Keys2Drive The AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety
Driver Education

Driver Education

 

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.

Driver's education 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. 

Find a Program Right for You

  • Many high schools in Oklahoma no longer offer driver’s education courses.
  • There are 25 commercial driving schools in Oklahoma, primarily in metropolitan areas.
  • Don’t settle for schools that advertise quick or easy programs—you want your teen to be taught well.
  • Consider AAA Oklahoma’s parent-taught driver education program called “Take the Wheel.” It provides parents everything they need to teach a teen how to drive from scratch – plus it qualifies the teen to drive at an earlier age (see the section about the licensing process) and enables the teen to take advantage of any driver education discounts offered by auto insurance companies. The cost is generally about half what commercial driving schools charge. AAA members receive a discount.  

Choosing a Quality Driving School

If you choose not to teach your teen how to drive yourself, seek out a quality school—one that focuses on your teen’s safety, not just getting the license. Look beyond budget and timeframe considerations. 

  • 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.

Quality driving schools: 

  • Require instructors to complete ongoing education.
  • Have reasonable student-teacher ratios.
  • Are members of professional associations such as American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association and Driving School Association of the Americas.
  • Want, encourage and facilitate parental involvement.
  • Have a solid history of resolving complaints to their customers’ satisfaction.
The key is finding a school that meets your needs. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a convenient program over a quality program.
 
Even though Oklahoma youth are not required to take driver education, don’t pass up this critical step. There’s additional incentive for Oklahoma teens, too. They can get their full driver’s license up to one year earlier if they complete an approved driver education program, including AAA Oklahoma’s parent-taught course.
 
Does your local AAA club offer driver education? YES!
 

Additional resources: 

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  • 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.