Defensive Driving: Traditional vs. Online

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Defensive driving courses have been taught in the U.S. since the 1970’s. These classes originally were taught in a classroom setting with an instructor, but increasingly online defensive driving is becoming the norm as the way to complete course. What is the difference between a traditional classroom course and an online course?

According to Region XIII, the governing body in Texas for defensive driving course providers, in Texas the first non-traditional courses began in 1996 with the introduction of VHS/internet courses. Region XIII reports that approximately 692583 people completed a defensive driving course and of that number only 9% took an alternative non-traditional defensive driving course.    The alternative course was a welcome benefit since the course could be taken at the comfort of home. Originally, the VHS courses were ordered over the phone, the defensive driving VHS tape was mailed to the requested location and the student would take the class. A benefit to taking the VHS course was that one would not have to drive to any particular destination to take defensive driving.
    After 1996, the number of people that took an alternative form of defensive driving steadily increased. In the year 2000, the amount of internet course providers grew. Again, Region XIII reports that of 740387 almost 28% of that were alternative internet and video courses.
    Today, classroom courses are still taught in Texas and the classrooms still fill up with people that are eager to get a ticket dismissed and off their mind. These folks seem to prefer the traditional face to face interaction with the instructors of the course. The personal human contact and communication is still a preference by many. Still, to get these traditional courses one must still drive to the location where the class is being taught.
Where and when are the courses taught? Defensive driving companies like Comedy Driving, Inc. have a set time and location for classroom courses. It is up to the customer to find a convenient time to attend a class. Classes are not always taught at the same time every day and some providers only teach certain days during the week or weekends. This seems to give classroom courses a slight disadvantage from online courses that can be taken at any time.
Since the introduction of the online course, the major advantage over traditional courses seems to be convenience; basically, as long as there is an internet connection the course can be taken. There is no need to drive anywhere or wait for a certain time to take the class; online courses are ready to be taken at any time. The online courses run on servers, are prerecorded or animated and need little to no human interaction. The lack of interaction, again, may be a draw back.
Texas is the second largest state in the U.S. and it is not uncommon to find areas with little or bad internet connection. Believe it or not some people still use dial-up as an internet connection. Most defensive driving course providers use mass amounts of data and space for their courses and it makes it very difficult for people with slow internet or no internet to take online courses.
What is common for either traditional courses or online courses is the fact that one must always obtain court approval to take a defensive driving class in Texas. Not obtaining approval may cause for a court to reject their certificate when trying to turn in the certificate to the court. Also, all individuals in Texas that take a defensive driving course for a ticket dismissal must receive their certificate of completion either via the United States Postal Service or a commercial courier. For whatever reason people decide to take online courses, the fact is that online courses are now the preferred method of completing defensive driving. In 2011, about 707918 defensive driving certificates were issued in Texas of which 66% were issued to online customers .
This is information is brought to you by Comedy Driving, Inc. Comedy Driving, Inc. has been in business for over 10 years and is an approved Texas defensive driving schools.


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Jeffrey Bitner
Comedy Driving Inc
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