From state to state, the time necessary to learn all the material provided by a defensive driving course varies between four hours and eight hours, and that represents a significant investment of time, not to mention the cost of the course. So why would you want to invest your time and money in taking such a course? There are actually quite a few benefits that accrue to anyone who does take the time to sit in on one of these valuable learning experiences.
Regardless of where the class is being taught, a defensive driving course contains a wealth of information that can help teach motor vehicle operators the safest techniques for driving. It helps attendees learn about potential mistakes, so they can make better decisions on the roadways, and it also helps them improve their driving skills because they can anticipate traffic situations much better.
Most defensive driving courses are set up as a result of the collaboration between police departments and local governments. That means course material often contains real-world information which has been learned through all the experience gained by authorities over years of observing traffic situations and evaluating roadway accidents.
Skills Learned in a Defensive Driving Course
One of the skills learned in any defensive driving course is to avoid bad driving habits, for instance, speeding. Driving your vehicle too fast for conditions is always dangerous, and can quickly lead to traffic accidents if even the slightest situation interrupts the safety of one or more vehicles on the road. Another thing you learn in a defensive driving course is how to drive under adverse conditions like heavy rains or when it’s snowing.
There’s a special technique to driving on snowy roads, and when heavy snow was falling. While not everyone in the country has to deal with these kinds of conditions routinely, it’s a good skill to have if you happen to be visiting northern climates during the wintertime. Another skill learned in a defensive driving canvas is the ability to anticipate dangerous situations while driving.
This will usually involve a constant assessment of the traffic situation around you on the roadway, as well as the environment you’re driving through. While it may not be strictly considered as a skill, participants in a defensive driving course will learn the importance of controlling their emotions while driving, as well as all the techniques for safe driving, emergency care, and effective decision-making. Decisions made on the roadway can have a huge impact on yourself and any other driver on the road in the immediate area, which is why it’s so important to make good choices.
Additional Benefits of a Defensive Driving Course
Collectively, the body of knowledge imparted to students in a defensive driving course can have a major effect on their approach when they actually get on the roadway. People who go through this kind, of course, are much better at anticipating dangerous situations that might come up in traffic, and it helps them to avoid taking any risks.
It teaches the importance of staying focused while driving and not allowing anything like drugs or alcohol to influence your time spent on the road, or the decisions you make while driving. It invariably teaches drivers to be more careful and responsible while operating a motor vehicle, which in turn helps to reduce the number of accidents that occur.
For youthful drivers, in particular, most of this material is brand-new and they will have never heard it before, so it should be readily absorbed and put into practice on the roadway. You will also be instructed on how to respond in a situation where you might become involved in a road rage incident so that you don’t make the situation worse by responding inappropriately.
You’ll also learn about the causes of many accidents, such as stress, impatience, and overreaction to conditions. The importance of remaining calm under all situations will be pointed out in the course so that you can adopt that mode of behavior for your own driving technique. People who are impatient and stressed out while driving will invariably become involved in more accidents, and more undesirable traffic situations than those who remain calm and poised at all times.
Overreacting to small errors can be a huge mistake as well because it can lead to a bigger error that endangers yourself and others. One more thing which participants of the defensive driving course will learn is that they’ll be able to understand the reactions and movements of other drivers on the road, so as to help them avoid accidents and stay safe. As a driver, it’s essential that you anticipate the reactions of others so that you can prevent accidents and bodily injuries to anyone involved.
Other Reasons for Taking the Course
It’s entirely possible that someone who accumulates multiple driving offenses will be ordered by a judge to take the defensive driving course, so as to refresh their knowledge of good driving skills. The idea behind this is to re-acquaint the driver with all those skills and decision-making qualities that will contribute toward making them a better driver.
Some people opt to take the defensive driving course because, in their state, insurance companies offer a reduced premium for all clients who take the course and complete it successfully. Insurance companies have a vested interest in you being a better driver on the road and avoiding accidents that they would have to pay for, and that’s why they’re glad to offer lower rates on insurance for customers who attend the class.
Some states also offer a reduction of the driving points which are assessed against your driver’s license if you take the course. Most states make it mandatory that new drivers take the defensive driving course as a preliminary toward obtaining their first driver’s license. This is quite understandable, given the fact that it is highly desirable for all drivers to begin their life on the roadway with all the skills necessary to make them good drivers and to avoid traffic accidents.