New Study: NSC Online Training Leads to 70% Decrease in Violation Rates

For the second consecutive year, more than 46,000 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in 2022.

August 23, 2023

The latest preliminary estimates from Injury Facts paint a grim picture of our roads: for the second consecutive year, more than 46,000 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in 2022 and millions more suffered life-altering injuries.

In fact, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of U.S. workplace deaths, costing employers more than $5 billion annually in legal expenses, vehicle repair bills and workers’ compensation costs, not to mention the reputational harm caused by worker crashes.

Everyone – whether they’re driving for work or just heading home – deserves safe roads, but solving our current traffic safety crisis is no simple task. One time-tested strategy promoted by NSC is the use of driver safety training, and new research shows the online versions of these courses can have far-reaching effects.  

Online NSC training creates safer drivers

NSC pioneered the nation’s first Defensive Driving Course in 1964 and has trained more than 80 million drivers in the years since. These courses teach drivers how to recognize and react to immediate and potential hazardous driving situations and conditions, encouraging safe, lawful driving decisions. But how effective are they at helping influence safe driving behaviors?

According to a recent study of more than 30,000 Massachusetts drivers, the year after completing NSC Online Driver Safety Training, traffic violation rates decreased up to 74%. Specifically, the study found that per 100 drivers from 2019 to 2021:

  • Total violation rates decreased 71%
  • Minor violation rates decreased 74%
  • Major violation rates decreased 38%
  • Surchargeable violation rates decreased 74%

These results are encouraging enough – that’s thousands of drivers experiencing fewer crashes and violations each year – but they’re even more significant when looking at the impact of training on drivers from different age groups.

Take surchargeable violations, for example, which are “at-fault” collisions, crashes or convictions of a violation that can increase a driver’s insurance surcharge points. According to the study, NSC online training participants achieved impressive changes in their surchargeable violation rates from 2019-2021:

  • Drivers under 21 years old achieved a 68% decrease
  • Drivers 21-64 years old achieved a 74% decrease
  • Drivers 65 and older achieved an 85% decrease

 These decreases show that regardless of age or experience level behind the wheel, NSC online training leads to positive results even a full year later.

Safer drivers mean safer roads for us all

Looking at these results, it’s easy to see the benefits for training participants. Fewer violations, after all, can mean fewer crashes, injuries, repair costs and more. But there are also positive effects on local communities and other road users.

It’s rare that a traffic crash only affects the person behind the wheel; think about the other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users that can have their lives forever altered by a crash. Then there are the friends and loved ones of those involved, and even the first responders providing assistance at the scene. The effects of a crash ripple out, but so do the effects of training. More workers return safely from their shifts and employers face fewer impacts. More repeat offenders make safer decisions and lower the risks for everyone else sharing the road.   

There’s no substitution for safe drivers and this study proves NSC Online Driver Safety Training leads to safer drivers. Learn more about NSC training options at nsc.org/ddconline.

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