There is no question that drivers, both new and “experienced”, across the United States enjoy their cars and the conveniences that they provide. Ninety-five percent of American households own a car and 85 percent of people travel to work by car.
Driving is our connection to the world, and we take pride in our ability to go wherever we want, whenever we want. But a less-than-perfect driving record can take away that freedom, or at least make driving a much more expensive option for us.
Luckily, traffic school offers a way to improve your driving record and avoid paying out significant fines and expensive insurance premiums as a result. And, thanks to the availability of online classes, completing these kinds of defensive driving courses is a lot easier, cheaper and more flexible than it used to be.
Here we take a look at the many benefits of completing traffic school classes online.
1. Reduce or Eliminate Ticket Fines
You made a mistake while driving–it happens. But, mistakes behind the wheel can be expensive, what with court fees, higher insurance premiums and other unforeseen costs, as well as the traffic ticket fine itself.
For this reason, most people who go to traffic school for speeding tickets or other traffic violations do so to save themselves money. In many states, traffic courts may be willing to reduce or eliminate ticket fines if you agree to complete a driving course.
Before you have to appear in court, contact the court clerk to find out whether a defensive driving course is a possibility in your situation. If it is then an online course is often one of the best ways to save yourself some money on the fine you’re facing. Just make sure whatever course you take is recognized by the state in which you were given the fine.
2. Improve Your Driving Record
You wouldn’t want a split-second lapse in judgment to tarnish your good driving record forever. Or maybe your driving record is already looking less-than-perfect thanks to a few errors in the past.
Depending on your state and what its laws allow, a defensive driving course could help you improve your driving record. Many states allow drivers to prevent or off-set points from their driving record if they complete a state-compliant course, so it’s definitely worth finding out about.
3. Avoid a Suspension
If you’ve clocked up a few points and haven’t acted to improve your driving record, there’s a real possibility that you could soon be facing suspension of your driving privileges.
Most states have limits on the number of points you can accumulate on your license prior to assessing surcharges and penalties. Drivers with too many citations within a set time frame can face having their license suspended.
Most of us need to be able to drive to continue with our everyday personal and working lives. As such, a driving suspension spells disaster, and could even result in you losing your job.
If you’re skating on thin ice with a few points on your license, improving your driving record by completing a defensive driving course could offer a solution. To find this out, consult your local traffic enforcement agency.
4. Cut Insurance Premiums
Another downside of an imperfect driving record is that insurance companies use your documented driving history as part of the formula to determine your car insurance rates. Just one violation can often lead to a substantial increase in your annual premiums.
But, some insurance providers offer a discount to drivers who successfully complete traffic school or an approved defensive driving course. This means that you can keep those price hikes to a minimum, or avoid them altogether.
In fact, even if you already have a good driving record, you may be able to get an insurance discount for taking traffic school classes. Many insurers offer a 5-10% discount for completing a course, and most states require that insurance companies provide some kind of discount as an incentive.
You might not always be able to find out about these discounts when you’re shopping for insurance online. As such, it can be worth calling insurance providers to find out about the potential discounts they offer for completing a traffic course.
5. Better Employment Possibilities
The benefits of attending online traffic school classes aren’t limited to your personal life.
Completing a defensive driving course can also have advantages for your professional life too.
If your job involves driving company vehicles, completing additional driver training such as a defensive driving course could help you secure a coveted promotion or a higher paycheck.
The same goes if you’re looking to change jobs. Having an excellent driving record and a defensive driving course under your belt could mean the difference between landing a new job and missing out.
And, if you’re facing a fine or points on your license, completing traffic school classes could also help you avoid problems with your current employer.
Due to the liability that employers assume when their employees drive as part of their job, employers and potential employers are within their rights to obtain your driving record. And, employers are also within their rights to require employees to take driving classes. Especially if they have a poor driving record or have violated the company driving policy.
6. Enhance Your Driving Skills
Even if your driving record is immaculate and you’re happy with your current insurance premium, it’s also worth taking a driving safety school class to enhance your driving skills.
These days there are more and more driving distractions causing a growing number of fatal accidents each year. As such, it’s vital to ensure your driving ability is the best it can be. After all, being an alert and focused driver is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones when you’re behind the wheel.
As well as getting you up to speed on your state’s traffic regulations, courses provide hazard prevention training and help to sharpen your reaction times. This kind of training can prove invaluable if you find yourself in a dangerous situation on the road.
While it’s an often-overlooked reason to complete a defensive driving course, becoming a better driver could be the best reason of all to enroll in traffic school classes.
7. Faster Than Attending Driving Safety School
We’ve explained the many benefits of completing traffic school classes. But there are several further benefits if you choose to take an online course.
The first of these is speed. If you go to traffic school as part of a traditional classroom course, you’ll have to sit through hours of boring lectures. Although courses can be longer, they tend to last between four and eight hours. This means spending the best part of an entire day in the classroom.
Online courses are quicker without a doubt. Some states may still require you to spend the specified number of hours in the course to encourage drivers to utilize the time to improve their driving knowledge. In situations like this, you won’t be able to skip through and answer the questions in five minutes.
But you won’t have to endure the typical delays and distractions that can hold up traditional classes. As such, you’re sure to complete the same amount of material much faster. Not to mention, you’ll save yourself travel time too.
8. Convenience and Flexibility
Another of the many benefits of online school is the flexibility and convenience offered.
If you go to traditional traffic school classes, you have to be physically present for the entire class or set of classes. This allows for little flexibility as to when and where you complete the course and means you have to free up large blocks of time.
For most people, this presents a challenge. Few people have a flexible enough schedule to allow them to take hours off work, and weekend courses might not be available in your area. As a result, the rigidity of traditional traffic school classes prevents many people from accessing the range of benefits they offer.
In contrast, online traffic schools allow you to work at your own speed. You can complete courses whenever you have some spare time and can stop and pick up where you left off. Plus, as everything is saved to your account, you have the ability to change devices at anytime and access the course on your smartphone, tablet or computer whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you.
9. State Compliant
If you’re concerned that online traffic school classes aren’t seen as a valid equivalent to in-person courses, then you can rest assured.
Online driving courses follow the same protocol, use the same text and videos and provide the same certification as classroom traffic courses. The best online traffic schools are licensed with state governments and customize their methods and material to follow the requirements of each state.
For example, a driver needing a Texas approved course will take a six-hour course with unit timers that prevent you from moving ahead to quickly but it also includes an hour of breaks. However, if the driver was completing traffic school approved by the CA DMV, they will need to complete 8 hours of material but there are no timers to slow them down.
In this case, both classes will be compliant in the appropriate state as long as they are licensed to offer the course.
The bottom line is that online classes follow the exact same guidelines and provide the same benefits as a traditional traffic class that are also approved by the local jurisdiction, just in a much more efficient way.
One traffic school course also tends to be a lot cheaper than conventional driving schools. Prices do vary from state to state and across programs, but online options are almost always less expensive. And, being able to complete these courses from the comfort of your own home means that you’ll also save money on travel, parking, and other costs.
The Benefits of Online Traffic School
All traffic school courses offer a wealth of benefits, from an improved driving record to lower insurance premiums.
But, the added advantages that online defensive driving courses provide make this method of learning much more efficient and accessible. As a result, many more people can enjoy the benefits of these valuable driving courses.