Driving is one of those things most learn as a teenager and then never really think about again. Most people don’t realize that driving classes are not just helpful for continuing your driving knowledge, they are also applicable for many practical situations as well. Let’s look at some of the benefits of defensive driving courses, and how you could find one in your area.
- Reminders for Everyday Driving
The classes, in one respect, serve as a refresher for basics of city and highway driving. They will cover everything from road sign definitions and state traffic laws to safety equipment and regular maintenance. You’ll learn more concretely about your stopping and reaction distances, and other information about your car that will help make you more aware as a driver.
- Important New Information
Beyond those basics, the instructor will talk to you about more in-depth topics, that may not be as evident to every driver. You will cover things like avoiding environmental hazards and weather developments, and how to scan your environment before and as you are driving. There will also be discussion about the impact of human factors, like encountering intoxicated drivers or those engaging in road rage or distracted driving. Even if you are an alert driver, it is still important to be prepared for others who are not paying attention.
- Crash Education and Training
There will be training for driving in a way that lowers the risk of accidents, known as crash prevention training. But you will also go over how to proceed if you can’t avoid the crash. You will learn about the different elements of a car accident, such as speed, mass and timing. This will help you to make the most effective decisions possible in an intense crash situation. Some courses offer crash prevention through classroom or online instruction, as well as driving courses to help train you behind the wheel.
- Insurance Benefits
While it varies from company to company, most insurance providers will offer discounts for completing a defensive driving course. You can find a list of approved driver education classes of all kinds on the California DMV website. For example, there is also an insurance reduction offered for completing a mature driving course. This is a class offered for people over 55 years of age, addressing challenges specific to those drivers. Some insurance companies offer fairly generous benefits for taking the courses, with reductions in price that last up to three years.
- To Counteract Moving Violations
If you have a ticket or fine, the courses usually serve to reduce your fee amount. Some will actually work to clear the violation from your driving record altogether. This also means that any points that were accrued on your license by the incident will be removed. As California has some of the most expensive road penalties in the nation, it’s never a bad idea to look for a class if you do have a fee or fine. There are several courses available that can be completed in one day, and many offered online. These can all be found as recommended by the court in your specific case, or through the DMV website.