Defensive Driving Course in Virginia

Defensive Driving Course in Virginia

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A defensive-driving course in Virginia has at least two main benefits.

Completing the driver improvement clinic may help you qualify for a car insurance discount and receive credit to offset demerit points on your driver's license — helping you maintain a pristine driving record.

You may take these classes in person or online, although drivers under the age of 20 must attend a classroom course.

Benefits of taking a defensive-driving course in Virginia

Once you've wrapped up an approved defensive driving course, the traffic school will provide you a certificate of completion. Here are the benefits of taking one of these courses:

  • Car insurance discount: According to state statute § 38.2-2217, insurance companies can reduce premiums for anyone who's younger than 55 and voluntarily completes an approved driver improvement clinic. Once you've finished the course, you'll show your insurer the certificate of completion in exchange for a discount that's good for two years.
  • Drivers who are at least 55 can take a different crash-prevention course for a discount good for three years. However, drivers who take either course to satisfy a court requirement will not be eligible for the rate reduction.
  • Keep a clean driving record: The car insurance discount isn't the only benefit to taking one of these driver-safety courses. Virginia runs a points system that rewards safe drivers and penalizes those who violate traffic laws. Drivers earn one "safe driving point" for each year they maintain a clean driving record and can earn more points for taking an approved driving course. At any given time, you can't have more than five safe driving points.
  • If you've collected more demerit points than safe points, a judge can order you to complete another safety course — without the potential to earn safe points or an insurance discount.

The Virginia defensive-driving course curriculum

Under state law, driver-safety courses must take a minimum of eight hours to complete — either in person at a commercial driving school or online through an approved provider. The in-person advantage is that a qualified instructor will teach the course on a schedule, which helps you complete the course in one session. On the other hand, it might take you longer to finish online because you have the flexibility to pause the course. Drivers who are 20 and younger must take the course in person, and all drivers must take the final exam in person at a testing site.

Here are the topics you can expect to cover in one of the courses:

  • Crash prevention
  • Cost magnitude of traffic accidents
  • Contributing factors for vehicle crashes
  • Regulations, laws and highway environmental factors

The criteria for passing the final exam varies with each provider. For online courses such as IDriveSafely.com, students are required to finish with a minimum score of 80%. Passing is your only chance to qualify for a good record and a good discount.

Defensive driving course providers in Virginia

The driver-safety course must be approved by Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles and may cost between $29 and $75. Generally, classroom courses are more expensive because the school has higher operating costs.

Provider

Class format
Contact information (phone)
Price

ADA Driver Improvement

Classroom, online(703) 777-8833$60.00

ABC Driving Clinic

Classroom, online(703) 573-1231$50.00

Delta Driving School

Classroom, online(703) 573-1231$70.00

Safe Driving Academy

Classroom, online(703) 350-4800$75.00

I Drive Safely

Online(800) 723-1955$39.95

American Safety Council

Online(800) 732-4135$34.00

Traffic School Online

Online(888) 374-8464$44.95

Easy Driver Improvement

Online(800) 667-1620$30.00

GoToTrafficSchool

Online(888) 329-7069$28.99

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has also lined up several providers for the mature-driver safety crash-prevention course. Classroom tuition fees can only be determined once you've selected the location you wish to take the class in.

Provider
Class format
Contact information (phone)
Price

AARP

Classroom, online(877) 846-3299$21.95

American Safety Council

Online(800) 732- 4135$19.95

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