Turning your teen into a safe driver is a complex task. Part of the process involves learning the rules of the road and how to safely operate a vehicle – two big areas where professional driver education and training can help tremendously. Even though your child is still weeks, months or even a couple years away from driving, it’s not too early to start learning about driver education.
New drivers need a solid foundation of knowledge, skills and plans to reduce their risk behind the wheel. Quality driver education can help to develop safe driving attitudes, improve hazard recognition and explain how to manage visibility, time and space in traffic.
Using a professional driver education school can be an effective way to provide your teen with the training needed to become a more informed and safer driver. It can also help preserve your relationship with your teen, as some very skilled and safety-conscious parents may not have the time or temperament to be the best teacher.
Choosing a Driving School
- Ask around. Does your local high school offer driver education? Check with friends and neighbors about programs they’ve used.
- Call several schools. Ask questions about the quality of their operations, and ask for references.
- Visit several schools. Ask to sit in on a session, take a look at the vehicles and student materials.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau.
What to Look for in a Quality Driving School:
The key is finding a school that meets your needs. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a convenient program over a quality program.
Driver education and driver training provide the foundation for the skills and attitudes teens will use for the rest of their lives. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes they learn in driver education/training classes can help them avoid traffic tickets, lower their chances of being involved in accidents, and make them into safer drivers.
Your teen may take driver education or driver training at a public or private high school, or at a state licensed driving school.
Driver Education must consist of at least:
- 30 hours of classroom instruction. The 30-hour minimum does not include breaks or meal times.
- Home study or an Internet training program. If you choose home study or an Internet training program, it must be the equivalent of the requirements for classroom instruction.
Driver Training must consist of at least:
- 6 hours of driver training.
- The driver training cannot exceed two hours per day. If your teen is in a car and observing another driver, that time does not count toward the 6 hours needed for the required behind-the-wheel driver training
Does your local AAA club offer driver education?
- Choosing a Vehicle - How to choose a safe vehicle when the time comes.
- Teaching Your Teens to Drive - A program that gives parents everything they need to be a good driving coach.
- Choosing a Driving School - Driver education courses are designed to teach new drivers fundamental skills required to drive a motor vehicle. Tips in this AAA brochure will help you select the best driver training school.
- Becoming the New Driver - Designed for teens, this brochure outlines tips and responsibilities of being a safe driver.
- Driving Knowledge Quiz - Think you know the rules of the road? Take this quiz and find out.
- DMV Practice Questions – Take this sample test to determine if you’re ready to take the state driving test.