With the increasing clamor for lower car insurance premiums, more states are taking charge and giving drivers better opportunities to slash insurance costs. Online driving courses are fast becoming popular in many states especially now because of the poor economy.
Experts say that online driving classes designed and offered by various companies in collaboration with the DMV, are making things easier for many motorists. Online programs are available in about 25 states to date and more states are considering allowing them.
Drivers who enroll in these defensive driving classes can access the program through the internet. Considered as refresher courses, the classes take students on virtual roads. Drivers have to contend with various driving situations and are required to pass the class to get discounts on their insurance premiums.
Most courses come with comprehensive re-education sessions and situations that test the drivers’ knowledge and reflexes. Many proponents have hailed the courses, saying that many motorists will benefit from them especially if they have not taken refresher courses after getting their licenses.
Most states that allow these online courses often have laws that mandate rate cuts for drivers who enroll and pass the class. Insurance companies, on the average, slash five to 15 percent off premiums. Drivers have to retake the course every three years to qualify again for discounts.
The classes feature several topics and lessons that have been updated. For example, several years ago, the accepted hand position on the steering wheel was at the 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock position. Research, however, has shown that drivers can react much faster and avoid over-steering if their hands are at 9 and 3, or at 8 and 4.
Aside from providing new knowledge for many drivers, the programs have also been credited for helping motorists shave off points from their driving records and getting tickets dismissed. Some states even reduce drivers’ fines if a motorist has participated in a similar course.
Some states like New York have been offering defensive driving classes since the 70s. In fact, the AAA has been at the forefront of driver re-education programs in the state. Defensive driving classes have been gaining popularity among the state’s drivers with some 650,000 completing the classroom sessions last year.
While designed by private companies, the courses are monitored by the DMVs in each state, as well as the secretaries of state. The online course also cost more than classroom versions of the classes. Drivers can expect to shell out up to $50 for the classes.