What Is Defensive Driving?

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It’s the key to staying safe on the road.

But what is defensive driving (and can it lower your car insurance premiums)?


While most Floridians eventually learn how to drive, this doesn’t always mean they learn how to drive safely. In fact, you’ve probably seen several people on the road that should never be allowed behind the wheel!

Your insurance company agrees, which is why it encourages certain policyholders to take a defensive driving course. In this article, we’ll talk about what defensive driving actually is, how these courses can benefit you, and where to find them.

What Is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving attempts to mitigate potential hazards on the road, avoid collisions, and encourage safe driving. This is distinct from “aggressive driving,” which is driving in a way that is likely to endanger people or property.

You can learn defensive driving tips through a defensive driving course. In the past, you may have taken one of these classes to keep points off your license after a traffic violation. However, certain individuals can use defensive driving courses for another reason.

Benefits of a Defensive Driving Course

Under Florida law, individuals above the age of 55 are entitled to an insurance discount upon completion of a defensive driving course, known as a Senior Citizen Driver Improvement (SCDI) course.

The discount should last at least three years, but can be revoked if:

You are at fault for an accident
You are convicted of a moving traffic violation
You plead guilty or nolo contendere to a moving traffic violation

This means that, if you are ordered by the court or DMV to take a defensive driving course, you cannot use that course to obtain an auto insurance discount.

Of course, there is another obvious benefit to taking a defensive driving course—improving your driving techniques and becoming a safer driver.

What Does a Defensive Driving Course Cover?

If you consider yourself to be a generally safe driver, there’s a good chance that you are already practicing certain safe driving behaviors. Therefore completing an approved class (and keeping your driving record clear), should be a piece of cake!

Most defensive driving courses are four (4) hours long and cover topics such as:

Traffic laws, such as abiding by the speed limit, wearing a seat belt, and proper stopping techniques;
How to share the road with other vehicles and pedestrians;
Avoiding distractions while driving;
The importance of maintaining a safe following distance from the car in front of you;
The dangers posed by road rage;
How to navigate difficult driving environments and weather conditions;
What to do in an emergency situation;
Drug and alcohol education;
And much more.

Where To Take a Defensive Driving Course

There are a large number of defensive driving courses—both in-person and online—to choose from, but it’s best to go with a course that has been approved by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

For added convenience, look for online-only courses that allow you to complete the necessary hours from the comfort of your home.

As part of our commitment to our clients, Harry Levine Insurance is able to offer a coupon code for Drive Safe Online. Simply fill out your information in Step 1, use the promo code “FRAXFH” in Step 2, and enter our email ([email protected]) in Step 3.

This course is 100% online and is guaranteed by law to reduce your rate. While the exact discount amount will vary, every little bit helps when it comes to saving money on car insurance.


Great Savings, Better Coverage

Staying safe on the road is something that everyone should strive for, but defensive driver courses are only a small piece of the puzzle.

Even if you are ineligible for a SCDI discount, following defensive driving strategies will still help prevent collisions with other drivers on the road and help keep you safe behind the wheel. In turn, a safe driving record can lead to lower auto insurance premiums.

At Harry Levine Insurance, we’re committed to helping our clients find excellent car insurance coverage that matches their needs and provides peace of mind. As an independent insurance agency, we’re able to shop the market for quotes from a wide variety of carriers so you can find the policies that best fit your needs.

Contact us today for a free quote!

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