Defensive Driving Course: Who Needs It?*
Defensive Driving Course
Whether you are an experienced, seasoned or veteran motorist, or a “responsible” teenager (neophyte) getting behind the wheel of a car of late, the purpose of a Defensive Driving Course is to make a better motorist out of you and save you a boat load of money on your insurance premium. Experienced and inexperienced chauffeurs alike stand to benefit from a Defensive Driving Course.
What is a Defensive Driving Course?
According to the National Safety Council, “A Defensive Driving Course is a comprehensive driver improvement program with a basic 6-8-hour curriculum…and interactive course designed to give drivers practical knowledge and techniques to avoid collisions and violations, and to choose safe, responsible, and lawful driving behaviors”.
A Defensive Driving Course is a State/DMV-approved course which teaches the nuts and bolts of safe driving, by employing a series of techniques and driving skills which, when applied and adhered to, help anticipate and preact (as opposed to react) to potential accidents and unforeseen vehicular and traffic-related events or issues.
As icing on the cake (ethical bribe), a 10% discount – an irresistible incentive-on your insurance premium is offered every year for 3 consecutive years, and a reduction of up to 4 points on your driving record (if eligible) or license (for your past traffic violations; not future transgressions) as a bonus.
The idea behind the Defensive Driving Course hinges on the assumption that on the road you are the only safe and sane driver (you are running the asylum), whereas your fellow motorists are deemed demented and reckless. It is, therefore, your responsibility to anticipate their every move and take preemptive action and measures to lessen, mitigate or negate their impact.
Better yet, avoid those reckless, evasive and offensive actions altogether, and escape unscathed, which you only can do if armed with the knowledge imparted by a Defensive Driving Course.
How do you spot a reckless driver?
Here is a maxim to live by: A reckless driver will always let you know so (literally as well as figuratively). So, just pay close and undivided attention.
Signs and symptoms of reckless driving
- Failure to stop or yield when posted stop and/or yield signs clearly demand so.
- Changing lanes without signaling.
- Exceeding posted speed limits
- Turning where “No Turns” signs are displayed (making right or left turn where prohibited).
- Entering “Do not enter” streets
- Failure to slow down or stop next to lateral view-obstructing vehicles (trucks, vans, school bus with extended stop signs, etc) to avoid preventable vehicular or pedestrian accidents.
- Talking on the phone and texting while driving. According to the National Safety Council: “At least 1.6 million crashes each year involve drivers using cell phones (Read : “How to charge your cell phone for free and $ave money”) and texting”
- Playing loud music while driving (a severe pathological case of “I-need-and-want-to-be-the-center-of-attention”, attention craving), which leads to unawareness of one’s surrounding.
- Eating and drinking while driving.
- Driving, standing and parking in bus lanes when and where prohibited.
- Being discourteous and uncivil to fellow drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
- Aggressive driving, which jeopardize everybody’s safety: the perpetrator’s, passengers’, motorists’, and pedestrians’.
- Road rage, defined as “a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior ”, according to merriam-webster.
- Talking to passengers (co-occupants) while driving, instead of focusing on the task at end, i.e. safe driving.
- Failure to fasten one’s seat belt and demand same from passengers.
- Applying makeup and looking for stuff, articles (distracted driving) while driving. According to the National Safety Council, 23% of crashes- 1.3 millions accidents per year- can be attributed to distracted driving.
- Last, but not least, total disregard for traffic signs and lights.
This list of signs and symptoms of reckless driving is far from being exhaustive.
Impact of collision: failure to defensive drive safely may lead to this:
What are the benefits of a Defensive Driving Course?
- Increased awareness and ability to spot miles ahead trouble drivers, ability to anticipate and confidence to swiftly react to evasive, offensive and reckless vehicular action.
- Sharpened driving skills (a Defensive Driving Course can also be court-ordered or required by your employer). So, be one step ahead by taking the Defensive Driving Course before it is ordered (avoid legal trouble; an ounce of prevention is way better than a pound of cure) or required.
- Reduction of up to 4 points (if eligible) off your driving record for past moving violations (not future transgressions) and other vehicular-related infractions (Point and Insurance Reduction Program- PIRP).
- A minimum of 10% reduction off your automobile or motorcycle insurance premium every year for 3 consecutive years (Point and Insurance Reduction Program- PIRP).
Two kinds of drivers
There are 2 kinds of drivers: Generous and Altruistic, at one end of the spectrum; Stingy and Selfish, at the other end.
Generous and Altruistic
Generous.- A driver who takes the Defensive Driving Course can afford to be generous, in light of the exponential return (ranging from 980% to 3000%, see illustrative tables below) he/she enjoys on the investment made in the Defensive Driving Course.
Altruistic.- The altruism is a natural byproduct of the implementation and adherence to techniques, skills and safety principles imparted by the Defensive Driving Course‘s contents. If anything, a Defensive Driving Course attendee learns to drive for self and fellow motorists, which is altruism at its best, driving-wise.
Stingy and Selfish
Stingy.- The driver who fails to invest in a Defensive Driving Course is not in a position to enjoy the gargantuan return on such investment, and cannot, therefore, afford the luxury of being generous.
Selfish.- Having not been exposed to the instructive and informative contents of the Defensive Driving Course, he/she cannot enjoy the derivative benefits and is left to fend for self- and self only. Which explains the reckless and senseless driving, due to a lack of sorely needed safe fundamental driving techniques and skills.
Simply put, a driver deprived of the defensive driving skills is ill-equipped to deal with the rigorous demands of safe driving, skills that can only be learned and assimilated by taking or attending a Defensive Driving Course. Consequently, he/she drives for self without due regard for his/her safety and that of passengers, fellow motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. A danger to one’s self and society.
Ways to take the Defensive Driving Course
There are 2 ways to take a Defensive Driving Course:
1.- By being physically present in the traditional classroom for at least 6 hours, or
2.- By an Alternate Delivery Method, i.e. internet for at least 320 minutes, or other Department of Motor Vehicle– DMV approved method. The Alternate Method of Delivery is not available for motorcycle safety/prevention courses (classroom setting option only).
God and Goddess bless the internet! (Sorry if you are an atheist. Even the internet needed a creator or inventor: Al Gore) lol!
Thanks to the wonders of technology (internet), you need not drag yourself physically any longer (unless you want to) to a classroom setting to complete a State or DMV approved Defensive Driving Course. All you need is internet access, computer, headset and time (at least 320 minutes) to satisfy the requirements of the State or DMV approved Defensive Driving Course and start saving a ton of cash (10% minimum) on your insurance premium (bill), with sharpened and enhanced (superior) driving skills, and up to 4 points reduction (if eligible) as a bonus.
The process is simple.
- Register and complete the Defensive Driving Course online. Upon completion of course, a certificate of completion is mailed to you, and DMV is electronically notified.
- Point reduction is applied to your driving record if eligible.
- Fax or mail the certificate of completion to your insurance company for application of discount (10% minimum) to your insurance policy.
- Bonus: Sharpened driving skills. Unlike reckless drivers (those who fail to take the Defensive Driving Course), you are no longer a danger to yourself and fellow motorists, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.
Parents, before you put your precious kids (teenagers or young adults) behind the wheel of a car, make sure they are armed with the quintessential knowledge of a Defensive Driving Course which, when implemented and adhered to, can potentially save lives.
What’s in it for you, as parents?
- 10% off insurance policy for 3 consecutive years.
- Point(s) (up to 4) off driving record, if eligible.
- Avoidance of a dreaded phone call advising you of your kids’ involvement in a life-threatening or fatal accident, which could have been avoided, had they been properly trained and versed in the art and practice of safe driving that only a Defensive Driving Course can inculcate.
- Lack of experience and untested driving skills, when it comes to motoring, can be as deadly as ignorance. The NSC reports: “About 10 teens died each day in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2009”. Graduated Driver Licensing is part of a comprehensive plan to prevent and lessen the impact of that scourge.
Reckless driving may lead to this:
Scrutinize and examine closely the illustrative tables below to drive home the point and argument in favor of the Defensive Driving Course.
Where to take the Defensive driving Course
Resources coming soon.
* The math behind the Defensive Driving Course’s astronomical ROI explained
For illustration’s sake, let’s use the last row of the above table ($25.00, $2500.00, $250.00, $250.00, $250.00, 3000%)
- Initial Investment: $25.00
- Gross Cumulative ROI: $750.00 ($250.00 X 3 = $750.00)
- Net Cumulative ROI: $725.00 ($750.00 – $25.00 = $725.00)
- Rate of Return On Investment (Expressed as Percentage of Initial Investment): 3000% ($725 / $25.00 = 30)100 = 3000% over a 3-year period.
Insult to your intelligence
Now, let us invest the same amount ($25.00) in a bank’s 3-year CD, with a rate of 1.150 (compounded daily), and an APY* of 1.157%. Well, your intelligence has been challenged enough lately, let’s not insult it any further. The tables below speak for themselves.
* The math behind the Certificate of Deposit’s anemic ROI explained
- Initial Deposit: $25.00
- Gross Cumulative ROI: $0.88
- Net Cumulative ROI: -$24.12 ($0.88-$25.00)
- Rate of Return On Investment (Expressed as Percentage of Initial Investment): 3.52% ($0.88/$25.00 = 0.0352) 100 = 3.52% over a 3-year period.
*CD: Certificate of Deposit
Let’s compare and contrast both investments (Certificate of Deposit-CD vs Defensive Driving Course- DDC) and their respective ROI, using the last row of Benefits of Defensive Driving Course‘s table (1st table) for illustrative purposes. (rate and Defensive Driving Course‘s ROI will vary depending on your insurance premium)
* II: Initial Investment
In light of this rather revealing contrasting comparison, one needs not be a rocket scientist to draw the enlightened, enlightening and eye-opening conclusion: An investment in a Defensive Driving Course, compared to one in a CD, yields almost an infinite rate of return.
Furthermore, a Defensive Driving Course‘s Total ROI ranging from 980% – 3000% (depending on your insurance premium) provides an edge (hedge) against inflation, whereas the CD’s measly Total ROI 3.52% does not. In fact, when today’s inflation rate (3.6%) and taxes are taken into account, the CD’s meager rate (1.1505%) and APY (1.157%) constitute respectively negative rates of ROI.
* Only the inflation rate is taken into consideration. Tax rates are omitted, because tax brackets vary among taxpayers.
In light of these statistical analysis, the CD stands for Certificate of Depreciation, as opposed to a profitable investment vehicle, i.e. the Defensive Driving Course*.
Noteworthy: The CD is FDIC-insured. The Defensive Driving Course is not.
The last time we checked, in order to earn that insulting negative rate of return on a CD, a minimum investment of $500-10,000 was required; only a handful (very few) of banks offered a 0 minimum deposit for a 1-year CD at lesser rates (1.120%-1.140%) compounded daily.
Now, how much more of a beating over the head can you take to prompt you to take action, i.e., sign up or register for a Defensive Driving Course to save a ton of money on your insurance bill, along with point reduction and better driving skills, if you have not already done so?
Go ahead, take a Defensive Driving Course and become the next millionaire,we mean “thousandaire” or “hundredaire”, in terms of savings on your insurance premium and sharpened driving skills.
If you still wondering or debating whether to invest $25.00 in a Certificate of Deposit or a Defensive Driving Course, the pie charts below will make your decision a no-brainer.
The debate is over. We don’t know about you, but we like the Defensive Driving Course’s** pie chart better.
Happy motoring! Happy and safe driving!
- Education and Technical Assistance Program: A Motor Carrier’s Guide to Improving Highway Safety
- Commercial Truck and Bus Safety: The Role of Safety Culture in Preventing Commercial Vehicle Crashes
- Seniors Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes: OSHA 15-Passenger Van Safety Frequently Asked Questions &
- Recommendations for Safe Operation
- New Defensive Driving Information Highway: National Safety Council
- 20 Tips for Safe Driving
Would you like to save a bundle on your phone bill(s)? If so (Who wouldn’t in today’s economy?), please read: