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The holiday season has arrived, and people all across the nation are hitting the roads to see family and friends through the new year. Because there will be so many travelers on the road, it is important to remind drivers to practice safe habits when heading to their destination. US Interactive, the national producer of Take Home Defensive Driving offers the following tips to drivers this holiday season:
Learn to identify and avoid drunk drivers, who tend to weave through traffic, travel well below the speed limit, drive at night without headlights, use their brakes excessively and leave their turn signals flashing.
Increase your safe space, giving yourself more time to react to changing conditions.
Avoid highways and freeways during peak travel times, making the trip safer and the commute shorter.
Know your vehicle's limits in acceleration, stopping and turning, and drive accordingly.
Avoid erratic or aggressive drivers by pulling over and letting them pass.
Unsafe driving is not only dangerous-it is expensive. Americans spend billions of dollars on insurance, fines and repairs as a result of accidents and tickets-all of which can be reduced by knowing your options. US Interactive suggests you can improve your chances of avoiding a traffic ticket if you are pulled over by police by:
Staying cool and making the officer feel at ease by keeping your hands visible.
Ensuring inspection stickers, registration and insurance are up to date.
Fixing broken or burned out taillights and headlights.
Having your seatbelt fastened.
There are also several ways to avoid actually paying a traffic ticket, which can vary from state to state. Paying a ticket is not only expensive, but it is likely to increase your insurance rates or add points to your driving record. US Interactive offers four tips that could help you to either avoid paying the ticket or reduce your out-of-pocket costs:
Request the court dismiss the ticket by providing proof that you've successfully completed a defensive driving course. These safety-oriented courses can be completed in a classroom, by video or online.
Hire an attorney to represent you in court to dismiss your case.
Request deferred adjudication from the court to keep the ticket from appearing on your record.
"The worst thing you can do is ignore a ticket," says Mike Curran, co-founder of U.S. Interactive. "You must take action because the police and other law enforcement agencies share information across state lines, and insurance companies check for outstanding violations when policy renewals are reviewed.
"The good news is that drivers today have a variety of options available to help them resolve traffic tickets. And, one of the easiest of these is taking a defensive driving course," Curran adds. "Not only will completion of the course erase the ticket from your record in many states, but you'll end up being a better driver, too."
Also ask your insurance company if you can obtain a discount by demonstrating that you've taken a defensive driving course.
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