No Faster, Easier, or Cheaper Way to Get Defensive Driving Done 

Why You Should Watch All the Videos in Texas Online Defensive Driving

You Can Skip Them—But It Ain't Gonna Help

Why Do Online Driver Safety Courses Have Videos?

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.

Why is Skipping Defensive Driving Videos a Bad Idea?

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.

Fastest Texas Defensive Driving

There's Gotta Be a Way I Can Game This Thing to Get It Done Faster!

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:


  • Considering themselves to be speed readers, some students choose a text-only course, confident they’ll be able to tear right through it.


  • Others, figuring they already know all there is to know about defensive driving, attempt to press “Next Page, Next Page, Next Page” to reach the final exam that they’re sure they’ll pass sight unseen.


  • Still others use the technique this post is about, skipping through videos to shave off some time.

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.

Any way you cut it, six hours is six hours is six hours. Here are some recommendations for ways you can make it feel like less than six hours.

  • Choose an online course—With the ability to log in and out whenever you want, finishing a course will feel more like snacking than being forced to eat an elephant.

  • Choose your course early—If you wait until your court date is nearly upon you, you’ll have to fight through to get it all done in one go.

  • Understand that six hours is really five—Wait. What?!? Texas law does require driver safety courses be six hours in length, but that an hour of that is built in breaks. When you take an online course, stay logged in the first time you walk away and the break timers will count down while you’re gone, leaving you with just lesson clock time.

  • Treat yourself to a 100% video course—Many people find watching seems to go way faster than reading.

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