Monthly Archives: September 2012

How Do I Remove Points from My Driving Record?

So you made a mistake and got a ticket. You paid the fine and vowed never to speed again. Now you’re in the clear, right? Well, that depends. If you live in a state that implements the driver point system, you have a long way to go before you are in the clear. When you got the ticket, you also received points attached to your driving record, points that stay on your record for several years. These points accumulate, leading to fines, license suspension, and increased insurance premiums. Guess you should have thought twice before speeding, huh? But wait, there is some good news. There is a way to remove these points from your record.

 

There is? Sweet! What do I need to do?

 

Well, for starters you can keep your promise to never break the law again. This is a sure-fire way to eventually get the points removed. Each state is different in the length of time the points stay on your record, but in Texas they will be there for three years.

 

Three years? That’s crazy! Isn’t there a faster way?

 

We are so glad you asked! Actually, there is a much faster way. Most states allow you take a defensive driving class to reduce the amount of points on your record. In fact, in Texas, if you take a defensive driving class you can completely eliminate the points from a moving violation. As long as the course is approved by the state, you are good to go.

 

That all sounds great, but who has that kind of time? Maybe I’ll just risk keeping the points.

 

That would be a big mistake. You never know what the future holds. Do you really want to risk potential fines and license suspension?

 

Plus, at defensivedriving.com we make it so easy. There is no physical classroom that you have to worry about driving to. Our class is all online. That means you can complete the class at home in your pajamas or even at the office during a boring staff meeting. And if your boss catches on, don’t worry. You can start and stop the course as many times as you want as long as it is completed within 90 days. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate showing just how educated you are. This certificate is your ticket to point removal and lowered insurance premiums.

 

If you have received a moving violation, do not just sit back and succumb to the fact that the points have to stay on your record for several years. Be proactive and complete one of our driving courses today!

 

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What is the Driver Point System?

Do you remember in kindergarten when the teacher would keep track of how many times you misbehaved? With your first offense, you got your name on the chalkboard and a warning, the second you got a mark next to your name and a time out, and the third you got sent to the principal’s office? Well, apparently many DMV’s across the country think that this is such a good idea that they implemented it into the driving system. For most states across the country, when you get a ticket, you not only get a fine, you also accumulate points that show up on your driving record.

How do I get points?

Just like in kindergarten, every time you do something wrong, you get points. The more severe the action, the more points you receive. Some states have very complex point systems with each individual infraction receiving a different amount of points. Texas is one of the simpler states: For a moving violation you get two points and if that violation results in an accident you get three. If you are unclear, speeding, reckless driving and running red lights are some of the most common moving violations. Basically, anything you do wrong while your car is actually moving counts against you. Texas does allow you a free pass if you are speeding less than 10% over the speed limit or receive a seatbelt infraction.

Why do the points matter?

First off, the points that you receive stay on your record for a pre-designated amount of time. For example, in Texas the points will stay active for three years. The state is not too quick to forgive and forget when it comes to safety on the road.

In kindergarten, you got a time out when your “points” accumulated. With the driver point system, you get fines. Each state is slightly different with how many points it takes to receive these fines. In Texas, at the end of a given year, if you have six points you will get a $100 fine, with an extra $25 added for each additional point. And remember, points stay on your record for three years, so you will potentially be paying the fine for three years. Not only that, but many insurance companies will also increase your premiums based on how many points you have on your record.

So what is equivalent to getting sent to the principal’s office? How about getting your license suspended. If you get too many points in too short of a time, you will lose your driving privileges. In Texas, it only takes four moving violations (8 points) in a 12-month period to get your licensed revoked.

So the next time you are thinking about speeding or running a red light, remember that the ticket itself only represents your name on the chalkboard. The consequences are far from over.

What? Me? I wasn’t speeding! The classic excuses cops hear…

When you get pulled over for speeding, the first thing you probably think is, “Darn it, I got caught!” While you wait for the cop to arrive at your window, it is time to start doing some thinking. What approach are you going to take? Should you choose the “honesty is the best policy” approach, or should you try out your acting skills and see if you can create an excuse worthy of an Emmy?

If you are going to try your hand at an excuse, proceed with caution. If it is obvious that you are lying, you may very well have talked yourself into a ticket. On the other hand, if you can pull it off, you can save yourself the hassle and money associated with a speeding ticket. Here are some of the most common excuses cops hear to help get your creative juices flowing. Some of them will work better than others.

“I didn’t realize I was speeding.”

Okay, sometimes this is actually the truth, but it is your responsibility as a driver to be aware of how fast you are going. And if you want to blame a faulty odometer, think again. You might also get a ticket for defective equipment.

“I am really late to pick up my kid (or to a doctor’s appointment, or to work, etc.).”

If you are late to something really important, the cop may sympathize with you; however, most of the time this excuse won’t get you very far.

“My wife (daughter, girlfriend) is in labor.”

This one works the best if you have your actual wife, daughter, or girlfriend with you and she is in the late stages of her pregnancy. Otherwise, if you can act nervous while staying polite the cop may just believe you.

“I am mentally distracted.”

This excuse is only for the seasoned actor. However, if done correctly, it has the best chance to get you out of a ticket. For this excuse to be the most effective you need to think of a legitimate reason that your brain was so distracted that you couldn’t focus on your speed. Perhaps you just learned of a terminal illness that you are facing. Maybe you just got news that your grandfather passed away. If you can create watery eyes and a lump in your throat this excuse may just work. Then you will just have your conscience to deal with.

Everyone speeds at one time or another, and if you can get out of a ticket, more power to you. However, you should always keep your safety and the safety of others in mind. There are speeding laws for a reason. You should make speeding the exception and not the rule.

Are Electric Cars Really Worth It?

Electric cars almost seem like they are out of a fictional world. You get up to go to work, unplug your car, and off you go. Thanks to recent technological advances, electric cars are no longer just a thing of fiction. There are thousands of people charging their cars just like they do their phones. While electric cars definitely have their pros, are they really worth all of their hype and anticipation? That is yet to be determined.

Will I really save money?

The biggest draw to electric cars for most people is the financial benefits. If you don’t have to pay for gas you will undoubtedly save money, right? Well, not necessarily. Currently, the two main electric vehicles on the market are the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. The Leaf costs about $35,000 and the Volt about $40,000. That is not chump change. If you are considering another car in the same price range, then yes, you should go electric. But if you are just looking to save money, there are some great cars on the market today that get decent gas mileage and come in under $20,000.

To see if the electric car is cost efficient for you, you need to calculate how much driving you actually do. So let’s just consider a $15,000 retail price difference to see how it adds up. If you drove an average of 15,000 miles per year, getting an average of 30 miles per gallon (at $4/gallon) in your traditional gasoline vehicle, you would need to own your electric vehicle for 7-1/2 years to break even. And that does not even take into account the increase in your energy bill for charging your car.

How far can I drive?

Even if you drive a crazy amount of miles and you plan on owning your car for seven or more years, there is another factor to consider: How far do you need to drive on any one occasion? The Leaf is an all-electric vehicle that will only take you about 100 miles on a charge. That can make it very hard to do much of anything except go to and from work. The Volt does offer a back-up tank just in case you run out of energy, but if you plan on using that a lot you may as well just buy a traditional gasoline vehicle.

So is it worth it?

It depends. If you are looking for a way to save money, an electric car is probably not your best choice. However, if you want an extra commuter car that will be better for the planet, then absolutely! An electric car is the perfect option.

How to Combat Highway Hypnosis

You get in your car, put your keys into the ignition, and the next thing you know you are at your destination. But how did you get there? Well, of course, you drove there, but you don’t remember ever changing lanes, turning, or stopping at any lights. If this sounds all too familiar, then you are suffering from highway hypnosis, otherwise known as driving without attention mode (DWAM). Highway hypnosis may cause you to question your sanity for a second, but then you probably continue on with your day not thinking much more about it. Well, it is time to start thinking about.

What is highway hypnosis?

Highway hypnosis is a serious condition that is potentially life threatening to you and the people driving around you. It is when half of your brain is doing the driving while the other half of your brain is literally zoned out. If your brain is not fully aware and alert when you are driving, it is almost impossible to have the stellar reflexes needed in the case of an accident.

What can I do about it?

Luckily, highway hypnosis is not some debilitating disease without a cure. It is simply a state of mind that is easily controllable. Being aware of your situation is the first step. The rest is easy.

  1. Frigidity is your friend. As nice as it is to be warm and cozy while you are driving, this only relaxes your body and your mind. Instead, turn the a/c on or roll down a window. While the goose bumps may not be fun, they may save your life.
  2. Have a dance party. Yep, that’s right. Put on some good tunes and have a little dance party with yourself. By keeping your body moving, you will keep your brain alert. So what if the car next to you thinks you are a little weird? If only they knew how much fun you were having.
  3. Phone a friend. This is not just a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” It may also be your actual lifeline. Engaging in a lively conversation with a friend will keep your brain awake and responsive. However, it is important to only use this option if you have a hands-free headset or Bluetooth available.
  4. Make a pit stop. When all else fails, pull over. Get out of the car and move your body. This will reboot your brain so you can start your drive anew. It is always better to safe than sorry.