The Cost Benefits to Taking a Defensive Driving Course


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UPDATED: 2021-04-14T20:46:05.136Z
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A photo from the perspective of a driver who is driving defensively on a highway.

On today's roads, people often tend to drive aggressively instead of defensively. Aggressive driving means more drivers are taking unnecessary risks. These kinds of risks can put other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in danger.

Learning to drive defensively will improve your driving ability. It can also save you money in the long-term. Taking a defensive driving course is a smart move for anyone who wants to become a better driver, save money on car insurance, and improve their driving record.

Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of a defensive driving course.

What is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving doesn't mean protecting your spot in a lane or using your horn. Instead, it refers to a mindset that encourages driving with caution. If you drive cautiously, the road becomes safer for everyone.

You don't have to take a defensive driving course to get your license, but it can be a good idea for many reasons. It's easier to learn defensive techniques when you haven't been driving for years.

But, if you need to take a course due to committing violations, it's a good way to reset your driving technique and learn safer skills. Deciding on your own to learn more about defensive driving is also a great way to improve your ability. On top of that, you can brush up on the rules of the road. There is never a wrong reason to enroll in a driving course.

Taking a defensive driving course is a responsible action. The benefits of defensive driving courses include becoming a safer driver. You can also lower the risk of demerit points or fines, and lowering insurance premiums. The safer you drive, the safer you are and the less it will cost to operate a vehicle by keeping a clean driving record.

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Becoming a Safer Driver

Taking a defensive driving course will improve your driving skills. Usually, parents and driving instructors teach young adults the rules of the road. Learning manuals will also outline every rule possible.

But learning the rules does not only make you a good driver. Cooperating with other drivers on the road is vital. Navigating hazards are also necessary for a safer driving experience.

Defensive driving is a method that assures you are not taking risks. Most accidents occur because of reckless driving and risk-taking. If you learn how to drive defensively, you will lower the chances of getting into an accident.

Hazards are always present on the road, though they take different forms. Defensive driving courses teach you to expect hazards and react appropriately. There are many problems you might face. Unforeseen circumstances could include construction sites, obstructions, other driver's actions, and wildlife.

Being safe on the road means being aware of potential problems. Proactively thinking about potential hazards and knowing what you can do to avoid them are good habits to have. This includes bad weather, such as fog or snow.

Plenty of drivers will ignore bad road conditions to drive the speed limit. But if there's poor visibility, this is incredibly unsafe. It's better to slow down and react to the weather carefully. Ignoring hazards or deciding to drive recklessly is dangerous for you and others.

Reducing the Risk of License Points and Fines

To counteract the possibility of receiving license points or fines, you can take a defensive driving course. One of the benefits of a defensive driving course is that even after you might receive a demerit point or a fine, you can remove or reduce them through these types of driving courses.

When you undergo a defensive driving course, you will have less risk of getting into an accident. You will also be less prone to make mistakes and receive points. Your license acquires those points to show when you've had an infraction or run-in with the law. They can also allude to fines you have received for speeding or unsafe driving.

The fewer infractions you accumulate, the less likely it is you will receive fines. Fewer infractions also mean you will likely not lose your license. Many fines can cost hundreds of dollars. Trying to regain your license could result in community service as well as huge costs.

It's cheaper and safer to learn how to drive defensively in the first place. However, to regain your license you might have to take a defensive driving test. A driving test could also lessen the expense of your fines.

Mandatory Attendance After Traffic Violations

If there are a lot of traffic violations on your driving record, you might have to take a defensive driving course before you can drive again.

Having to take or retake a defensive driving course is often thought of as embarrassing. But, if it is necessary for regaining your license you may as well try to improve your skills. A course can also help to remove a bad driving record. Improving can also help you in the future because you will be less likely to receive more violations.

If you keep receiving traffic violations or fines, they will cost more to remove than by taking a course. Having many violations will also increase the likelihood of endangerment for yourself and others on the road.

Even if you are not required by law to take a defensive driving course, signing up shows you care about improving your driving skills. When you take this responsibility upon yourself, it shows your willingness to change your behavior.

Finishing a course shows you wish to avoid future driving mistakes. So, you have a fresh chance at a clean record because you have a newer understanding of the rules and responsibilities of cautious driving.

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Increasing Your Ability to Drive Defensively

Staying alert when driving is a necessary thing to do. When you pay attention to your surroundings, you can see possible outcomes and prepare yourself to respond. If you're driving defensively, you can react to other drivers, accidents, or incidents. You can react in a way that will keep yourself and everyone in your car safe.

If you are more aware of your surroundings and the people you are sharing a road with, you will act properly and become a safer driver for it. Defensive driving is all about caution and patience.

Many drivers today do not share these sentiments. If you keep calm on the road and learn to drive with caution, the road itself becomes safer for everyone.

Defensive driving courses help refresh people's memory of any road rules. If you've earned your license years ago and drive often, that doesn't mean you're an expert driver. Studies show that people relax when they do the same thing over and over again.

So, a refresher course is actually to their benefit. It's best to brush up on regulations. This is especially true for rules that you might have previously believed unimportant.

Reducing Your Insurance Premiums

Some insurance companies will give you lower premiums on your car insurance if they know you have taken a defensive driving course. A course will lower your overall driving costs and save you money in the long run.

Many teenagers learning to drive take defensive driving courses. Often this leads to lower insurance rates for the car they drive, which is often not their own.

With defensive driving discounts ranging from 10 percent to as much as 20 percent, that's a sizable savings for a single person, let alone a household with multiple teen drivers.

If you are in a collision, your insurance rates will not increase if you are not at fault. If you are a defensive driver, it is unlikely you will find yourself causing an accident. Thus, one of the monetary benefits of a defensive driving course is no premium increases.

The Monetary Benefits

License suspension forces you to spend money on transportation. Taking the bus or a cab to work is a daily cost. Traveling distances outside your hometown can be expensive too. Any commute is trickier to handle without a car.

A suspended license when you still have your car means you have the added inconvenience of keeping this car and paying for its upkeep. Furthermore, it will sit uselessly until you manage to retrieve your license. Thus, the car becomes a waste of space and money. If you have to pay to park your car, you will still be shelling out fees for a useless machine.

If you drive carefully, there is less chance of becoming involved in a collision. Your car insurance will cover any collisions, crashes, or totals. But, if you are at fault, an accident could lead to an increase in your insurance rates. You end up paying more money overall for years on end.

You could also potentially end up paying other costs if the damage is too much. When injuries occur, you could end up paying for more than your car. Physiotherapy or chiropractor appointments are sometimes covered by health insurance. However, they remain extra costs that are better avoided by careful driving.

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Image source: Song_about_summer/ shutterstock.com

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