South Dakota Defensive Driving
Designed to teach you how to anticipate emergencies and actions of other drivers.
South Dakota Defensive Driving Courses
Defensive Driving refers to a group of common sense driving strategies that help to decrease the risk of car accidents by giving a driver the ability to anticipate basic driving scenarios. The National Safety Council created the term Defensive Driving in the 1960s. Even experienced drivers still run the risk of car accidents, thanks to factors outside of their control, such as the actions of other drivers. A Defensive Driving course teaches drivers how to anticipate emergencies and unexpected actions of other drivers on the road.
What does Defensive Driving Mean?
The core foundation of defensive driving is learning to predict and anticipate what other drivers, pedestrians - even bicyclists - could do. The other part is having a reaction plan. Defensive drivers constantly ask themselves, "What if?" What would happen if the driver in front of me would slam on the brakes suddenly, or what if someone in a parked car opens their door as I'm driving by? Or what if another driver cuts me off?
It's important keep in mind there are more than 200 million other drivers on the roads. You must communicate clearly with other drivers if you want to be safe. Simple things like using your turn signals and making sure your brake lights are working, make all the difference when it comes to traffic safety. Similarly, try not to drive in another driver's blind spot, and try to have eye contact with other drivers.
It's better to assume other drivers will not always do the correct thing. This will better prepare you for unexpected scenarios on the road.
Defensive Drivers take these steps:
- Plan an alternative route
- Think about, "what if?"
- Make sure they're visible to other drivers
- Avoid distractions, like using cellphones, while driving
- Survey the road around them and ahead of them
- Be prepared for emergencies
Taking these steps while on the road will turn you into a Defensive Driver with the ability to anticipate and avoid lots of dangerous traffic situations.
Defensive Driving is more than just knowing your state traffic laws, though that's critically important. Defensive Driving strategies above make you a better, safer driver by better preparing you for a wide array of issues that may happen on the road.
In a Defensive Driving course, students learn to be more aware of other drivers, pedestrians and of their entire surroundings. Students also learn basic driving moves to avoid a car accidents. Defensive Driving is the best way to ensure a safer driving experience for everyone.
Benefits of Completing a Defensive Driving Course
In addition to becoming a safer, smarter driver, passing a defensive driving course can offer other state-specific benefits, including:
- Diminish the negative effects a ticket will have in your insurance rates
- Eligibility for a discount on your auto insurance rate
- Erasing points received from certain traffic tickets
You should confirm any benefits of traffic safety courses with your car insurance agent and the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, it's crucial to remember the largest benefit Defensive Driving courses offer is making you a safer driver.
Where Can I complete a Defensive Driving Course?
Most states allow drivers to complete defensive driving courses online, though laws vary by state, and some states do require defensive driving courses be taken in person. Online courses allow drivers to complete the class at their leisure, when their time allows. South Dakota Defensive Driving courses can even be taken by simply watching a video. The length of these courses differs in each state, but ranges from four to eight hours.
What Skills and Concepts Will I Learn in a Defensive Driving Course?
Each individual state creates curriculum requirements for defensive driving courses, though all courses cover similar material. You will likely cover the following topics in your defensive driving course.
- Traffic Accidents - More than 34,000 people were killed on U.S. interstates in 2012. Teen drivers are in a higher risk bracket than other age groups when it comes to accidents. Improper turns, speed and right-of-way issues caused 70 percent of the deaths in fatal accidents involving teens. Teenagers also have double the chance of receiving traffic tickets than drivers in other age groups. Defensive Driving courses help explain the severity of these issues to drivers and provide tactics to avoid these problems.
- Mental Attitude - It's important to be in a good mental state while driving. Driving while stressed can lead to aggressive driving and even to road rage. Defensive driving courses highlight the importance of a healthy state of mind while driving.
- Drugs and Alcohol - About 1.4 million people were arrested for DUIs in 2010, according to the Center for Disease Control. Also in 2010, 10,228 people died in car accidents that involved 'impaired drivers.
The personal and financial costs that come along with impaired driving is unfathomable. Most defensive driving courses include education of DUIs and of DUI law. Also discussed is blood-alcohol levels and the consequences of receiving a DUI.
- Circumstances of an Auto Accident - Car accidents involve a vehicle hitting one or more cars. Car accidents can also mean a car hitting a stationary object and can even cause other car accidents. Secondary collisions happen in cars when a passenger hits a windshield or a driver hits a steering wheel. Some accidents happen because drivers don't pay enough attention and crash into an existing accident. Defensive driving courses help drivers understand all the factors in traffic accidents and better prepare people for accidents.
- Preventing Accidents - Defensive driving is one the strategies required to avoid traffic accidents. These include surveying the roads and anticipating possible issues, driving with enough distance between yourself and the driver ahead, and passing other drivers safely. Also included in defensive driving courses, is education on right-of-way, how to react to a vehicle emergency, crossing train tracks and more. Drivers become significantly safer by becoming aware of their surroundings.
- Significance of Safety Equipment - Defensive driving classes highlight the critical role of seatbelts and safety car seats for children. Also covered, is the importance of airbags and additional safety tools in cars today.
- Distracted While Driving - States across the country have begun to address the epidemic of distracted driving. This includes talking or texting on your cellphone while driving, as well as drinking, eating, smoking and other activities besides driving. All of these tasks take your mind off of driving. These courses specify your state-specific laws on distracted driving.
- Traffic Laws - Each defensive driving course includes coverage of traffic laws specific to your state. Most courses require drivers to have knowledge of these laws in order to pass the defensive driving class. Some states will absolve a traffic ticket if a driver passes a defensive driving course.
Completing traffic school and a defensive driving course offers many benefits, like traffic ticket evasion, possible lower auto insurance rates, and most importantly, your safety.
Our state-approved programs are developed to bring you a convenient, engaging and affordable way to handle all of your driver-related needs.
What people ask about our online traffic courses
Is this an authorized and official course approved?
Our traffic school courses are accredited by many state and local agencies, including Courts and DMVs across the country. Before signing up for this course, you should confirm the specific benefit you wish to gain from this course with the organization that referred you to an online defensive driving course.
Which states accept this as an official course?
Our traffic school courses - including defensive driving, traffic and driving safety, teen drivers education, and insurance reduction courses - are approved by many jurisdictions across the country. When registering for one of our traffic courses, you will be asked to select your state. If you do not see your state as an option, the course is not currently available there.
How effective is your online course?
Research has indicated most auto accidents happen because of human decision or error, not because of a lack in technical knowledge. Our online traffic safety courses are based on the research and findings of psychologists specializing in the human thought process behind driving.
What is your refund policy?
A 100% refund is available to you at any point during the course, before completing the final quiz.
Which traffic safety classes do you offer?
We offer online defensive driving courses approved by many jurisdictions, including local courts and DMVs. Our online traffic safety courses are also approved by insurance companies for point reduction, premium reduction, and even ticket dismissal. Before signing up for this course, you should confirm the specific benefit you wish to gain from this course with the organization that referred you to traffic school.
Do you offer training courses for senior drivers and others looking for insurance discounts?
Yes! We offer driver training for adults and seniors that can result in an insurance premium reduction. Each state has different requirements for who can complete a traffic safety course for an insurance discount. Some states only permit drivers age 55 and older to complete a traffic safety course for an insurance discount. You should confirm any benefits of traffic safety courses with your car insurance agent.
Which forms of payment are accepted?
Payments are made online with a credit card, bank debit card, or a Paypal account. Visa, Discover, MasterCard and American Express are all accepted.
When will I receive my certificate after passing the course?
Our traffic school courses can be completed in one sitting. You will receive your certificate within a half hour of completing the final quiz.
What official documents are required for the traffic school class?
Students must supply us with payment and all required documents, including traffic citations, in the beginning of the class. Each student must also provide a government-issued Driver's License, or similar proof of identification, and confirm their eligibility to attend the course, in order to begin the traffic course.
About how long does it take to complete the class?
The course is about 6 and a half hours long in states we are not considered certified providers, and is available at your own pace, as you are able to log in and out at your leisure.
What happens if I do not pass the final test?
Most of our traffic school courses permit the driver multiple attempts on the final quiz. All quiz questions are multiple choice and true or false, and are based only on the chapter material covered in the course.
Am I required to complete the entire course all at once?
Not at all! You will be able to log in and out whenever you like. Our traffic school course is divided up by chapters, which allows participants to complete one chapter and complete the next chapter when time permits. Our software will remember where you left off and will credit the time you completed in the course so far.
Can I use my regular web browser for this course?
Yes. You may use Google Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, and any of the other standard web browsers on Mac and PCs. You may even complete our online traffic course on your smartphone, tablet and other similar devices.
Where can I find my login information?
Your login and password are both case sensitive. Each person's login will be their driver's license number. The driver's license number should be entered the same way you entered it when first logging in to the course.
Does Motorist Academy report my successful traffic school completion?
The process for reporting traffic school courses varies by state. Further details will be explained during your registration.
What is your protocol for cancellations and refunds?
You may cancel the traffic school course at any point during the class, and receive a refund, as long as a certificate of completion has not been issued. Refunds will be credited back the original card or account used to the purchase the class. All accepted refunds are issued within 10 days of an eligible cancellation request.
Is this a secure website?
Yes! We are a Verified Secure Site, which means all information provided by students, including personal data and credit card numbers, is encrypted and secured. You may view our secure site verification certificate by clicking respective icon in the address bar of your web browser.
How do I reset my password?
Your login and password were emailed to you during registration if you provided a valid email address. If you aren't able to access this email, or didn't supply a correct email address upon registering, you should contact customer support. You may also request your username and password on the Login Page.
The timer in my lesson chapter is still running, but I am done. What can I do?
The chapter timers in your course must reach 0:00 in order for you to move on and complete the chapter quiz. If you finish reading the material before the timer is out, we suggest reviewing the information in bold, highlights, colors, or in boxes. You can also view the points in the "Let's Review" section.
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