Although they have similar names, there is a big difference between driving and traffic school. Driving school is usually designed to teach new drivers the ins and outs of road rules and procedures geared towards producing better, safer drivers. Other types of driving school teach defensive driving measures. Traffic school can either be an online or in-class course meant to refresh drivers’ knowledge of driving. Drivers are in many cases ordered to attend traffic school by a judge after receiving a traffic violation. Some states give drivers the option of attending traffic school as a way to keep a violation off of their driving record, thereby keeping their insurance premiums low.
Driving school courses include a wide variety of classes for both beginners and established drivers. Some common courses include beginning driving courses which cover the basics of driving and road rules. Common tasks like parallel parking, three-point turns and driving in reverse are covered. Others include intensive driving courses which condense a week or more worth of training into one or two days. Defensive driving courses are designed to give drivers more tools when dealing with unpredictable motorists. Emergency stopping, how to handle a skid and the best ways to navigate intense driving situations like fast-paced busy freeways are a part of these classes. There are also classes that cover freeway driving.
In addition to the actual behind-the-wheel experience you’ll gain from driving school, you will also have the opportunity to take a mock driving test. For new drivers facing their written driving test, a mock test is a big help. All in all, driving school helps new and returning drivers gain the confidence they need to be safe, successful drivers. Safety is, of course, stressed above all else in driving school, whether you are a beginning student or an established driver eager to learn new skills.
In contrast to driving school, traffic school is meant for drivers who have been cited for traffic violations. In some cases, a judge orders them to attend traffic school. Other times they have the option of attending traffic school in order to have a ticket dismissed. Considering that auto insurance rates usually increase following even a single traffic citation, taking a quick traffic school course to have the ticket dismissed is very desirable.
Many states offer ticket dismissal in exchange for traffic school to drivers who appear in court. In eligible states, an agreement may be made between the driver and the court. The driver agrees to pay the fine and attend traffic school while the court agrees to purge the ticket from their record. While the ticket may cost some money (as will the school), it won’t be as much as you’ll pay in increased insurance rates. Online traffic schools are growing in popularity in states that allow them. They let the driver take the 6 to 8-hour class in the comfort of their own home, and they can be completed in stages.
The biggest difference between the driving school and traffic school is that driving school teaches preventative safety while traffic school reminds the driver of the methods for safe driving.