Unlike a driver's ed course that is designed for new drivers, defensive driving and traffic school courses are for experienced drivers. Both can help minimize or avoid the penalties of certain traffic violations. Most auto insurers are also willing to provide a discounted rate if you’ve completed traffic school or a defensive driving course.
But how do they differ? What are the benefits of taking a defensive driving course? And when are you required to attend a traffic school in California? You’ve come to the right place for the answers. In this article, we explain the difference between defensive driving and traffic school.
What Is Defensive Driving and Who Should Take a Defensive Driving Course?
A defensive driving course teaches advanced driving skills. Whether you’re a new or experienced driver, taking a defensive driving course is a smart move. It is one of the best investments you can make to protect yourself and other road users from serious or fatal car crashes.
You’ll learn how to anticipate potential threats and take the appropriate action when unexpected incidents occur. Remember, you can’t change the behavior of other drivers. You can only control your driving and adjust it according to what’s around you.
Because defensive driving is proactive rather than reactive, it makes you more alert, helps you drive more safely, and helps you avoid collisions.
Defensive driving also teaches you how to react calmly. When danger presents itself on the road, most people panic and overreact. For example, when hydroplaning, many drivers slam on the brakes or oversteer to regain control of the car, but doing so only makes the situation worse. A defensive driving course teaches you how to handle situations like these correctly.
What Is Traffic School and When Is It Required?
Traffic school provides a refresher course in traffic laws and safe driving principles. Most drivers who attend traffic school are instructed to do so by a California court when they get a traffic ticket.
In California, certain traffic violations add unwelcome points to your public driving record and result in costly fines. Attending a California traffic school will mask penalty points so they are not visible on your record. This means insurance companies won’t be able to see it and hike your premium. If, however, you go against the court ruling and don’t attend traffic school and your insurance company picks up on it, your premium is likely to increase.
As for fines — unfortunately, that still stands. You will still have to pay your fine even if you attended traffic school.
Not all traffic violations are eligible for traffic school. In California, you are not eligible for traffic school if you’re cited for any of the following:
Non-moving violations, like parking.
A violation that requires a compulsory court appearance.
Taking the California Traffic School Online Course with IDriveSafely.Com
Finding time to attend In-class traffic school lessons can be a hassle. Fortunately, there is another way. Thanks to the Internet, you have the option of taking a California traffic school course online. No need to give up your evenings or Saturday mornings to go to class.
With IDriveSafely.com, you can complete the traffic school online course in the comfort of your home and at a time that suits your schedule. The course takes only eight hours to finish, and you have the choice between a text-based or video course. Our video course is popular as it’s faster to complete than the text-based course.
Once you finish the course, you’ll take an exam consisting of 25 multiple-choice questions. To pass, you need to score 70%. We’ll then send the proof of completion to the DMV so your ticket can be masked.
IDriveSafely is a state-approved driving school, and our California traffic school course adheres to the state requirements. For less than $25, you can fulfill the obligations of your court ruling and keep your driving record clear.