Driving on an open road is easy. When there are no other drivers around, you don’t have to worry about blind spots, lane changes, the proper use of signals, and other potentially distracted drivers on the road. You’re free to focus on the road in front of you.
Unfortunately, the majority of all driving time doesn’t take place on empty, wide-open roads. Instead, you have to deal with traffic and other vehicles. And it’s for this purpose that you need to acquire certain defensive driving skills.
5 Reasons to Learn Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is a style of driving that people use to increase their safety – as well as that of others – by being aware of their surroundings on the road. According to the DMV, driving defensively includes:
- Looking ahead and scanning the road for the unexpected
- Controlling speed at all times
- Maintaining a safe following distance
- Being constantly prepared for the reactions of other drivers
- Driving safely for both the weather and road conditions
- Being alert and distraction free
- Watching and respecting other drivers on the road
While some defensive driving skills come naturally, it’s helpful to take an accredited defensive driving course in your state. Here’s why:
1. Avoid Costly Accidents
Research shows that one in seven drivers are uninsured. This means that, should you be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, there will be no insurance coverage on their side. You’ll have to hope that you have adequate Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage.
It’s impossible to avoid all car accidents, but there are plenty of ways to lower your risk of being involved in costly and dangerous accidents. By taking a defensive driving course, you can equip yourself with the skills necessary to stay safe.
2. Lower Insurance Premiums
Car insurance is expensive. It’s even more expensive if you have a poor driving record or happen to fall into a category that’s considered “high-risk.” Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to lower insurance premiums with various credits and discounts.
One of the more generous discounts comes in the form of a certificate from a defensive driving course. Some insurance providers may offer as much as a 10 percent discount on your monthly premium – which could account for $200 or more per year.
Before taking a course, you should check with your insurance provider to (a) make sure they provide a discount, and (b) check to see which types of courses they give you credit for.
3. Helps Driving Record
Any time you get a ticket for a traffic violation, you get points added to your license. Once you receive a certain number of points, you’ll begin to experience consequences (such as a suspended license). Defensive driving can help mitigate some of the damage.
“In some municipalities, completing a defensive driver course is one of the consequences of being booked for a traffic violation,” auto industry blogger Jean Littman writes. “Completion of the defensive driver course, and presentation of the appropriate documentation can sometimes entitle you to a dismissal of the ticket.”
4. Keeps Your Family Safer
When you’re a single person with no obligations or responsibility for anyone, you can take on a bit more risk. But when you get married and start a family, you have other people to look out for. Taking a defensive driving course is a great way to improve your driving skills and keep that precious cargo just a little bit safer.
5. Greater Peace of Mind
At the end of the day, having defensive driving training under your belt will give you greater peace of mind. You’ll be able to relax knowing that you’ve done everything to prepare yourself for the risks and dangers of the road. As a result, you’re free to focus on driving.
Find a Course Near You
There are defensive driving schools all over the country – and a few can even be found online. To benefit from the advantages outlined in this article, make it a priority to take one of these courses. They’re quick, easy, and extremely educational. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!
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