What is Online Defensive Driving?

by John Fabel | Last Updated: February 12, 2021

Defensive Driving is the art of driving safely and being able to predict and handle potentially hazardous situations while operating a motor vehicle. Defensive Driving is also a course you may have heard of, probably shortly after receiving a speeding ticket or some other moving violation.

A Defensive Driving online course is the perfect way to improve your driving skills and to dismiss a ticket all in one easy process. These courses are easy to find, easy to take, and can help you in many ways.

One benefit of taking a defensive driving course online is for ticket dismissal. Yes, it’s possible to have a ticket dismissed or have some charges reduced just by taking a defensive driving course. These courses can also reduce the points against your driver’s license.

Taking an online defensive driving course may also save you money on your car insurance. Many companies offer “safe driver discounts” to policyholders who voluntarily complete a defensive driving course.

If you have a job that involves driving a company vehicle, a defensive driving course may satisfy an employer requirement.

Defensive driving can not only potentially save you a lot of money and time but, most importantly, could quite possibly your life. Anything can happen out there on the roads, and it’s never a bad idea to take a defensive driving course online to help yourself be more aware of how to handle the dangers while driving.

Answers in this post:

How Does Online Defensive Driving Work?

Why is Defensive Driving Important?

What is Covered in a Defensive Driving Course?

VIDEO: Benefits of Texas Defensive Driving

How Online Defensive Driving Works

How does online defensive driving work?

The basic mechanics of defensive driving online are quite simple. The very first thing that you want to do is to find a course that is approved by your state’s agencies and insurance companies. This is very important. The last thing you want is to go all the way through a course just to find out that it will not satisfy your court’s requirements or put any insurance dollars back in your pocket. 

Depending on where you live, the number of online defensive driving choices range from handfuls to hundreds. You can narrow your options by visiting a site that offers defensive driving in all states or one that lists courses in one state (like Texas). There are also review sites that will give you a glimpse of what you might expect from a particular defensive driving course. 

While the subject matter of a defensive driving course is serious, there are courses that make the process a blast and a breeze! It’s always great to have some good ol’ fashioned humor break up an otherwise bleak process.

Once you have decided on a course and have completed the sign-up process, it’s time to get down to it. Some courses cover the required information through text, some with video, and some by a combination of the two. The length of the course depends on the requirements of the state you are taking it in. The nice thing about an online course is the ability to log in and out so that you can customize your course to fit into your schedule. Just be careful to get it done by the date your court has given you for completion.

Although it only takes a few hours to take a defensive driving online course, you will want to make yourself free from distractions so that you can focus on the content of the course. While it’s nice to be getting a ticket dismissed, it’s most important to actually learn from this course. Not only will it keep you safer, but it may also prevent tickets in the future!

Learning the material is also important as testing your knowledge of the material is a part of every course. Depending on the course, this will be done with quizzes along the way or by a final exam.

Once you take (and hopefully pass!) the course, then you will be issued a certificate of completion. Once you have this certificate, you can use it in court to dismiss tickets for moving violations, submit it to your employer (if you’re required to do so to operate a vehicle on the job), or submit it to your insurance company to get a reduction in your monthly expenses.

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Why Defensive Driving Matters

Defensive driving online matters for several reasons. Of course, it is nice to save a little money, avoid heavy fines (or even get tickets dismissed), but probably most importantly is the matter of safety.

Think of it as a way to develop your safety skills to keep you, your family, and others around you safe.

The course does this by helping you hone your skills of awareness so that you can predict a dangerous situation before it happens, and then be able to act accordingly. For example, let’s say the person driving in front of you isn’t staying in the center of the lane and they are speeding up and braking quickly. It might be a good idea to keep a constant eye on this vehicle and keep a lot more extra distance than you normally might.

Statistics don’t lie. There is absolutely no argument that a defensive driving course lowers accident rates and improves road safety. You might consider yourself a safe driver already without any need for improvement, but the reality is that most of us can really benefit from learning a few basic tips (or maybe just refreshing our memory) by taking a course. Think of it like leveling up or just improving your skills in life. Who doesn’t like to do that?

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What’s Covered in Online Defensive Driving?

defensive driving no final exam

While the specific subject requirements for defensive driving vary from state to state, the goal of all of these courses is driver improvement. At the end of the day, safe driving is safe driving, right? It’s not like one state is going to tell you to keep your hands on the wheel while another tells you to tie them behind you back.

No matter where you are you are taking your course, you will probably see some variation and combination of the following topics:

  • Road signs, signals and markings
  • The importance of seatbelts
  • Sharing the road with others
  • The dangers of distracted driving
  • The consequences of DUI

The subjects covered in defensive driving are designed with a goal in mind—to make you a safer, more competent driver. Even if your goal in taking a defensive driving course is just to dismiss a ticket or save on insurance, if you take to heart the goals of the course, it’s a double win.

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Become a Safer Driver with Defensive Driving Online

Taking defensive driving online can be a very exciting, fun, and even uplifting process! Not only will it keep you and your family safer, but it will also ensure that others are safe, too. This makes a better world for us all. Now if we could find a way to get all those “other guys” you share the road with to take it, too…

Defensive driving is easy to sign up for online, doesn’t take that much time, doesn’t cost that much money (especially compared to what you’ll be saving!), and will give you safety skills that you will likely use all of your life.

Going beyond defensive driving courses, there are several ways to cultivate and develop safety skills in life, such as enjoying every moment of life instead of rushing through, being constantly aware of your surroundings, and especially learning to take your time with things.

Here is an ancient phrase (at least as long as sandwiches have been around!) that is very easy to remember:

Eat your sandwich one bite at a time, and chew slowly.

Anonymous
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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.