When defensive driving was first adopted in Texas, it fell under the auspices of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and not the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) as it is today. Kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t classes be overseen by educators and not regulators? Fortunately, many of the rules established by the TEA are still in effect today.
Any educator will tell you that nothing beats a good visual aid if you are trying to make a point. And what could be “visual-er” than a video? After all, if a picture paints a thousand words, then how many can be painted with a picture that moves? And while there are still a few of us who like the book more than the movie, educators also understand that lessons are more likely to be internalized via video and not line after line after line of text.
There are a couple of reasons why skipping videos is a bad idea. The first we just alluded to. Whether you think the lessons are valuable to you in and of themselves (BTW, they are), you will need to remember the information in them to pass your test. Don’t watch, don’t pass, don’t get a completion certificate. You see where we’re going here.
If passing the test isn’t incentive enough, there is another little built-in failsafe you should know about. The state requires that every defensive driving video with a runtime of 90 seconds or more is followed by a question over its content. In almost every course, these questions are really easy if you watch the video; if you skip it, not so much. Oh, and if you get the answer wrong, you must re-watch the video before attempting to answer the question again. So the thing you thought would save you time has now doubled it.
Many students believe that just because the state requires a defensive driving course to be six hours long, it doesn’t mean they have to dedicate six hours to complete it. Here are some of the strategies we’ve seen attempted:
Here’s what you have to understand. To make sure students are subjected to, uh, I mean presented with a six-hour course, state law requires online defensive driving courses to have timers installed so that students can’t rush ahead. So read like the wind, click “Next Page” like mad, or fast forward all the videos; when you get to the end of a lesson, you’ll still have to wait for the clock to wind down before you can continue.