Looking for a quick recommendation on a Texas driving safety course or defensive
driving course? Go to FastTrackDefensiveDriving.com
which is our top pick and an overall best defensive driving course in the state
Not too long ago I was in a similar situation when I received a traffic citation. I went online to try to find a course that I could complete in a limited amount of time and that wouldn't cost me a lot. I just picked one from my online search and after taking my first defensive driving course, that took me over 12 hours (over two days) to finish and cost over $50, I regretted that I did not spend more time investigating the best course. Since then I have taken a number of different online driving safety courses to see what courses offer the best value. Almost all courses I reviewed claim they are the shortest course allowed by law; that is six hours. However, many of them take way longer than six hours to complete. Almost all of the courses I reviewed claim the cost of their course is $25, lowest price allowed by law. Though that might be true, in most cases the actual cost of completing a course and receiving a certificate is significantly higher than the advertised price of $25.
There are a lot of defensive driving schools in Texas, but not a whole lot of information on them. The Texas state gives drivers an opportunity to dismiss their traffic citation within 90 days of the offense if they qualify and take a driving safety or defensive driving course approved by TDLR. Getting a traffic citation is an unwelcome situation and most people will search Google to find a course that they can complete quickly and move on.
This drives (pun intended!) the marketing strategy of defensive driving course providers: name their course, make their website attractive (like funny videos, shortest course and so on...), invest heavily on advertisements so they appear on every page you search defensive driving or driving safety and promise the easiest course at the lowest price so they can get you to register for their course.
Find out what you should be paying to take a defensive driving course.
I created DrivingSafetyGuru.com to share all my knowledge and experience of driving safety courses.
Since most people are looking for the cheapest option available and is easy to complete in the least amount of time; I have reviewed several courses that claim to be lowest in price with a pay later option. There are three main criteria I use to rate any defensive driving courses. These categories are 1) how easy the course is, 2) how long does it take to complete the course and 3) how much does it cost to complete the course and get a course completion certificate. I combine all these criteria to give an over all ranking to different driving safety courses in Texas.
Let me start by stating the obvious: Most people take a defensive driving course not because they want to improve their
driving skills but they are in an unfortunate situation that they received a traffic violation or a speeding ticket. Taking a
driving safety course is definitely the best option. By taking a driving safety course you not only save money
but by getting your ticket dismissed you can benefit much more in the long run. Let me be clear, I am not trying to minimize
the benefits of driving safety courses in general. There is no doubt that after taking a driving safety course you will be a better
driver. This is because when you take the driving safety course you will be reminded again and again about the dangers of
speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving and so on. All the statistics presented in the course will make you aware of these
dangers and you are more likely to follow the rules of the road!
So when I am talking about the difficulty of a driving safety course what do I mean? I grade the difficulty of courses based on 1) how engaging is the course 2) does the course have fun activities or just monotonous reading material and 3) finally how difficult is it to pass the course.
There are a number of courses that offer video based delivery of the course and some even make the videos animated and comic delivery of the content. These courses are some of the very popular ones. There are other courses that offered in audio format, which is interesting because you can listen to the course material while you are also completing your daily chores (killing two birds with one stone!!).
Finally, TDLR does not require that a driving safety course have a final exam to pass the course. In lieu of the final exams it is required that the students be quizzed after each lessons and a total of at least 50 multiple choice questions are asked during the course. Additionally, in order to pass the course and receive a course completion certificate a student must get more that 70% on all the quizzes. Most courses that I have reviewed do not have a final exam, however, some courses have pretty difficult quizzes and way too many questions after each lesson. On top of that if a student receives less than 70% on a particular quiz they are required to read the entire lesson again, this in my opinion is pretty harsh. The easiest driving safety courses I have found are:
|Course Provider||License #||Delivery|
|Fast Track Defensive Driving||CP037||Audio and Text|
|DefensiveDriving.com||CP284||Video and Text|
|Comedy Driving Inc||CP319||Video and Text|
|I Drive Safely Defensive Driving Course||CP022||Video, Audio and Text|
|Comedy Defensive Driving||CP333||Video and Text|
A TDLR approved defensive driving course is minimum six (6) hour long which includes a one hour break. A driving safety course
offered in a traditional format which is when you go to a traffic school to complete
the course will take a minimum of six hours to complete. Yes, these courses still exist even though not as
popular as online courses.
An online course in theory can be completed in just 5 hours
as the breaks are not required. There are many other advantages of completing the course online 1) you can take as long as you want
to complete the course 2) you can take the course when ever you want 3) you can take the courses in the comfort of your home or
any place you desire.
If you want to complete the course in the shortest time allowed by law then you need to ignore all the gimmicks offered by the course providers and stick to completing the course by reading the materials. Video courses generally are much longer and often do not let you go through the course at a fast pace. When completing the course in text format, it definitely helps if you are a fast reader and retain most of the content that you read. If you are not a fast reader you can still finish the course in the shortest time, but you need to follow tips 1) most courses have a timer on each lesson that indicates the minimum amount of time you need to spend learning the lesson and the amount of time you have spent on the lesson. You should try to quickly read through the topic in the minimum time you need to spend. 2) pay special attention to the statistics, these are important in order to pass the quizzes 3) finally, if you are not sure about a particular question on the quiz, most of the time it pays to choose the most conservative answer. Remember the aim of the course is to make you a safe driver.
The whole point of taking a driving safety course is to reduce the financial burden that is imposed by a speeding ticket or a traffic violation. So it is important to take the total cost of a driving safety course into account before choosing a driving safety course. In Texas, by law, a course provider much charge a minimum of $25 for a driving safety course. Since all the online courses are competing for the same students, many of them at least at first glance offer the course for the low price of $25. Like I have stated before, a course provider will do everything to get you to register for the course. Once you register and pay for the course they have you locked in. Here are my reasons 1) think about it like this, a driving safety course is only 5 hours long, if you register and lets assume you started the course and spent even 30 mins on the course you have completed 10% of the course and at that point you will more likely finish the course than leave it, ask for a refund and choose another course. 2) once you complete the course, a course provider can impose several hidden fees like extra charges for instant certificate download and expensive delivery options. For these reasons, I highly rate the courses that offer a pay later option. A pay later option means that you do not have to pay a single dime to go through the lessons, you only need to pay to receive the course certificate. Even in this case you should make sure that the school is offering instant download for free and offers the course for the lowest price of $25. Fast Track Defensive Driving is the only course I found that has a pay later option, charges only $25 for a course completion certificate and offers free instant certificate download. In my view, if you want to complete a driving safety course in Texas you should not have to pay more than $25. If you are someone who likes to take video lessons, you more than likely have to shell out $10 more on average.
After aggregating all the courses based on the three criteria above,
Fast Track Defensive Driving
comes on top of all the courses and is the overall best driving safety course in the state of Texas.
Defensive Driving offers their driving safety
course for the lowest price of $25 from start to finish.
They have an awesome pay later option that is not
available at any other school offering a $25 course. I highly recommend using
Their course is probably the easiest course out there and certainly the
easiest that I have seen. There are only 5 questions at the end of each lesson.
Defensive Driving offers a read along (audio) option
completely free of charge, a saving of $5 that makes the course easy to complete.
offers many fun games that you can play if you choose to listen to the course
making the experience relaxing and enjoyable.
The course can be completed on any computer, smart phone or tablet.
One final point I want to make is that Fast Track Defensive Driving is a new player in the business and offers a defensive driving course only in the state of Texas. If you want to stick to established players you should keep reading.
DefensiveDriving.com is one of the oldest course provider in the state of Texas and has a the biggest share of the driving safety course market. They offer their driving safety course in two formats 1) traditional course involving reading the course material for a total price of $35. 2) video course for a total cost of $45. If you want to stick with the industry leader with a big market share then DefensiveDriving.com course is probably the one for you.
Finally, the driving safety course in video format is another category that has a great deal of appeal to many drivers. In this category Comedy Driving Inc is the leader offering their comedy video course that you can complete for a total cost of $35. In addition to their online video course, Comedy Driving also has several locations where they offer their course in traditional format. These courses are taught by professional comedians.