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What to Expect in Driver Improvement Class (Defensive Driving Class)

Driver Improvement Class (Defensive Driving Class) is one of the most common supplemental driving courses on the market. The main reason that you might go is to reduce penalties or points on your driver’s license record maintained by Virginia DMV. Also the court might order you to take a course if you have a traffic violation. For example, you might have gotten pulled over for speeding several times or at speeds that greatly exceed the speed limit. Other reasons for attending defensive driving school includes personal driving improvements. Whatever the reason you can prepare yourself to attend a driver improvement course if you follow these steps.


Step 1: Choose Your Type of Course

You can take driver improvement or defensive driving classes in two different ways. The most traditional method is to attend class in a physical location, such as a classroom. Another method you might prefer is to take the class online. Choose the method that works best for your schedule and learning style. For instance some people have difficulties learning online, while others thrive by learning through the computer. Some might have very busy schedules that don't allow them to come to a class. They can do it at home at their own pace until the course is completed. Once you have selected the type of class you are going to take, it’s time for the next step.


Step 2: Time Preparation

A driver improvement class is 8 hours. This classroom time is filled with:

  • Lectures

  • Question and answer sessions

  • Videos

  • Class interaction

If you attend an online session you may have greater flexibility in the timing. For instance, you may have a few days or a week to complete the necessary reading, discussion and testing. For an online class you will need to come to the office and take the final test to show your successful completion of the course.


Step 3: What You Will Learn

The main concepts of defensive driving class include the following:

  • Driving in inclement weather, such as during a rainstorm or on icy roads

  • How to correct your vehicle if you lose control due to a blown out tire or oncoming vehicle

  • What to do when something crosses into your lane

  • The correct procedure for veering off the roadway safely, i.e. into a bush or other impact absorbing structure

  • The reasons why speeding and aggressive driving are so dangerous

  • How to deal with road rage

  • The need to be alert and sober when driving

  • How to avoid potential dangers when operating a moving vehicle

  • Distracted driving

While your reason for attending defensive driving might be speeding, you will still be responsible for learning the many aspects of defensive and safe driving.


Step 4: Final Exam

After you have completed your defensive driving course, either online or in person, you will have to successfully pass a written exam that indicates you absorbed the material. If you are taking this class in order to reduce the penalty on your driver’s license the exam will provide you with a certificate that you can use to vouch for your course completion. If you do not pass the test you will need to take course over again. DMV only allow you to take the test once in a day.



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