Defensive Driving in Amarillo

by John Fabel | Last Updated: February 23, 2021

With nearly 200,000 residents potentially on the road at any given time, driving in Amarillo can be challenging. In Texas’s fourteenth-largest city, driving can sometimes get as spicy as the salsa at El Bracero

Amarillo can be a dangerous place to drive, both physically and fiscally. Amarillo averages 4,800 collisions per year, with nearly a third resulting in injuries or fatalities.  

Since most accidents are caused by a failure to control speed, law enforcement does its best to slow this trend by writing tickets. In the US, 100,000 speeding tickets are written every day, and, no doubt, Amarillo drivers get their fair share. At an average cost of $150 a ticket, the nation’s speeders pay out nearly $5.5 billion dollars in fines, and each of them faces a 22-25% increase in their car insurance premiums for the next three years.

All of these costs could be drastically reduced with better driving by all. Amarillo drivers can bring these numbers down by taking defensive driving (also known in Texas as a “driver safety course”). Tips and reminders of how to navigate the roads safely are the main topics of any driving course. The stated purpose of a TDLR-approved course is to teach drivers to “change their perceptions, attitudes, and skills to make Texas roads and highways a safer place to drive.” Other benefits of taking a defensive driving course include ticket dismissal and insurance savings, all at a reasonable cost.

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The Easiest Way to Take Defensive Driving in Amarillo? Do it Online

Since there’s no way of knowing if the world will ever return to a “pre-Covid normal,” the easiest (and safest) way to complete a course would be to take one online. The ability to work at your own pace from your own place makes it the most convenient way, too. Any of the schools listed below offer courses approved for ticket dismissal and/or insurance discount. And you can choose any of them with confidence that they are fully certified by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).

Amarillo’s Best TDLR-Approved Online Defensive Driving Providers

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Tired of Being Cooped Up?

If you’ve seen enough of the inside of your house lately, you can still get out and take defensive driving in a classroom. Be ready to mask up and work around some limited schedules, but these guys are still “doing the deal.”

Depending on the school, classroom defensive driving has always been fun; being in the presence of humans again might even make it more so. Now I’m not gonna lie; classroom defensive driving in Amarillo is hard to find anymore. Here are a couple of unexpected places where you can still make that happen.

Amarillo College

Amarillo College offers a classroom version of the TDLR-approved USA Driver Safety Course, a course that has the highest combined score for effectiveness, showing improvement in both recidivism and crash reduction according to a recent industry study.

Offered at Amarillo College West Campus WCC – 101

The City of Amarillo

Classroom defensive driving is also offered at the Municipal Court of Amarillo. You can start the Driver’s Safety Course (DSC) process online, by mail/email, or in person at The Municipal Court.

City Hall—601 S. Buchanan, Amarillo, Texas 79105 or call 806-378-3000

In the bygone B.C. (before Covid) days, schools like Comedy Guys, Funny Bone, and My Improv were famous for their defensive driving classes that were more or less dinner and a show. Hopefully, they’ll be back soon.

If You Have Received a Ticket in Amarillo

Defensive driving courses can be used to improve driving skills and earn insurance discounts, but the benefit most people look for is ticket dismissal. 

The first step to taking defensive driving is receiving permission to do so. The Amarillo process for asking “pretty please” can happen:

The city page has lots of steps to take and hoops to jump through so make sure to follow them carefully so you can be sure to make that ticket go away.

Dismissal for most citations is possible unless the ticket was written:

Ticket dismissal is also not a possibility if you are the holder of a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) or if you have dismissed a ticket with defensive driving in the past 12 months.

Driving in Amarillo

Amarillo country music station 101.9 “The Bull” ranked what they considered the “Six of the Funniest Road Names in Amarillo.” In their estimation, these streets include:

I’ve only driven in Amarillo a couple of times myself, but I kind of want to go back, making sure to pay better attention to road signs next time.

More Cool Stuff About Amarillo

If you live in (or plan to visit) Amarillo, you’ll find the city has lots of things to see and do. for example, you can…

Bet $72 for a Chance to Join Some Legendary Company

Since the 1960s, diners at The Big Texan Steak Ranch have been offered the 72oz steak challenge. Contestants are tasked with consuming the steak with all the trimmings (salad, roll, baked potato, even an appetizer shrimp cocktail) in one hour. finish successfully and your name will be added to the “Wall of Fame.” Fail and you’ll be out $72, but at least you’ll have lots of leftovers to enjoy in defeat.

Add Your Touch to an Ever Evolving Work of Art

On interstate 40, 10 miles south of Amarillo you’ll find a most curious sight—the Cadillac Ranch. Created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, it is a public art installation and sculpture comprised of ten Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground.

The cars in the installation have been painted various colors over the years and today visitors are welcome to grab a can of spray paint and add their own embellishments.

Like the Song Says, “Get Your Kicks”

Before Eisenhower established the Interstate Highway system we all roar down today, the most efficient way to drive cross country was to take Route 66. 2,448 miles long, stretching from Chicago to Santa Monica, CA, Route 66 was a major route taken by road trippers and travelers. Amarillo has preserved the feel of this iconic piece of America’s past with the Route 66 Historic District, a 13-block neighborhood that features more than 60 antique shops and boutiques as well as local landmarks as The Natatorium and the San Jacinto Fire Station.

Take in Some Great Outdoors

See the second largest canyon in the U.S., Palo Duro. You’ll be greeted there by jaw-dropping rock formations, sloping cliffs glowing orange in the sunlight and rugged valleys covered in mesquite and cottonwood trees.

If you work your way to the bottom of the canyon you’ll discover The Trading Post where you can dine and grab a bite to fuel your further exploration.

No Matter Your Plans

Whatever you decide to see or do in Amarillo, be careful driving to get there. Without question, the driving environment here can pose some real traffic challenges. Consider taking a defensive driving course to make sure you get to your “whatever” safely.

John Fabel

I have a long and checkered history with defensive driving. I took my first "court invited" course at age 15 and realized immediately that there had to be a better way. Since that first experience, I have gone on to teach defensive driving classroom courses and to author four internet courses in 2 states. After nearly 25 years in the industry, I can help you find a course that will be the best fit for you.