My Defensive Driving Course Was the Best Thing That Could Have Happened To Me

Let’s just come out and say it – you messed up. You overslept your alarm and were rushing to get to work on time for the big meeting, and you would have made it until an officer sitting around the bend caught you speeding. It was the first time you’ve ever been pulled over. What’s the big deal? You went to court, but the judge showed no leniency. And so here you are, trying to find a way to take care of a court order and meet your requirement. You just want to get this over with.

Sound familiar? I can relate.

My Story

The above situation happened to me. I was a sophomore in college, and after attending a baseball game, I was on my way home. It was around midnight. There was no one on the road, and there was no one between me and the red light a few hundred yards ahead of me. The light turned green, and I punched it. I was young and naïve. Who was it going to harm?

Well, there was an officer sitting with his lights off. I didn’t see him. But believe me, he saw me. He was shooting fish in a barrel – and I gave him the ammunition. I was pulled over doing 21 mph over the limit. I was shaking in my boots. I was respectful to the officer, who apparently could tell based on how shaky my voice was that this was the first time I had been pulled over. He explained that he was sympathetic, but because I was 20 mph over and he had it on his radar gun, his hands were tied and there was nothing he could do.

The worst part? Home was right around the block. I was about 47 seconds away. Man, did I feel dumb.

The Court Case

I went to court, still naïve. I was a good kid, and this was an honest mistake. I had a perfect driving record, and surely this would not be a problem. I wore a suit and shaved. I would explain what happened, and I would be let off with a slap on the wrist. It was annoying that I had to spend a few hours in court, but other than that, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Unfortunately, the judge decided to throw a wrench into my plan. When my name was called, I admitted guilt and explained the situation. The judge saw right through me and didn’t look past the numbers. He saw a young kid who had only had his license for a short amount of time aggressively driving 20+ mph over the speed limit. If this wasn’t corrected, this would become a pattern. I was putting lives at risk, and I was lucky that he was going to be as lenient as he was. I was sentenced to Probation before Judgment, which essentially meant that as long as I did not receive any moving violations in the next two years, this incident would be forgotten. Ok, that’s fine. That’s doable.

And I needed to complete a Driver Improvement Program – essentially my state’s version of a defensive driving course.

Wait – what? No, no. No way.

I was MAD! What a waste of time this was going to be! I made a mistake and I knew that I did wrong. Now I had to waste my time going to this course. I knew it was going to be boring. And I figured it would be a waste of money, too. But I wanted to keep my license, so I had no choice but to do it. I might as well get it over with. So I did. I went to class, took the tests, and paid the fee. It was done.

My Defensive Driving Course Worked

This all happened about five years ago. When writing this post, I started to think about that entire situation. I honestly had forgotten about it. But looking back, I realized how influential that time was to me. I think it was more subliminal, and I didn’t quite realize how important it was until now reflecting on it. But my defensive driving course was honestly the best thing that could have happened to me. Without me even realizing it, it changed my entire perspective as a driver. I personally don’t have the greatest memory, but it’s funny that I can recall the information we discussed during the course. I loved to speed when driving, but the one thing that truly stuck out with me was the breakdown between how much time you save for every additional mph you go (Hint: it’s not much) versus the danger you put yourself in for every additional mph you go. I retained that information for a reason, whether I want to admit it or not.

I know you’re likely reading this because you stumbled into this website while looking for a defensive driving course to fulfill your court-mandated requirement. You want to get it over with and move on with your life. If nothing else, I ask that you approach your course with an open mind. Even if you only take ONE thing from your course, take that one thing and implement it into your daily driving habits.

It may not be easy to accept, but being sentenced to a defensive driving course is done-so for a reason. To put it bluntly, that reason is to save your life before you make a mistake that severely impacts your or another driver’s life. Please don’t take that opportunity for granted. Even though the course may be a nuisance and inconvenience, dedicate yourself to the program while taking it. I can assure you that it will be worth your while, and you will not regret it.

Why Take Online Defensive Driving Courses

There are a lot of choices when it comes to traffic schools, and these days, online courses are the best. Sure, five years ago, going to a traditional traffic school might work best. But many things have happened (like a pandemic). And, as technology advanced and upgraded, so did the quality of online defensive driving courses.

If you are wondering why you should take online defensive driving courses instead of going to a traditional traffic school, here are several reasons why:

More Convenient

Literally nothing is more convenient than being able to do your classes on your own time and at your own pace. With online traffic schools, you just need to pull out your phone or laptop or tablet – and voila! – you’re good to go. You don’t need a special classroom. You can take your lessons while waiting at the bus stop or sitting down at a coffee shop.

More Affordable

Not only is online traffic school more convenient, but it is also more affordable. The entire course is cheaper than ones from traditional traffic schools. And since you don’t have to travel to take your lessons, you also get to save on transportation. Life is hard, so you should save every penny you can.

24/7 Support

Taking classes in a classroom allows you to ask questions only while in class. Most online traffic schools, however, offer 24/7 chat support so you can ask away and get feedback, even in the middle of the night.

Money-Back Guarantee

Most traffic schools offer a money-back guarantee for their students, with terms and conditions, of course. But if you’re stingy like me, you’d want to take a money-back guarantee instead of just spending your money away. Traditional traffic schools don’t really offer this, but online ones do.

Before you enroll in the first online traffic school that pops up on your Google search results, do some research first. Look up if they offer courses for your state and look carefully through the benefits offered so you don’t waste your money. You can also check reviews from previous students to know which school has a method that works best for you. Several schools like Aceable, GoToTrafficSchool, iDriveSafely, and Improv Traffic School have received good reviews. You should definitely check these schools out!