Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Location: McLean, VA, USA
Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:23 pm
Our friend Joshua Nestor did some investigation on Texas defensive driving phenomenon. Not that Texas got all defensive and built a remake of Great Wall of China along its borders, But it's government and courts suddenly got all defensive about how bad the situation on the roads is, and decided to teach drivers to become defensive, too. I can't say I agree with their defensive approach, as their method seems to be yet another offensive money-making machine for the government, but looks like Texas defensive driving is here to stay, so I asked Joshua to take a look at it. He did an excellent job at it, and while I don't agree to everything what he says, I invite you to take a tactical moment to read his short essay on Texas defensive driving.
Last edited by Misha on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
Misha, i just read your article and found it quite interesting.
I'm a web programmer, and I just finished developing an online comedy defensive driving course - comedydriving.com. The owner is one of the largest defensive driving schools in Houston. Within the first year of opening the online course they had over 24,000 students. I think that is pretty crazy numbers for the first year.
It just goes to show you what a good idea it was to begin with. But it also might show how crazy drivers are in Texas!
Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Location: McLean, VA, USA
Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:12 am
No worries, nomaid1
Yeah, it's getting bigger and bigger and becomes an industry by itself. However classrooms will not disappear - courts favor classroom training over online one, because you actually waste more time this way, and it delivers more inconvenience to you
Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:36 pm
If the defensive driving courses work, I'm all for it. However, one of the problems is that people don't take a defensive driving course until AFTER they have had a violation or been involved in an accident.
Last I checked, here in the U.S. the road fatality rate was about 30% higher than it is in the UK. The UK had the lowest road fatality rate, but several European countries had a lower fatality rate than we have. That's in spite of the fact that we have better roads than the UK has.
There are at least two reasons that driving in the UK is safer. It is much more difficult to get a driver's license in the UK. Doing so requires considerable classroom study and a thorough written examination. It also requires watching a video and demonstrating the ability to recognize and deal with potentially hazardous situations. The behind the wheel training is also VERY thorough, as is also the behind the wheel test. This thorough training and testing result in more competent drivers. Also, enforcement in the UK and many other European countries is more thorough than it is here.
I don't doubt that the road fatality rate here could be greatly reduced by better driver training and enforcement of driving laws. We should also have periodic re-testing, perhaps every five years. The biggest barrier to implementing this is political. People expect to be able to get a driver's license easily, quickly, and cheaply. If they had to spend more than $1000 and a few weeks on testing and training, they would vote out of office the politicians who supported the program, even though ultimately the costs in terms of lives, injuries, and insurance would be reduced by more than enough to justify the program.
Driving here is treated much too casually, as if it were no more important or demanding than loading the washing machine. That's why we see drivers talking on cell 'phones and engaging in other distracting behaviors while driving. More thorough training and testing would cause more (but not all) drivers to understand that driving is a serious and demanding activity that requires full attention at all times.
*link snipped* has been around for quite some time, but most Texas drivers are still not sure what to do after they get a ticket and alert the court that they would like to complete a defensive driving course. Once you know that you have the approval to complete a defensive driving course, the next step is determining how you want to take a course and when.
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