With nearly a million residents potentially on the road at any given time, driving in Austin can be challenging. In the fourth-largest city in Texas, driving can sometimes get as spicy as the salsa at Suerte.
Austin can be a dangerous place to drive, both physically and fiscally. Austin averages 15,000+ 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, Austin 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. Austin 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 started 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.
The Easiest Way to Take Defensive Driving in Austin? 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).
Austin’s Best TDLR-Approved Online Defensive Driving Providers
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 Austin is hard to find anymore. Here are some schools where you can still make that happen.
Based in Austin with two locations in San Antonio, Austin Driving School is state-certified, bonded, and insured, offering defensive driving and many other driving courses. They also offer teen drivers ed, adult drivers ed, and courses for minor in possession offenders, DWI offenders, and drug offenders. In all of their offerings, Austin Driving School is committed to saving lives, reducing stress, and promoting responsible driving habits.
Visit AustinDrivingSchool.com for locations or call (512) 280-4499
Blazing Saddles features a T.D.L.R. (Texas Department of Licensing And Regulation), approved, six-hour classes for traffic ticket dismissal or insurance premium discount. Their knowledgeable and experienced instructors are eager to make your time unique, educational, and fun-filled. You can find classes in Pflugerville, Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, and Giddings.
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 Austin
Defensive driving courses can be used to improve driving skills and earn insurance discounts, but the benefit most people look for is ticket dismissal.
Dismissal for most citations is possible unless the ticket was written:
- For speeding 25 miles per hour (or more) over the posted limit
- Passing a stopped school bus
- In a posted construction zone while workers are present
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Fleeing police
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 Austin
Austin is home to an excellent highway system, but the locals all seem to refer to them by name instead of number. Let’s break down a few.
If you are driving on:
- Loop 1, you are traveling Mopac, named for the adjacent Missouri Pacific rail line
- US 183, you are traveling Research Blvd
- Texas Loop 360 you are traveling Capital of Texas Highway
You should also know that if you are driving westward on Koenig Lane, it will change names to Allandale Rd. then briefly Northland Dr. before it goes under Mopac and turns into R.M. 2222.
More Cool Stuff About Austin
Besides its wide variety of peculiarly named freeways, Texas’ fourth-largest city has a lot to offer. What might you discover if you headed there?
- Austin is home to the only nudist beach in Texas—If you are especially comfortable with your beach bod, head to Hippie Hollow on Lake Travis.
- More bats than anywhere else in America—Under the Congress Avenue Bridge, about 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats make their spring and summer home.
- Austin was used as a backdrop for several major motion pictures—Movies filmed here include:
- What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
- Dazed and Confused
- Office Space
- Ms. Congeniality
- Kill Bill Volume 1
- Spy Kids
- Lots of sunshine—Out of a year’s 365 days, 300 of them will be sunny in Austin, way more than Philadelphia.
- A really big Capitol building—Only the US Capitol building is bigger.
- A costumed birthday party for a fictional character—On the last Saturday of April, Austin celebrates the birthday of Eeyore (the fictional character from Winnie the Pooh) with live music and very large drum circles.
Whatever you decide to see in Austin, be careful driving to get there. Texas’s capital can pose some real traffic challenges. Consider taking a defensive driving course to make sure you get to your “whatever” safely.
John FabelI 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.
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