The Benefits of Taking a Defensive Driving Course

If you're considering taking a defensive driving course (or even if you're legally required to do so), here are some of the top benefits you may get from it.
Written by Elan Mcafee
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
There are a few incentives to take a defensive driving course, and not all of them are to avoid punishment.
You might think of a defensive driving course as something you're required to complete at the request of a traffic court judge. But the truth is many individuals opt to take a defensive driving course voluntarily, and there are some benefits to doing so. If you're considering taking a
defensive driving course
, here are some of the top benefits you may get from it.
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Staying out of jail

While you can take a defensive driving course voluntarily, the bulk of individuals in classes are there at the court’s order. So, a glaring benefit in this situation of taking a defensive driving course is
staying out of jail
Successful completion of defensive driving also may
reduce the number of points on
your driving record
. It can also serve to reduce fines associated with the traffic issues that resulted in the court order to take defensive driving in the first place.
With a court order to complete a defensive driving course, it usually must be done in person rather than online. That way the course instructor can verify your identity and properly credit your driving record.

Saving on insurance premiums

It is not unusual for car insurance companies to reward good driving, whether it is assessed by how long you've gone without a traffic mishap on your record or by actively seeking good education through a defensive driving course. To earn kudos from your insurance provider, there are often more course options than when being compelled by the court to get driver re-education.
Online courses are usually accepted, and they may be far shorter than the all-day ones required by traffic courts. Shop around for a course that sounds interesting at a budget that fits your needs. Ultimately, taking a defensive driving course can save you $100s or more in insurance premiums.

Increasing your driving knowledge

If it's been years or even decades since you took a written driver’s license test, your knowledge of traffic laws outside the norm is likely rusty. It's also possible that laws have been amended or added since that time, and there is fresh driving knowledge to be learned.
If knowledge is truly power, then you can become a more powerful and savvy driver on the road. You can also beat your friends on trivia night when the category is traffic laws and regulations.
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Becoming a better driver

While staying out of jail, lowering insurance rates, and becoming well-versed in traffic trivia are all great things, the ultimate goal of defensive driving courses is to make better drivers. A big part of being a good driver is preventative action. This is perhaps the top benefit of taking a defensive driving course.
Defensive driving courses teach drivers how to avoid accidents and not merely follow the law. The instructor teaches techniques to anticipate and deal with hazards on the road, including:
  • Other drivers being careless
  • Reduced visibility
  • Weather-related dangers
  • Compromised reaction times from physical and mental states
Those who have successfully taken a defensive driving course emerge armed with knowledge and techniques to stay safe even when the conditions beyond their control are less than favorable. Being a better driver not only benefits you but all those with whom you share the road.

Saving on car insurance

Some car insurance companies will offer discounts for users who have taken a defensive driving course. It's just one of many ways to save on your prices. Another is to use
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