In the simplest words, defensive driving is a manner of driving using relevant strategies that helps in understanding on-road hazards, mainly to prevent accidents and crashes. Most of us know the basic traffic rules, laws and regulations, but defensive driving teaches much more. You will learn about the on-road risks and how you can take decisions in time to prevent a crash. It is possible for anyone to take up a defensive driving course, but in most cases, people take one following a ticket, so as to reduce their points. Below are some of the other aspects worth knowing.
First things first, some states do allow people to take up defensive driving course online print certificate. So, if you just want to improve your driving skills, this is a good option. As mentioned above, taking up a course like this may reduce points on your license, after you have got a ticket. In some states, you can get a reduction in your insurance for 10% or more, for a period between three to five years. If you consider the insurance costs, the savings can be huge. If your license has been suspending owing to license points, taking up a defensive driving course can help in reinstatement.
Every state has a different set of norms for defensive driving courses, so you need to check what’s applicable in your case. Anywhere between six to eight hours is the standard, but in some states, the learning hours can be around ten or twelve, as well. It is possible to take up the course online in some states, but do your homework as far as course providers are concerned. The cost of a defensive driving course depends on the course provider, and you can find relevant details online. Online courses are surely better because you can learn at your own pace, in general, the entire course must be completed at once in a classroom-setting. Such courses are not available for commercial drivers.
To take up a defensive driving course, you need to have a valid state driver’s license. Also, you can only take the course once in a period, which is again state dependent. For example, you need to wait for around 18 months in California before you can take the course for the second time. In case you want to take up the course for insurance benefits, you need a decent driving record.