One characteristic every road driver in New York is expected to possess is the ability to ensure their safety and that of others, passengers and pedestrians included. This is why a lot of defensive driving courses have been made available online in New York.
Defensive driving courses, no doubt, are an important ingredient for every driver, and the ability to put them to good use is an added advantage.
It comes with its benefits too, from helping drivers make reasonable decisions while driving to helping them learn how to anticipate potential hazards and avoid accidents.
Over the years, as a result of the inconveniences and rigidity that come with “in-person” defensive driving classes, a lot of them have been moved online as courses particularly due to their convenience and flexibility.
So whether you are a new driver or an experienced one in New York, defensive driving courses can help you stay safe on the road. By taking them, you can improve your driving skills, save money on your car insurance, and reduce your risk of accidents and collisions.
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Table of Contents
What Is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a term used to refer to the skills and techniques used by drivers to stay safe and avoid collisions while driving on the road. It usually involves taking proactive measures to prevent road accidents and anticipate the potential hazards that come with driving on the road. It also involves making the correct evaluation of one’s driving environment and adjusting to it accordingly.
Contrary to popular belief, defensive driving is not only about adhering to traffic rules and regulations but also about taking cognizance of weather conditions, road conditions, pedestrians, passengers, and other road users while driving.
The Principles of Defensive Driving
There are various principles of defensive driving that guide drivers. Adherence to these principles ensures a reduction in the risk of accidents on the road. Some of the principles of defensive driving include;
Be Conscious of Your Surroundings
One of the principles of defensive driving is being aware of your surroundings. This involves paying rapid attention to potential hazards on the road, pedestrians, and other drivers. To do this, one has to abstain from activities like eating, talking on the phone, and texting while driving, as these activities can distract your attention and increase the risk of accidents.
Expect Potential Dangers
Another principle of defensive driving is being expectant of potential dangers. This has to do with taking note of dangers that can potentially cause accidents. Some of these dangers include poor weather conditions, other vehicles, pedestrians, and construction zones, among others.
When driving, always scan the road properly and make up your mind to act whenever any of the potential dangers mentioned arise.
Maintain a Good Distance From Other Vehicles
Maintaining a good distance from other vehicles means ensuring that a safe distance is kept between the vehicle in front of you and your vehicle. With an emphasis on the word “safe,” the distance should be enough to allow you to stop without causing any harm when the vehicle in front of you slows down or stops.
It is advisable that for every 10 mph of speed, a driver should keep a distance of one car length.
Drive at a Safe Speed
Driving at a safe speed is also a principle of defensive driving. This involves driving below the stated speed limit. It also involves driving at a speed that is safe for particular weather, traffic, or road condition.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Vehicle maintenance as a principle of defensive driving involves keeping your vehicle in the best of conditions and making sure that safety features like brakes, tires, indicator lights, headlights, brake lights, and windshield wipers, among others, are functioning properly.
Also, ensure you do a regular check-up on your vehicle to identify issues and fix them before they become a problem.
Defensive Driving Techniques
Since driving is an activity that calls for focus and attention, one is required to be conscious of their environment and be ready to take actions that will help avoid accidents or collisions.
Here are some defensive driving techniques every driver should be aware of to ensure their safety and the safety of other drivers as well as pedestrians.
Scan The Road Ahead
As an essential technique of defensive driving, scanning the road ahead involves looking out for dangers like obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles while driving. This keeps you alert and helps you avoid unexpected situations that may lead to danger. It also puts you in a position to react quickly to dangers that might come your way while driving.
Use Mirrors Effectively
Another technique for defensive driving is using mirrors effectively. One of the important functions of mirrors in vehicles is that they allow drivers to make the right decisions when driving by showing them other vehicles that are beside and behind them. When drivers use these mirrors effectively, they become more conscious of their surroundings and drive more efficiently.
Overall, the effective use of mirrors helps reduce the risk of accidents or collisions with other vehicles on the road.
Signal Your Intentions
By signaling your intentions, you are letting other drivers know what you intend to do next. For instance, if you wish to turn left while driving, you can use the left ignition light to signal to other drivers your intention to turn left. This helps to prevent unexpected or sudden actions that may result in an accident or collision with other vehicles.
Adjust To The Weather Conditions
Another technique of defensive driving is adjusting to the weather conditions. If you are driving in bad weather, for instance, you should know that driving at a high speed can lead to sliding or skidding on the road, which in turn might lead to collisions with other vehicles or an accident.
While it is considered a principle of defensive driving, avoidance of distraction is also seen as a technique. Anything that takes away your attention while driving is a distraction. They can be in the form of eating, talking on the phone, texting while driving, etc.
When your attention is often taken away from the road by some of the activities mentioned above, it increases the risk of an accident occurring. So avoid distractions as much as possible when driving.
Benefits of Defensive Driving
Defensive driving involves having the right skills and techniques to stay safe and avoid accidents or collisions with other vehicles. Some of the benefits of defensive driving include;
Low Risk of Accident
Defensive driving helps lower the risk of accidents occurring while driving on the road. With defensive driving, you can easily identify potential dangers and avoid them before they become fatal. For example, you can decide to adjust your speed to the condition of a particular road you are driving on. By driving slowly on an icy or wet road, for example, you are simply reducing the risk of an accident occurring.
Reduction of Anxiety And Stress
Defensive driving can also help to reduce anxiety and stress when driving on the road. This is because, when you are more conscious of your environment, you become less frustrated or distracted by other drivers, and when you are less frustrated by other drivers, you remain relaxed and calm while driving.
Defensive driving can come in handy during rush hours or heavy traffic when drivers are known to be anxious and full of stress.
Reduction of Insurance Premiums
Some insurance companies are known to give discounts to drivers who are renowned for their defensive driving habits and the ones who have completed one defensive driving course or another. When you practice defensive driving, you can show some of these insurance companies your level of safety and responsibility and, in turn, get lower premiums.
8 Best Defensive Driving Courses Online in New York
Here are some of the most accessible defensive driving courses online in New York.
New York Safety Council
Cost of course: $24.95.
Name of Course: New York Defensive Driving.
The New York Safety Council offers a good defensive driving course for the residents of New York.
- New York State DMV Approved
- 10% Insurance Reduction for 3 Years
- Up to 4 Points off Your License
- 100% Online
- No Final Exam
- Certificate & Electronic Reporting to DMV Included
The New York Defensive Driving is a defensive driving course offered by the New York Safety Council. This course will take you 320 minutes to complete and it is fully available online with no need for in-person training.
In this course, you will learn how to make minor repairs on your vehicle to help improve road safety and vehicle maintenance. Things you will learn include changing tires, minor inspections, changing car fluids, etc.
When you enroll in the course, you will get a 10% reduction in the rate of motorist’s current car liability, no-fault, and collision premiums which will last for 3 years. You will also receive point reduction benefits that can be applied once within 18 months to reduce as many as 4 points from your record.
Improv Traffic School
One of the easiest defensive driving courses online in New York today is the one offered by the Improv Online Driving School. The school is renowned for its funny and entertaining approach to defensive driving courses, which include funny videos and funny pictures. It is also highly recommended by people, having demonstrated fantastic customer service and receiving an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Some of the topics covered by this course include safety precautions drivers need to take when driving, as well as tips for avoiding distractions and accidents.
New York Safety Program
Next on the list is the New York Safety Program. Although not rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, the New York Safety Council still boasts of positive online reviews and 24/7 customer support.
One major advantage of the defensive driving courses offered by the New York Safety Council is that final exams are not given at the end of the course. This is a lifesaver for drivers who are not good at taking tests or exams. Provided you complete the whole course, passing is guaranteed for you.
Another advantage of the defensive driving course of the New York Safety Program is that it is available if you want to take it in a classroom setting or at home. If you want to enroll in this course, see NYSP Online Accident Prevention Course.
iDriveSafely is another highly recommended defensive driving online course in New York. It has been in existence for over 20 years and has had over 5 million people complete its course during that period.
The school is also renowned for its 24/7 responsive customer care service and boasts an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
One thing iDriveSafely is known for is the availability of its defensive driving course on mobile devices. This gives users the liberty to log in and out of the course at their convenience. Enrolling in this driving school will qualify you for a 10% vehicle insurance discount in 34 states of the United States.
National Traffic Safety Institute
One can also get a defensive driving course online in New York from the National Traffic Safety Institute. The institute is known for constantly updating its defensive driving course in line with changes in driving laws in New York.
One unique thing about the defensive driving course from the National Traffic Safety Institute is that it is eligible for the insurance cost reduction program and point reduction program in New York. The downside, however, is that it is only available in one format, although it has audio read-along settings that make it easily accessible to users.
AARP is another option that is available if you are looking for a defensive driving course online in New York. This defensive course is easily understandable and comes with good insurance reductions. It is also available to existing AARP members at a discounted rate.
The AARP defensive driving course online covers a variety of topics, from safety tips to distractions on the road, abstinence from the use of drugs while driving, etc.
It is also available both in person and online. Note: Taking this course in person will require you to go to any AARP classroom around you.
National Safety Council
You can also access a defensive driving course online in New York from the National Safety Council. Just like every other defensive driving online course, it is accessible on tablets, smartphones, and computers. It is also highly recommended for people who have test anxiety because it has no final exam.
New York Commercial Driving School
While it is popularly known for equipping professional and commercial drivers with the knowledge and skills they need before they start driving company vehicles, the New York Commercial Driving School also offers defensive driving courses online for those who need them for personal use, i.e., for their vehicles.
This defensive driving course comes in handy for drivers who are not comfortable being around commercial vehicles or who want to know more about the best way to drive around commercial vehicles.
How Long Do Defensive Driving Courses Last?
There is no exact duration for how long a defensive driving course is expected to last. Different factors determine how long a defensive driving course will last.
Some of these factors include the pace at which a student intends to learn, the level of detail that he or she wishes to be covered in the course, the requirements of the course, the format of the course, etc.
Also, the length of a defensive driving course can be determined by the laws of the state where it is being taken. This is because certain states require a particular number of hours of defensive driving course before one can be issued an insurance discount or a ticket dismissal.
Generally, a defensive driving course should take between four and eight hours to complete.
Frequently Asked Questions about Defensive Driving Courses in New York?
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a term used to refer to the skills and techniques used by drivers to stay safe and avoid collisions while driving on the road.
What Are The Easiest Defensive Driving Courses Online In New York?
Some of the most accessible defensive driving courses online in New York include Improv Traffic School, New York Safety Program, National Traffic Safety Institute, New York Commercial Driving School, AARP, National Safety Council, iDriveSafely, etc.
How Long Do Defensive Driving Courses Last?
Generally, defensive driving courses last for around four to eight hours, although this can sometimes be influenced by certain factors like the pace at which a student intends to learn, the level of detail that is desired to be covered in the course, the requirements of the course, the format of the course, etc.
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