Will a DMV defensive driving course cover more than what I find in the state drivers manual?

Yes. There's a big difference between a DMV defensive driving course and a DMV drivers manual. A manual is more basic, geared towards the beginner driver, teaching topics like road sign identification, parallel parking and using hand signals. Whereas a traffic school is more centered on defensive driving tips and techniques, a refresher course, as it were, for the experienced driver. 

You don't have to be ordered by a court to enroll in an online traffic school. It's open for all drivers, regardless of circumstance. The course, if you so choose, can be completed in one sitting or over several weeks. Depending on your insurance carrier, enrollment may make you eligible for a discount.

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