HOUSTON (October 22, 2022) – It’s no secret that traffic fatalities across Texas and the United States have increased, and with a summer travel surge expected to near 2017 numbers, the chance for accidents also increases. There are many factors involved in why crashes occur, although research has shown the majority are caused by human error – including commonly ticketed mistakes like speeding, distracted driving and running a red light. While it’s not possible to change other drivers’ behaviors, drivers can learn to drive defensively to protect themselves and others from a dangerous situation.
Despite fewer cars on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased traffic fatalities occurred and have been widely attributed to reckless driving behaviors. New data is also showing the number of driver safety courses completed during this time significantly declined. Data gathered by DefensiveDriving.com shows Texas drivers completed 27.7 percent fewer defensive driving courses in 2021 compared to 2019. The largest drop is from 2019 to 2020, with 399,254 courses completed in 2020, compared to 552,124 in 2019. Based on available data from January to April 2022, DefensiveDriving.com estimates 344,000 courses will be completed this year – which is almost 200,000 fewer than 2018.
According to the National Safety Council, defensive driving can help keep drivers safer and potentially decrease the risk of vehicle crashes and traffic violations. The Texas Department of Insurance states defensive driving can help drivers reduce hazards caused by others, including avoiding crashes and other roadway dangers.
“Making our roads safer should be a priority to everyone, especially for drivers who engage in high-risk behaviors, such as speeding, red light running and texting while driving,” said David Bruce, CEO of DefensiveDriving.com. “These behaviors can result in serious and often fatal crashes. Taking defensive driving is a targeted solution for drivers to learn from their mistakes and make better decisions, helping improve safety for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”
Dr. Nina Jo Saint, Education Director for SafeWay Driving adds, “Together, we can make the commitment to safer roads across Texas and the U.S. I’ve dedicated my career to traffic safety, and one of the most effective methods to improve roadway safety is by practicing defensive driving. It’s simple and successful: if you educate drivers, you create safer roads.”
In Texas, eligible drivers who receive a traffic ticket may choose to complete a state-approved defensive driving course to dismiss the ticket from their record or to pay for the ticket. Drivers who go the course route are typically required to provide a defensive driving certificate of completion to the court. Alternatively, drivers who pay the ticket will keep the violation on their driving record, which can result in increased insurance premiums and possible issues with future car rentals.
During the summer travel season and year-round, drivers can protect themselves and others by following these defensive driving tips at all times:
– Respect other drivers
– Don’t drive distracted
– Yield when necessary
– Plan for bad weather
– Look ahead to predict what may happen and act accordingly
– Learn Texas road laws
DefensiveDriving.com is the top-rated online course in Texas and was one of the first defensive driving online schools in the nation. Designed for convenience and ease of use, DefensiveDriving.com courses can be completed for ticket dismissal, point reduction or insurance purposes. The company aims to provide the most educational, highest quality products in the industry with in-house customer service and licensed defensive driving instructors. Learn more at DefensiveDriving.com.