Car accidents are the No. 1 killer of teens each year, but defensive driving classes like Alive at 25 can improve the odds for young drivers.

Colorado is one state that promotes its “Alive at 25” course.

You may know someone who was court-ordered to attend a defensive driving-safety program after receiving a traffic ticket. But not everyone in these classes is there because of a ticket. More and more people are there to improve their driving skills so they can be better prepared to handle a dangerous situation on the road.

Facts Back It Up

You have often read on this blog how deadly vehicle collisions are, particularly among younger drivers.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death of teenagers. Each year, about 6,000 young people are killed in car accidents, more than half of them ages 15-20. Another 326,000 teens are seriously injured in crashes. Research has shown that the No. 1 cause of accidents involving young drivers is not understanding the repercussions of risk-taking behavior.

Young drivers are usually inexperienced drivers so distractions — such as having friends in the car, using a cell phone, and driving under the influence — can lead to an accident.

Accidents at Work

When it comes to the workplace, the statistics are not much better. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and injury in the workplace. For this group of drivers, NSC estimates that in 25 percent of crashes the driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident. For businesses, one accident can translate into millions of dollars in expenses due to the liability involving a company vehicle.

Whether you’re a young driver, a worker, or are obligated to, defensive driving classes can reduce the incidence of vehicle accidents and related deaths or injuries.

Colorado’s ‘Alive at 25’

Colorado is one of five states to offer “Alive at 25,” a defensive driving program for drivers ages 15-24. The 4½-hour class developed by the NSC includes interactive programs that encourage young drivers to be more responsible.

For older drivers, especially those responsible for driving company cars or trucks, the NSC also offers defensive driving to keep people safe on the road. Companies may benefit in two ways: Their drivers who take the course improve their driving skills, and insurance premiums and workers’ compensation claims could go down.

What Do You Learn in Defensive Driving Courses?

The whole point of defensive driving courses is to teach students how to avoid accidents and how to recognize potential hazards before they happen. Subjects can include how to scan the roadway and how to safely pass, the reaction times needed in certain situations, and much more.

So, whether you are a young, somewhat inexperienced driver, or an older, more experienced driver, participating in a defensive driving course is well worth your time and may even help reduce your car insurance rate.

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