Defensive Driving Classes:  What Are They & Are They Worth It? by Hampton Rhodes

Defensive Driving Classes:
What Are They & Are They Worth It?

Personally, I believe that Defensive Driving Courses are worth every penny they cost. These courses used to be offered at almost every high school in America back in the day, but we seem to have drifted away from that charter, and some schools no longer offer them. But even back then, the major benefit of taking one of these courses was that insurance costs would be discounted upon completion of the course – especially for young male drivers under the age of 26.

That was in Florida in the late 60s – ancient history now – but what about today? Is it worth it? You bet your life it is.

What is Defensive Driving?
According to, Defensive Driving is essentially driving in a manner that utilizes safe driving strategies to enables motorists to address identified hazards in a predictable manner. These strategies go well beyond instruction on basic traffic laws and procedures.

With defensive driving classes, students learn to improve their driving skills by reducing their driving risks by anticipating situations and making safe well-informed decisions. Such decisions are implemented based on road and environmental conditions present when completing a safe driving maneuver.

What are the Benefits of taking a Defensive Driving Course?
The benefits of taking a defensive driving class vary within each state, but in most states, completion of these courses can bring a reduction of points on your driver’s license following a ticket and along with it, the assurance that your insurance rates will not increase.

In some states, taking a defensive driving course can mean a reduction of up to 10% off of your auto insurance rates for a period of three to five years. And this can be significant for insuring young male drivers.

What are the Time Requirements for a Defensive Driving Course?
Just as the benefits of defensive driving classes vary with each state, so do the requirements. While most basic defensive driving classes are four hours long, some can be as long as six or eight hours.

In some states, students have the option to take defensive driving courses online or by watching a video tape or DVD, while other states only allow students to take defensive driving in a classroom setting.

What Topics are Covered in the Training of a Defensive Driving Course?
Almost all Defensive driving courses in every state cover the issues of avoiding crashes, psychological factors that can affect good driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the preventability of accidents, a review of necessary Safety Equipment required (and recommended) by the State, crash-prevention techniques and the State’s traffic laws.

Where can you find State Approved Defensive Driving Courses?
On their website, offers links to each state’s approved Defensive Driving Courses that are presented by a variety of sources and meet that States insurance benefits requirements. A-1 Driving Schools, with headquarters in Georgia, offers 19 different locations clustered around the greater Atlanta area, where Defensive Driving Courses are taught. A quick search on Google will help find the right location for you.

What are the costs of taking a Defensive Driving Course?
The costs of Defensive Driving Courses can vary widely within each state and again from state-to-state. based in San Diego California offers one on-line course for as little as $35.00. South Carolina offers an on-line course through that runs about $49.00. Each state (and provider) offers something different. Our best recommendation is to contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and find out which of the courses offer the best benefits for your own situation.

So no matter your age, Defensive Driving Courses can not only save you money on your insurance and points against your license, the course can actually help save your life. And isn’t that worth a few dollars to you and your family?

We think so!

All books available at Clink on the title to learn more.
Advanced Defensive Driving: Good Driving Doesn’t Happen By Accident
by Bill Kennedy
Safe Driving Techniques Explained in Plain English: Defensive Driving
by Anna M. Martin
Defensive Driving Course Notebook
by Wild Pages Press

A-1 Driving Schools

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