Portland Defensive Driving

Last Updated: May 19, 2021 |
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Portland, Oregon is one of the nation’s most collision prone cities. About every seven years, Portlanders will be involved in a collision. That’s about 45% more often than the national average of 10 years. Drivers in Portland are also more likely to slam on the brakes, with 18.4 hard braking events per 1,000 miles driven compared to the national average of 16.

Combine Portland’s reputation for bad driving with perpetually slick roads and rush hour traffic, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. How can you protect yourself if you live in Portland and expect to drive? The answer lies in defensive driving courses, which will prepare you to drive safely even if others around you aren’t doing the same.

With a Portland defensive driving course, you’ll learn how to become a safer driver, avoiding collisions, tickets, and other incidents on the road. You may also be able to dismiss a traffic ticket from your record by completing the course, or simply get a discount on your auto insurance. It also doesn’t hurt to benefit from the knowledge and safety skills that a defensive driving course can teach you.

Read on to find our 10 best defensive driving schools in Portland. These schools are trusted in the community and have hundreds to thousands of satisfied, safe driving former students on the roads of Portland and beyond. Every school on this list is great, so we haven’t ranked them in any particular order. We do know that one has to be the best, but we want you to tell us which one that is! So be sure to vote in our poll at the end of this article to let us know which Portland defensive driving course you think is the best. Do it today and don’t wait, as the poll closes in 30 days!

1940 N Victory Blvd, Portland, OR 97217

(503) 285-4449

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Pro Drive was founded in 1987 in Portland and is the official driving school of Portland International Raceway. Their driving programs are dedicated to building driver confidence and skill on the racetrack as well as the street. Students can participate in racing classes, SkidCar classes, high-performance driving courses, and more for ultimate control of every vehicle.

1520 NE 8th St, Gresham, OR 97030

(503) 766-3567

Pacific Driver Education offers affordable and effective driver education programs including classes for teen and adult drivers. Students can lower the risk of car crashes and avoid becoming a deadly statistic with this helpful educational resource. Each Pacific Driver Education instructor is certified by the ODOT Transportation Safety Division as well as the DMV. Instructors specialize in helping drivers avoid crashes with low risk driving skills and habits.

6723 SE 16th Ave, Portland, OR 97202


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1st Learn to Drive is a driver education school offering high-quality traffic safety instruction to new and experienced drivers. Students of this school will learn the fundamentals needed to stay safe on the road with the knowledge and skills necessary to make crucial driving decisions every day. 1st Learn to Drive has a comfortable learning environment and a variety of programs to fit the needs of every student with three locations in the Portland area.

10315 SW Barbur Blvd, Portland, OR 97201

(503) 225-0770

Oregon Driver Training Institute specializes in teaching students how to avoid becoming the victim of other drivers’ mistakes. Lessons are available any day of the week and focus on driver responsibility, defensive driving practices, rules of the road, and more. Every instructor at Oregon Driver Training Institute is DMV and state-certified, and many are also licensed, school teachers. Oregon Driver Training Institute is one of the largest driving schools in Oregon, delivering quality programs for school districts and private driving students.

4848 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Portland, OR 97225

(503) 297-4813

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Oregon Driver Education Center is the largest driving school in Portland. Established in 1978, the Oregon Driver Education Center serves more than 2,000 students each year. They are passionate about keeping Oregon’s roads safe and strive to eliminate, reduce, and manage the risks of driving with a nationally recognized risk management program. Oregon Driver Education Center is ODOT approved and certified by the National Safety Council. They offer multiple locations throughout the Portland area as well as easy and flexible online scheduling for classes.

18717 SW Forest Park Rd, Hillsboro, OR 97123

(503) 628-6306

Hammerly’s Great NW Drivers is a family-owned and operated driving school in the Portland area. This school is a family of highly experienced instructors with an average of 23 years of industry experience. Hammerly’s is dedicated to building lifelong good habits for driving safely. Brand new drivers as well as experienced drivers are encouraged to learn new skills behind the wheel with Hammerly’s courteous, safe, and patient professional drivers.

5601 E 18th St Ste 204, Vancouver, WA 98661

(360) 750-8603

On Target Driving School’s mission is to coach students and adults to become safe, competent drivers. They offer Washington state-approved traffic safety education, adult driving lessons, classroom tutoring, behind the wheel training, license testing, and more.

2950 SW Cornelius Pass Rd Ste E, Hillsboro, OR 97123

(503) 648-7086

Tom’s Driving Academy has four decades of experience instructing students in the Portland metro area in driving skills. Their mission is to save lives and reduce costs on the roadways, and they achieve that by teaching students how to be smarter drivers, so the roads are safer for everyone. Students will find Tom’s Driving Academy to be flexible, helpful, and comfortable, with each driving lesson tailored to the person learning how to drive. Programs in the classroom and private or shared driving lessons are available.

11701 NE 95th St, Vancouver, WA 98682

(360) 892-6988

Since 2006, Driving 101 has taught students how to drive safely in the Portland area. They are proud to have the state’s most in-depth and comprehensive driving education program in Washington. Their program is hands-on with a wide variety of teaching methods including visuals and is designed to help students excel in driver education. Be sure to check out their free video and downloads section to find safe driving resources you can study at home.

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