Stay Safe on the Road With a Defensive Driving Course

defensive driving schoolGetting your driver’s license is the first big step towards independence and adulthood for many teenagers. However, with great power also comes great responsibility. Being a conscientious and aware driver is important not just for your safety, but for the safety of others on the road too. A shocking number of teenagers report being in a crash — for example, 20% of 11th graders say they were in a crash as a driver in just the last year, and it’s been statistically shown that in their first year on the road, teens are almost ten times as likely to be in a crash as compared to other years. There’s a good reason that car insurance is more expensive for younger drivers. Taking driving classes — either through your school or another program — and considering going to defensive driving school can increase your skills and safety.

Promoting Safe Driving 
For those who might live in the country or a small town, driving is usually the way you get anywhere. These drivers report driving over 12,000 miles annually, compared to those who live in a medium-sized town or city (they drive under 10,000 miles every year). Most teenagers living in rural areas likely get their driver’s license as soon as possible, to get to school or work, or to help drive younger siblings around.

However, the fatality rate for drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 is four times more than drivers who are between the ages of 25 and 69 years old. Part of this may be that teenagers are simply more distracted — cell phones and other devices blinking and beeping don’t help. And most young people have an invincible attitude towards life and may take more risks than older people — which is great, but not so much when it comes to how they behave on the road.

Learning to drive in a driving course or driving school and attending a defensive driving school can make a big difference in how kids handle themselves on the road.

What Does Defensive Driving School Cover? 
Whereas a beginner’s driving course will teach drivers how to actually drive, a defensive driving school covers how to defend yourself on the road. That is — how to react to others around you and defend yourself from bad proclivities, like driving under the influence of alcohol, or driving while tired, stressed out, or mad.

They’ll also likely cover crash prevention techniques, look thoroughly at safety equipment and how it can save your life or prevent serious injuries, going over traffic crash statistics, and reviewing your state’s traffic laws.

Ideally, a defensive driving school will advise on how to stay out of crash scenarios, but also guide you on what to do if you find yourself in a situation that you think could lead to a crash. For example, if you skid on ice, or see someone veering into your lane, the defensive driving course will give you pointers on how to regain control and avoid a crash.

How Much Do Driving Courses or Defensive Driving Schools Cost? 
Driver’s ed is often covered for free in high school, so that’s one great place to start. However, more advanced driving courses are offered independently and those looking to brush up, or perhaps get a license for Class B or C vehicles, might want to take advantage of these courses. Independent driving schools might cost anywhere between $200 and $800 for a whole package deal.

Defensive driving courses are typically much lower, since it’s more of an addendum to your driving skills, not those who need to practice driving. In most states, it’ll cost you between $20 and $25 to take the course, and it might even help lower your car insurance, making it a worthwhile thing to consider.

Stay safe on the road, feel confident in your driving, and potentially even reduce your insurance when you take a defensive driving course! It’s certainly worth the money and a few hours out of your weekend.

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