Driving in New York is not for the faint-hearted. Congested roads and aggressive drivers can be a dangerous combination. Traffic violations and collisions are an everyday occurrence. According to the New York Police Department’s monthly traffic statistics, there were 9,589 motor vehicle collisions in August 2020 alone.
To improve driving safety, the state encourages drivers to take a defensive driving course and offers some incentives if you do. Here’s everything you need to know about New York defensive driving courses and how it can benefit you.
What Does the New York Defensive Driving Course Cover?
A defensive driving course teaches you to spot road hazards, anticipate threats from other drivers, and react to these quickly to avoid an accident. You’ll also learn how to drive safely in bad weather and adjust your driving behavior when road conditions change unexpectedly.
I Drive Safely’s course includes eight chapters that take six hours to complete. You can do the course online and at your own pace, as long as you finish within 30 days. It covers the following topics:
New York traffic laws
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
The course is easy to follow with a quiz at the end of each chapter. To successfully complete the course, you must score 75% on each quiz. No final exam is required.
What Is PIRP and How Does New York’s Driver Violation Point System Work?
In an attempt to lower New York’s alarmingly high rate of traffic accidents, the DMV implemented a Driver Violation Point System. Drivers are subjected to a points demerit system when committing traffic violations.
Points are allocated according to the type of violation. For example, following a vehicle too closely (a common traffic violation in New York) will add four points to your record. Driving at 40 mph over the speed limit will add eleven points. Accumulating more than eleven points within an 18-month period may result in your license being suspended or revoked.
Most DMV-approved defensive driving courses in New York are linked to the state’s Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP). When taking a defensive driving course with a state-approved driving school like IDriveSafely.com, you’ll have access to PIRP benefits. These include lowering your traffic violations points and your insurance rate.
If you have a high number of points, you can repeat the course every 18 months to continue reducing your points. You can also take the course every three years to keep your insurance rate low.
What Are the Benefits of Taking a New York PIRP Defensive Driving Course?
When you receive a traffic ticket in New York, you can admit your wrongdoing and accept the consequences, which in most cases means paying a fine and having points added to your driving record.
Alternatively, you can plead not guilty and go to court to argue the case. Should you lose, you’ll have to pay court fees on top of your traffic fine and attorney fees if you hire one.
But there’s another option — signing up for a defensive driving course. Choosing to take a New York PIRP defensive driving course comes with the following benefits:
You can instantly drop four points off your driving record. If you’re nearing that eleven-point threshold, you can quickly reduce your points and avoid a possible license suspension in the future.
You can save 10% on your car insurance rate. Insurance companies like safe drivers, and a defensive driving course helps you become a safer driver. In New York, when you voluntarily complete a defensive driving course, it’s mandatory for your insurance company to apply the discount, provided you have no extenuating factors that disqualify you. When you finish the course, simply send your certificate of completion to your insurance company.
You’ll become a safer driver — undoubtedly, the most important benefit. Learning defensive driving techniques helps keep you, your family, and other drivers safe on the roads.
To enjoy these benefits, there are some criteria to be aware of.
To receive a points reduction, you must finish your PIRP course within 30 days. I Drive Safely automatically notifies the DMV after you’ve completed the course, so you won’t have to worry about missing the deadline.
Submit your certificate of completion to your insurance company within 90 days of completing the course to receive your rate discount immediately.
Ready to Begin Your New York Defensive Driving Course?
I Drive Safely’s online New York Defensive Driving PIRP Course is approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Choose between the text-based or video courses. Our video course is the most popular choice. Featuring 3-D animation, the course will help you learn in an engaging and entertaining way.
An online defensive driving course is more convenient and faster than attending in-class lessons. You’ll save time and gas, and you won’t have to battle New York’s busy traffic to attend lessons!