’ve been involved in or citations you’ve received in the past. The number also dictates how close you are to losing your license. For example, in NY, your driver license might get suspended if you get 11 points in an 18-month period.

To protect yourself against harmful points, contact the court for permission to take a state-approved defensive driving course by the date listed on the citation. Check if they allow traffic school based on your violation and other requirements. Also check if the court will accept certificates from online defensive driving courses. Some states won’t, but courts will sometimes approve on a case-by-case basis. 

3. Save Money on Transportation

A defensive driving course helps your future self save money on transportation. How? Say that your license is suspended due to too many tickets or accidents. You’ll likely have to spend money on public or private transportation to get around. For larger cities, the cost of public transportation (e.g. the subway) can quickly get expensive. Private transportation such as Uber is also pricey. 

Too, after your license suspension period is over and you’ve paid necessary fines, it’s still costly to have your license reinstated. For example, it costs $100 to reinstate your license in New Jersey. It’s also costly to get a new license if your old one was revoked. A defensive driving course protects you from losing your license in the first place.

4. Avoid High Accident Fees

Auto accidents aren’t only devastating emotionally and physically – they’re also expensive. In fact, U.S. car accidents cost $230.6 billion annually or an average of $820 per person. On top of that, you also often have the expense of a damaged vehicle, medical bills, and time away from work thanks to injuries.

In short, you can end up paying thousands of dollars on one car accident for years. A defensive driving course protects you from costly accidents. Equipped with defensive driving skills, you’re less likely to cause an accident. You also know how to avoid accidents with dangerous drivers. 

5. Become a Safer Driver

Every time you hit the road, you never know what to expect – accidents, bad weather, aggressive drivers. By completing a defensive driving course, you’re better equipped to handle whatever comes your way with confidence. These defensive driving skills help keep you and others safe on the road.

No matter what state you live in, a defensive driving course is typically comprehensive. It covers topics such as safe driving techniques, how to avoid aggressive driving behaviors, and what to do in driving emergencies. You’ll also learn about practical things such as your state’s traffic and insurance laws. All of this information gives you the ability to be a safe, defensive driver.

Register for an Online Defensive Driving Course

You might want to take defensive driving to access one of these benefits. Or maybe you want to access all five! Whatever the case, the registration process is easy. 

Start by opening an account with a certified online course provider such as DriveSafeToday. This process normally requires filling out your contact information. There are also different requirements for defensive driving by state, so be sure to check out the options for your location. 

You’ll pay between $20-$40 to take an online defensive driving course, but it will quickly pay for itself. After payment, you’ll then have access to fun and interactive lessons that you can complete at your own pace. Once you’ve completed the lessons, you’ll take a final exam where you need to score at least 80% to pass. This is why it’s a good idea to choose a course provider that offers unlimited exam retakes for free.

After the final exam, you’ll receive a certificate of completion ready for immediate download (or you can request to have a copy sent to you by mail for an additional charge). If you’ve selected to take the course to reduce points or have a traffic ticket dismissed, the provider can send the certificate directly to the court.

Note: If you’re taking the defensive driving course for the insurance discount, contact your insurance provider first to make sure that 1) they offer the discount and 2) they accept certificates from an online course (not every state/provider does). 

Benefit from a Defensive Driving Course

A defensive driving course is packed with benefits, especially if you take the course online. With an online course, you can complete the course on your own schedule – all from the comfort of your home and on any device! And your progress is saved as you go so you can choose to complete the course in one day or you can finish it over several days.

Want to learn more? Check out a certified online defensive driving course here and review the options in your state.