Learn More About Traffic School and How It Could Save You Money
Publish Date: June 1, 2022
Going to traffic school might sound a bit overwhelming, but most people don’t know that voluntarily completing a traffic school program can potentially help lower your auto insurance premium. Learn more about what is involved with going to traffic school, and how it can help save you money!
Traffic School: The Basics
“Traffic school” is a broad term that refers to any formal program that helps you to improve your driving skills and knowledge. You can attend traffic school courses online or in a physical classroom setting. You may also hear it referred to as “defensive driving courses” or “driving safety classes.”
If you’ve received tickets for moving violations, a judge may require you to take defensive driving courses. Once you successfully complete traffic school, negative points on your driving record may be avoided or erased. Depending on which state you live in, defensive driving courses are a way to dismiss or reduce your traffic fines. Keeping those moving violations off of your record may also help keep your car insurance rates from going up! Even if your driving history is excellent, voluntarily completing traffic school can improve your driving skills and possibly your insurance rates.
When Are You Required To Complete Traffic School?
Depending on where you live, the type of traffic violations that require you to attend traffic school vary greatly.
For example, if you live in Florida, you are required to attend traffic school, known as Basic Driver Improvement (BDI) if you are cited for one of the following reasons:
A driver is found to be at-fault for an accident resulting in anyone being transported to a hospital.
A driver is involved in two crashes within a two-year period that resulted in a property damage greater than $500.
A driver is convicted of passing a school bus when it displayed a stopped signal, racing on a highway, participating as a spectator in highway racing, engaging in reckless driving or running a red light.
If you live in Texas, traffic school is known as either driving safety or defensive driving. If you successfully complete Texas traffic school, you have the possibility of dismissing a court case resulting from a moving violation. Moving violations include:
Failing to maintain insurance coverage on your vehicle.
Traveling at more than 94 miles per hour or speeding at least 25 mph above the posted speed limit.
Passing a school bus that is stopped.
Leaving the scene of an accident.
In a construction zone where workers are present, committing a traffic offense.
In many states, completing traffic school will erase a ticket from your record, which means that you’ll avoid costly insurance premium hikes!
Can I Complete Traffic School Online?
Many states offer classroom training options, as well as online course opportunities. Since these offerings vary by state, you should check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, your county court or your city’s municipal court to find out your available options.
How Long Does It Take To Finish Traffic School?
Like the requirements and available options for traffic school, the duration of classes vary from state to state. In some states, one option or the other may require fewer hours to complete. You may also want to consider your individual learning style when selecting which option is best for you. Online courses offer the flexibility to complete courses from the comfort of your own home, while classroom courses allow you to focus in an environment free from distractions. If you have the option to take either type of course, be sure to consider these facts before making a decision!
Can Traffic School Actually Lower My Car Insurance Rate?
It definitely can’t hurt! You’ll want to check with your individual state’s requirements, but in many circumstances, completing an approved traffic school can help lower your car insurance rates or keep them from increasing. Completing traffic school can, in some circumstances, help keep a ticket off of your driving record, which helps to keep your car insurance rates down.
Thankfully, receiving a ticket won’t make your car insurance rates go up forever. Insurers review your driving record periodically to look for indications that you’re a riskier driver than you were in the past. If you’re considered to be a higher-risk driver, you may pay a higher premium. If you get a ticket, don’t be surprised if you see an insurance premium increase the next time you renew your policy. Depending on your insurer, you might receive a discount when you successfully complete traffic school! No matter where you live, traffic school tends to be less expensive than a car insurance rate increase.
See How We Can Help You Save!
Not sure about your best option after you’ve received a ticket - or several? National General is here to help answer your questions and get you the right coverage, no matter what your situation may be. Reach out to your local agent for more info on getting the coverage you need at a price that works for your budget!