If you’re like most drivers, you probably believe you’re the cat’s pajamas, when it comes to your driving skills. However, the statistics on road safety in the United States, tell a slightly different story: everyday, about one hundred people die on the roads of the U.S. and another six thousand are injured. One solution would be the intensive promotion of advanced and defensive driving courses – but there’s a problem with that, too. Defensive driving training is not a regulated profession, which means there are many trainers out there dispensing inaccurate and even potentially dangerous advice.
This is why, in the day and age of the Internet, you’re probably best advised to take a defensive driving course online: several professionals are usually involved in designing the course and practicing your skills starts off from a solid theoretical base. But before you commit to online training, you might want to learn about ten of the main benefits such a course will bring into your life. Without further ado, here’s our list:
1. Attitude matters
As psychological research has often demonstrated, the single most important factor influencing driver safety is attitude. A good defensive driving class will emphasize this and help you hone this skill, in all its behavioral manifestations.
2. Spend money to save money
Think of a defensive driving course as an investment toward your future as a driver. Not only are you less likely to spend money covering accident costs, but, in some states, you can also become eligible for at least a 10 per cent insurance rate cut, for anywhere between 3 to 5 years.
3. Points off!
Aside from the potential to save you money, a defensive driving course will also help you shave off some unwanted points of your driver’s license in most U.S. states. Got points for a moving violation or a ticket? You can get rid of them and also avoid paying more for your insurance premium, after the fact, with the aid of a defensive driving course.
4. Fear not your fellow drivers
As outlined in the beginning of this article, most drivers tend to believe they’re great at what they do on the road – it’s the others who are causing all the trouble. Sometimes, this is actually true: anyone who’s ever encountered a motorist that speeds or throws a road rage fit knows this to be true. Defensive driving, as it name suggests, will help you handle this kind of situation safely, without endangering yourself or your passengers.
5. Blame it on the weatherman
There’s a paradox at play, when it comes to driving and bad weather. Many drivers are apprehensive about driving in adverse weather conditions, yet many choose to do so, for the sake of convenience, even if they don’t always know what they’re doing. A defensive driving course comes with techniques for driving safely in bad weather, for nighttime driving, driving on a busy highway, and more.
6. Pay your dues
If you’ve been found guilty of a moving violation while out driving on a public road, you will be cited in court, charges will be pressed against you and you’ll also have to pay a fine. Not if you enroll in a defensive driving class, though. If you choose this option, you can skip the court date, waive the fine, and have the charges dismissed (for mild incidents).
7. More comfort on the road
One of the root causes of unsafe and reckless driving is drivers’ lack of self-confidence while out on a busy road, with lots of traffic both from cars, as well as from pedestrians and even cyclists. The techniques a defensive driving course teaches you will reinforce your self-confidence and effectively teach you to feel more at ease, while driving in the harshest, most hectic conditions.
8. Minimizing risk
Some so-called defensive driving courses teach drivers questionable and often risky techniques, such as swerving evasively, or recovering from skidding. A good course, however, will steer clear of such practices, that rather enhance risk instead of minimizing it. They will focus on teaching you how to minimize the risk of crashes, no matter how severe, strictly by promoting safety.
9. Better business
If you own or manage a car fleet, then a defensive driving course is all the more important, since it can greatly improve your costs. Not only will it help you cut back on damage coverage costs, but it will also help reduce the number of injuries sustained by your staff, the number of claims made by third parties against your auto insurance, and the number of potential lawsuits stemming from accidents.
10. Safety for all
Ultimately, a defensive driving course benefits everyone on the road, from the driver and his or her passengers, to their employers, to the other participants in traffic, to just about everybody’s kids and families. It’s always useful to have another go at learning all the driving rules you may have once learned it traffic school but have since forgotten, as well as to hone new, safety-oriented skills.