Millions of cars travel the roadways each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that nearly 1.5 million people are killed in road crashes each year and approximately 3,700 people die each day in accidents around the world. The World Health Organization points out that motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for children and young people in various countries. Such deaths are preventable, and defensive driving strategies can greatly reduce the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
Defensive driving is driving in a way that utilizes safe driving strategies to enable motorists to address hazards in a predicatable manner, according to SafeMotorist.com. These strategies go above and beyond following basic traffic laws and procedures. Defensive driving courses can help new or seasoned drivers improve their driving skills and reduce accident risk by teaching them to anticipate certain scenarios and make well-informed decisions.
Defensive driving strategies can help reduce the risk of being in an accident, and there are other benefits to these courses as well.
1. Reduce automotive insurance premiums
Depending on where they live, drivers’ insurance premiums can be reduced by as much as 10 percent for completing a defensive driving course. This can add up, particularly for those who have teenagers on the policy. It’s worth a call to the insurance agency to see which type of course they require.
2. Reduce fines
Traffic courts may reduce fines for those who are ticketed and agree to enroll in defensive driving courses. Drivers looking to reduce fines should confirm that a course is recognized in the state where they live before enrolling.
3. Remove fines or reduce points
Driving violations come with some consequences, namely tickets and sometimes points on a license. Too many points can lead to a suspended license. Completing a defensive driving course may remove points or tickets from your driving record. Be sure to verify the law with a court clerk or the local motor vehicle commission.
4. Relearn the rules of the road
It may have been some time since you contemplated the rules of the road. Defensive driving courses often review information on driving laws and regulations, helping to make for more confident, law-abiding drivers.
5. Learn preventative techniques
Of course the main goal of the course is to help drivers learn the common causes of accidents and how to avoid them. Courses may teach drivers that 40 percent of crashes occur at intersections, and that passing another vehicle within 100 feet of a bridge, tunnel or railroad crossing dramatically increases the chances of being involved in an accident, according to DriveSafe Online. There’s always room for improvement, and defensive driving courses can help drivers get better behind the wheel.
Investing in a defensive driving course can improve skills, potentially save lives and even save drivers money.