Defensive driving school is one of the most common supplemental driving courses on the market. The main reason that you might go to defensive driving school is to reduce penalties or points on your driver's license as noted for the state of Maryland DMV. 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. For someone who is moving to a bigger city, they might want to attend defensive driving school to better prepare themselves with the increased traffic. Whatever the reason you can prepare yourself to survive defensive driving school if you follow these steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Type of Defensive Driving School

You can take defensive driving classes in several 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. Once you have selected the type of class you are going to take, it's time for the next step.

Step 2: Time Preparation

An in-class defensive driving session typically lasts for a single, full day of 6 to 8 hours of training. This classroom time is filled with:

  • Lectures
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Videos

You will not actually drive defensively in this class. 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 defensive class you will most likely need a test proctor to give you the final test to show your successful completion of the course. One place you can go for test proctoring is your local public library.

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

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

Step 4: Defensive Driving 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 at a later date.