Keep Your Eyes on the Road With Driving Courses

drivers educationThere are more than 200 million licensed drivers in the United States, but unfortunately, not everyone is a safe driver. In fact, motor vehicle collisions are the top cause of death and injury in the workplace, and a single accident can easily cost almost $1.5 million. Given that almost 90% of workers in the United States commute via car or truck and that we drive almost 30 miles a day, that’s a lot of time we spend at risk.

If you’re just starting to learn to drive, taking drivers education courses is a smart and safe way to get on the road. Almost 60% of teens are taught by their parents to drive, but having a more structured drivers education program can help reinforce safety and good driving techniques.

How Do Beginner Driving Courses Help?
If you attend a driving school or take a school-based driving program, you’ll have the benefit of knowing what the state expects from you during your driving test — both on the road and the written exam. Much like preparing for a standardized exam, they courses give you a comprehensive overview of how to be a safe driver and other basic rules of the road. Though parents can teach the basics of driving, they may not be able to help as much with the details of traffic laws and all the other trivia included on the written exam. It’s probably second nature to them at this point, after all!

A driving course will also emphasize the importance of driving without distractions (like why you shouldn’t be checking your phone, fiddling with the radio, applying make-up, or other things that take your eyes off the road), how to drive on the freeway or in bad weather, and even city driving, if you’re near a big urban area. You’ll also build up the required number of driving hours needed for your driving exam via a structured driving course.

What are the Risks for New Drivers?
Most drivers are young, as you can get your permit at age 16 in most states and can be on the road by the time you’re 17. Teens tend to be more prone to distraction and risky behavior while on the road. For example, only 65% of teens always wear their seat belts — either as a driver or a passenger. They also don’t have as much driving experience as older drivers, so certain situations like bad weather or defensive driving can prove more dangerous.

Indeed, the first year that teens are on the road, they’re almost 10 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Before they graduate high school, 20% of 11th graders say that they’ve been in a crash as a driver and a quarter of 9th graders say they’ve been in a crash as a passenger. And the fatality rate for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 is four times that of drivers who are between the ages of 25 and 69.

Why Should New Drivers Of All Ages Look Into Defensive Driving Courses?
Safety should be the primary reason for taking a defensive driving course, but there are other reasons. After receiving a ticket or similar driving offense, it can be helpful or necessary to brush up on basic driving skills. Over the course of the drivers education program, you’ll learn strategies to better your driving skills by learning how to anticipate and respond to difficult situations. You’ll learn how to react based on road or weather conditions to make your driving the safest it can possibly be. Crash prevention techniques will also be covered, as will dangers like distracted driving, psychological risks (like stress or fatigue), and driving under the influence.

Plus, if you take a DMV approved defensive driving course, you could save significant money on your car insurance. And if you have a ticket, a defensive driving course can also help take points off your license.

If you’re a new driver, taking advantage of all the drivers education courses you can will only help make you a safer driver on the road. If you’re a more experienced driver, it’s still a good idea to update yourself on rules of the road and safe driving practices.

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