Online defensive driving courses, these four words are not always taken positively.
You were speeding off into the sunset toward your intended destination, and while blaring your favorite song and singing at the top of your lungs, you failed to notice the car to your left begin shifting into your lane.
You saw it at the last minute and had to swerve to avoid hitting this careless driver.
Shaken and sitting on the side of the road you wonder what you could have done to anticipate the other driver’s actions better.
The purpose of this post is to help you choose the best defensive driving course based on your specific needs.
What are Defensive Driving Courses?
Taking a Defensive Driving course is an important step to learn how we can consciously reduce the dangers that are associated with driving.
With so many options available, it is important to find the best defensive driving course for your specific needs.
The course helps you learn how to anticipate possibly dangerous scenarios and plan ahead for the unexpected.
Defensive driving gives you the tools to be able to always expect the worst from other drivers, and never be caught off guard by their negligent or distracting actions.
Reasons for Taking Defensive Driving Courses
There are several reasons why drivers attend defensive driving courses, some are voluntary, but most often than not, they are forced to do so for different motivations.
Traffic Ticket Dismissal
Probably the most common reason for completing a defensive driver course is because you are booked for a traffic violation. In most states, if you finish this course (in addition to paying the fine and providing support documentation), you can dismiss the ticket, or reduce points in your driving record. These rules vary per state, and decisions are dependent on your issuing court. So for best practice, always seek approval from your court before enrolling in any defensive driving course for ticket dismissal.
Get Discounts on Insurance
Another popular reason for completing a defensive driving course is if you want to save up on insurance costs. Insurance providers tend to offer discounts depending on your driving record. Keeping it clean means you’re less likely to get involved in a traffic accident, so less cost for the insurance company.
Most employers, especially if you are applying for a job that requires driving, will look into your driving record for background checking. A clean driving record means a higher chance of getting hired, so taking a defensive driving course to reduce points in your driving record is beneficial to some drivers (if point removal is allowed in your state).
Lastly, drivers also take defensive driving courses voluntarily to familiarize themselves with the changing traffic rules and regulations, as well as the policy of safe driving. This is especially true for immigrants, or for people who have been living in a different country for a while before coming back.
Who I Think Offers the Best Defensive Driving Course
As a former driving instructor, I have quite a bit of experience dealing with the companies that run online defensive driving courses.
I’ve even helped to create various online training courses in the driving industry for truck drivers, so I do know what I’m talking about when it comes to these online defensive driving schools.
If you want the short answer, I’m always a fan of this online traffic school. I’ll get into more detail about why in my list below, but I just wanted to give a quick answer for those of you looking for a recommendation in a hurry.
Finding The Best Defensive Driving Course Based On Your Specific Needs
In some states, there are literally hundreds of online defensive driving courses available.
Unfortunately, most of those courses are ridiculously bad. As in, they are run by a single person out of their home and the defensive driving course hasn’t been updated in many years, kind of bad.
Trust me, some of the defensive driving programs out there have very fancy-looking websites, but once you get started and need help with all the bugs and errors you’re receiving, good luck!
So, with that said, there are several options available that you can go with based on your specific needs. Hopefully, this list will help you narrow it down.
The BEST Overall Option: iDriveSafely Defensive Driving Course
iDriveSafely has been around for a couple of decades and more than 5,000,000 people have gone through their courses to reduce points or dismiss traffic tickets. It is run by a legit company with multiple offices in California and Texas. They have full-time programmers who keep the course updated, a full-time 24/7/365 customer support staff, and they don’t want to do anything to screw up their positive ratings or A+ Better Business Bureau rating. They have a money-back guarantee and pretty much everyone passes. I’ve been through it myself and the course is super easy.
Now, I’m not saying just because I think they are the best defensive driving course on the internet that you will have a fun and exciting time. The truth is, no defensive driving course is going to be fun and iDriveSafely is no exception, but the point is they are a legit company with a legit updated course that works across all devices and they provide real customer support if something goes wrong.
The Least Painful Option: Improv Comedy Defensive Driving Course
The first time I saw the MyImprov Comedy Defensive Driving Course, I wasn’t sure if it was a joke. Turns out, it’s the real deal.
The MyImprov Comedy Defensive Driving program is owned and operated by the nationwide Improv Comedy Club chain. They first started off by offering traffic schools and defensive driving courses in local communities long before online defensive driving programs even existed. As technology progressed, MyImprov moved the majority of its defensive driver training online.
Many people would consider that MyImprov’s the best defensive driving course you can take online simply due to its entertainment factor.
MyImprov calls their teaching approach “edutainment” where they try to mix entertainment with education. They fully understand that taking a defensive driving course online or in a classroom sucks. There’s just no fun way to learn about the rules of the road. However, they do a pretty darn good job of keeping things fun, interesting, and entertaining while you actually learn a few things.
So once again, this isn’t some defensive driving course that’s being run out of someone’s basement. This is a real legit company and it is one of the most popular choices in states where they are approved.
The Cheapest Option: Go To Traffic School
Go To Traffic School might not have the budget for Hollywood comedians for instructors and they might not have all the “bells and whistles” that come with a lot of other online defensive driving courses, this is a great option for those who are on a budget.
Maybe you don’t care if the course is a bit outdated and dry. Maybe you don’t care if they offer live chat customer support and a team of programmers. Maybe you just want to sign up for the absolute cheapest online defensive driving class you can find to take care of your ticket. If that’s the case, Go To Traffic School is the choice for you.
The biggest differentiator of Go To Traffic School is that they offer the lowest price guarantee. They guarantee to be the cheapest defensive driving course online and if you find one cheaper, they will match or beat the price (note: you probably won’t find one that’s cheaper).
I don’t have a whole lot of positive things to say about the coursework itself and that’s why it isn’t listed as the best defensive driving course on this list, but they are entirely legitimate with millions of people having gone through their coursework over 20+ years. They are also certified in more states than any other defensive driving course I listed here. To see if your state is included, click here.
The Most Updated Option: Aceable Defensive Driving
The Aceable Defensive Driving Course is arguably the best defensive driving course you can sign up for. So, why did I put it so low on this list? Well, Aceable is a newcomer to the defensive driving course world. As such, they simply aren’t certified in many states yet, but that list is growing. To see if your state has been added to their certified list, you can check here.
Without a doubt, the biggest complaint about online defensive driving courses is how outdated, clunky, and glitchy they are. You’re not going to get that with Aceable. This is a startup company that received more than $5,000,000 in funding to create the best and most modern online driver’s ed and defensive driving courses.
They succeeded with a bang. Aceable goes above and beyond the call of duty by creating completely different versions for each individual device to ensure there are no glitches (you can change devices anytime), they have the most modern learning platform to include video, graphics, images, interactive menus/quizzes, etc., and you’ll fall in love with their mascot Ace.
They also provide customer support through all sorts of ways including things like Facebook messenger and other unique ways to get in touch.
If they were approved in more states, Aceable would quite possibly be listed here as the best defensive driving course you can take online. Feel free to see if they are available in your state and if so, I wouldn’t even hesitate to sign up. Once they get certified in more states, I’ll be moving this up on the list.
Are There Any Other Legit Options To Go With?
Honestly, yes, there are many online defensive driving schools you can sign up with and my list is not all extensive of the best defensive driving courses available.
There are other good ones out there, but I don’t have experience with them. I’m hopeful that by providing you with the multiple options above, you’ll be able to find the best defensive driving course that matches your specific requirements and desires.
Everyone is different, so by providing multiple options, I think one of the above-listed defensive driving courses will work pretty well for you.
And of course, feel free to do your own research as well as comment here about your experiences with various defensive driving courses.
What are the Benefits of Online Driving Courses?
Many added benefits are associated with taking online driving courses, opposed to classroom instruction. When you can take the course from the comfort of your home, in your pajamas, with your coffee at hand, you can take it at your convenience. This added convenience means that, unlike classroom instruction, you can start and stop the course at your leisure. In a classroom setting, you don’t have a special rewind button or pause button you can use when you need to take a break from the endless bits of information you will have to soak in.
Online you can pace your learning style and adapt to the best way you know how to learn. You can take your time and redo sections as you please. Being able to pace yourself is helpful if you need a little extra time with a particular area. You also have the option to adjust your audio and visual settings and review any other information before you have to answer any questions about the material you had to read.
People take defensive driving courses for many reasons. Maybe you have a few too many points on your license, and you want to reduce that number, you can also get discounts on your car insurance, and learn all the various ways that people can become distracted while driving and what to do to help keep your focus and remain alert. It is also an excellent refresher on the laws of the road for your particular state and the consequences that will arise if any of these laws are broken.
How do you Find the Best Driving Course Online?
There are many different things to consider before you choose the best defensive driving course online for you. You will want to make sure that you are signing up to take a state-approved course. The driving courses are built according to the laws of each state. These laws can vary from state to state, so as long as you are sure that the course you have chosen is approved in your state, you can begin reaping all of the benefits and knowledge.
Most online driving courses can last anywhere between four and six hours so make sure you can set the time aside to complete it promptly. If you are looking to take the course to help dismiss a traffic violation, you will have to request permission from the court whether in person or through the mail. You get this agreement to ensure that taking the course will be a viable way to dismiss your ticket. All approved driving course requests will have to be completed before your scheduled court date, and you will be required to show the court your certificate of completion at your appearance.
If you are looking to take the course to lower your insurance premiums, you will always want to check with your particular insurance company to be sure that they will allow you to complete the course with the primary intent of lowering your rates. Once done, they will want you to mail or fax in your certificate of completion so that they can adjust your insurance premiums.
Simply search defensive driving courses online, to find the best course available for you in your state.
What Can I Expect to See in an Online Driving Driving Course?
Online defensive driving courses teach you several things and cover an array of different topics and statistics to make sure you are fully informed and aware of all the potential risks and dangers that are associated with driving. You will learn how to plan ahead for the unexpected, learn how to control your speed while driving, learn how to respect other drivers that you are sharing the road with, and find out how to handle certain conditions due to inclement weather or unstable road conditions.
While even the best online defensive driving course may not always be fun and can end up being long and tedious, you have to remember that you will be gaining knowledge that is meant to keep you and others safe. Other topics that can be covered during your course include safety equipment, the dynamics of a crash, State traffic laws, accident prevention, and different techniques you can use when thrown into different situations.
Yes, I know we just covered a lot of information in a very short amount of time, but you can now consider yourself well informed on the various headings involved with online defensive driving. You are now armed with the what, why, and the how of all things course-related.
You don’t want to look at these defensive driving courses as a waste of your time or money because you have the potential to not only save time and money later on from avoiding tickets and accidents, you could also save your life or the life of another driver that may not have taken the course like you did. If you can, find the best defensive driving course that suits your needs, get it done, and move on with your life.