Your driving record has been spotless for years.
But it finally happened, you received your first traffic ticket. For many, this stressful and often annoying situation inspires most people to pay the traffic fine and move on.
This isn’t always the best idea.
Not only will a traffic ticket disrupt your pristine record, but it can also affect other areas, such as your auto insurance.
Another option is to take a traffic school course. Attending a DMV traffic school can help dismiss your fine, clean your driving record, and keep your auto insurance costs low.
The benefits of taking a traffic school course don’t end there. Here are the three biggest takeaways you’ll gain from traffic school.
What Is a Traffic School?
Traffic schools or defensive driving schools offer driving courses for experienced drivers. The courses are open to drivers of all ages but typically designed for more experienced drivers.
While newer drivers can take a traffic course, some people may recommend waiting until the new driver gains more driving experience. Either way, taking a defensive driving class will benefit a driver.
Many people who take a traffic school course are doing so to erase a driving ticket or fine from their driving record. The course provides drivers with a refresher on basic traffic laws and safe driving.
What sets these schools apart from a driver’s education course is they skip the fundamentals of driving and focus on how to be a defensive driver.
Defensive driving is a set of skills designed to help people avoid accidents on the road. They involve improving your observation, focus, and identifying potential road hazards. You’ll learn how to quickly make driving decisions based on road conditions and your environment.
These skills will make you a safer driver and lower your risk of getting into an accident.
Takeaway One: Saves You Money
Will taking a traffic school course save you money?
Yes, traffic schools can save you money now and in the future.
When you receive a ticket for a traffic violation, the ticket requires you to pay a fee of a certain amount. These fees are often hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars based on the traffic violation.
The traffic violation will remain on your driving record for several years. Those with traffic violations will experience a rise in insurance premiums. Insurance companies believe drivers with traffic violations are at higher risk for an accident.
Depending on the violation, your county or state may suspend your driver’s license. Potential and current employers will see the traffic violation on your record through a background check. Certain traffic violations may prevent you from getting hired at a specific job.
Don’t like the sound of paying expensive fines and higher insurance premiums? No one does, which is why many people choose to take a traffic school course instead.
Most courts will dismiss the traffic violations and fines from your driving record if you attend a traffic school course. Some courts may require you to attend the course depending on the severity of your traffic violation. Most states will require auto insurance companies to lower your insurance premiums upon completing the class.
If you want to save the most money and your record, invest in a defensive driving course.
Takeaway Two: Makes You a Better Driver
Becoming a better driver is the best way to improve your driving safety while minimizing your risk of receiving another traffic violation.
Defensive driving courses will teach you several key practices designed to improve your driving. These include:
- Improving your focus
- Avoiding distractions
- Remaining calm in stressful situations
- Improving your observation skills around your entire vehicle
- Identifying potential road hazards
- How to quickly adapt to a road hazard
- Never assume another driver’s intentions
- Vehicle safety features
- How to avoid accidents on the road
- Making safe decisions based on the road conditions
The defensive driving course will teach you how to reduce fatigue, stress, and anger while driving. This will help improve your decision-making skills and your overall driving. You’ll learn how to identify a potentially dangerous situation and avoid it if needed.
Other skills you’ll learn to become a better driver include keeping safe distances between you and other cars on the road. You’ll learn the benefits of driving at safe speeds and how your speed affects the severity of an accident.
From there, many defensive driving courses will dissect the events and consequences of an accident. The consequences will cover everything from personal injury to laws and determining who’s at fault.
Improving your driving skills will make the road a safer place for yourself, your family, and others driving on the road.
Takeaway Three: Improve Your Driving Etiquette
One of the leading causes of today’s car accidents is due poor driving etiquette.
Roadways are spaces shared by multiple drivers of all ages and experiences. Being aware of this will help you improve your driving etiquette.
Do you remember the last time you were driving on an on-ramp and no one on the highway would move over for you? Not only is this rude, but it makes merging into the lane more dangerous and stressful.
Proper driving etiquette focuses on how to be courteous to other drivers on the road. A few items covered in driving etiquette include:
- Using the left lane for passing
- Letting traffic into your lane without causing a traffic jam
- Yielding to other drivers, including pedestrians and cyclists
- Knowing when to stop
- Properly using your headlights
- Using your turn signals
- Learning the power of a hand wave
- Avoid tailgating
- Checking your blind spots
- Following speed limits
- Adapting your driving to different road conditions
- When to use the horn
- Pulling over for emergency vehicles
- Stay in your lane and only change lanes when needed
As you gain more driving experience, you’ll find this driving etiquette list will grow. By simply being a polite and considerate driver, you’ll prevent negative situations from escalating. This will reduce accidents and make driving more enjoyable.
What to Look for in a Traffic School
Have you decided attending a traffic school course is right for you? Great! The next step is to find the right traffic school courses.
Traffic schools may offer several different defensive driving classes. Most give you the flexibility of choosing the best learning method, such as online or in-person:
Your work schedule and learning needs will determine the best classroom experience.
Do you prefer learning on your own have a busy schedule? You’ll enjoy the convenience of an online defensive driving school course.
Do you prefer a traditional learning environment? Many traffic schools may offer in-person courses. You’ll need to research each school to find which ones offer learning methods best suited to your needs.
Traffic school courses can save you money but they aren’t free. When looking for the best price traffic school, you’ll need to do a little research.
The first thing to check with each traffic school is the cost. From there, check out the delivery method and type of curriculum offered. Due to convenience, online courses tend to cost less since they’re easily accessible and don’t require a classroom and a teacher.
Some schools may cut costs by offering very general or limited curriculum.
Reviews are a great way to learn about a traffic school. Previous drivers will often write honest reviews regarding the school and the curriculum. You can gain insights into costs and whether the traffic is reputable.
Don’t only look for traffic schools and courses that are easy to pass. In most cases, you won’t gain the valuable skills needed to help you become a better driver.
The school and curriculum must meet your state’s guidelines and requirements to count as a legitimate traffic school. Check with your state to ensure the school meets any state-mandated requirements.
States and municipalities have different requirements regarding the credibility of a traffic school. Look for state-approved traffic schools in your area to ensure they offer the right curriculum for your location.
How to Qualify for a Traffic School Class
Not everyone can take a defensive driving class. There are several qualifications you’ll need to meet:
- Hold a valid driver’s license
- Traffic violations weren’t received while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You weren’t driving a commercial vehicle
- You didn’t receive a misdemeanor
- You haven’t attended a traffic school in the past 18 months
These qualifications may vary from state to state and the type of traffic violation you received. Those attending the course to lower their insurance rates should contact their insurance agent to make sure you’re eligible.
How to Find the Lowest Price Traffic School
Attending a traffic school is a great investment for improving your driving abilities.
The three biggest takeaways you’ll gain from taking a defensive driving course offer you valuable benefits. You’ll save your hard-earned money, improve your driving, and make driving a more enjoyable experience for yourself and others on the road.
The first step is to find the lowest price traffic school in your area. Select your city to find the best cost-effective traffic schools that are near you today!