The State of Nevada helps elderly drivers save on their insurance by mandating that they be given discounts when they voluntarily attend a Defensive Driving Course. But this doesn’t mean other drivers are left behind. In the unfortunate event where traffic violations are involved, the State also offers demerit point deductions if the convicted driver elects to take a Defensive Driving Course. This offer is open to the rest of Nevada’s drivers, regardless of their age.
Benefits of taking a Defensive Driving Course in Nevada
While the courses cater to two different age groups and two different needs, the objective is the same: for every licensed and insured motorist to keep their driving records clean, their insurance premiums low, and their lives on the road safe. Here is how the Defensive Driving Course works for you in Nevada.
Mandatory Insurance Discount for Drivers 55 Years and Older
Nevada’s Defensive Driving Course is an ideal way to ensure that you stay a safe, responsible driver despite being over 55. Satisfactorily completing the course shows a vehicle insurance company that you still have accident avoidance skills and therefore should be a lower liability to cover on the road.
As stated in the Nevada Revised Statute § 690B.029, your insurer is required to offer a discount on your auto insurance premium. Discounts can run anywhere from 5% to 20%. The discount must run for 3 years, after which, you can re-take the course to renew the privilege.
Here is how you can qualify for the discount:
- You must accomplish the course at the age of 55 or older
- The traffic school you choose must be approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles
- You must maintain a driving record free of violations in the duration of your discount, or your insurer may take it back
- You must not be involved in a road accident under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance
3 Demerit Point Deduction
An approved defensive driving course can deduct points from your driving record, especially when you commit a traffic violation and was ordered by court to do so. This prevents your insurance company from hitting you with a surcharge for committing a minor traffic violation.
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has incorporated a Demerit Point System as part of its driver improvement program. Whenever you commit a traffic violation, the DMV logs Demerit Points in your record based on that particular infraction. Typically, when information about your new points reaches your insurance company, there’s a huge possibility that you will be charged higher on your premium. Thankfully, there is one way to prevent this from happening. By choosing to take a Defensive Driving Course, you are granted the opportunity to remove 3 points from your driving record. In general, the less traffic violations you commit, the lower your rates in Nevada will be.
A few examples of appointed points per infraction are:
- Reckless driving: 8 points
- Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign: 4 points
- Texting while driving: 2 points
- Driving too slowly: 2 points
- Failure to dim high beams: 2 points
If you’re taking the course to offset points instead of gain discounts (you can only get one of the two), you are only allowed to complete traffic school once every 12 months.
The Nevada Defensive Driving Course Curriculum
No matter what your age is, whether your purpose is to reduce your insurance rate or reduce your demerit points, the Nevada DMV recommends a Defensive Driving Course as the viable solution. The curriculum may vary per provider, but your lesson plan will typically cover the following topics:
- Avoiding collision
- Yielding right of way
- Carefully maintaining speed
- Passing large vehicles
- Safely spotting hazards on the road
- Maintaining a safe following distance
- Watching out for pedestrians and bikers
- Avoiding drunk, drowsy, distracted, or aggressive driving
- Using vehicle safety features
- Familiarizing with Nevada traffic laws and regulations
You can complete the program in your choice of format: behind the desk in a classroom; online in the comfort of your home; or via correspondence wherein the traffic safety school sends you home study reading materials or video tutorials before the final exam. It's one of the few states to offer course materials through the mail.
The final exam is completely at the discretion of the course provider. Some, like All American Driving School, require that you take it in person at a testing site. While others, like MyImprov Comedy Driving School, only need you to score 80% on an online test to pass. With most traffic schools, you can finish the online and correspondence courses in approximately 5 hours in one sitting, and the classroom course in a day.
Defensive Driving Course Providers in Nevada
For your convenience, below is a list of online program providers the Nevada DMV has approved for you. You will notice that the price range is pretty broad. Pricing depends on the number of hours a traffic school allots per course, the kind of final exam, and the packages each traffic school has prepared. Some traffic schools package their online courses with testing site accommodations, and Course Completion Certificate delivery.