When I was a sophomore in high school I took a driver’s educations (driver’s ed) course that was offered at school. I already had my instruction permit and had spent some time driving with my parents, but my parents wanted me to have a better understanding of driving. Also, our insurance company offered a discount if I completed the course.
It was an interesting experience. Our instructor showed us horribly graphic films about automobile accidents and lectured us endlessly about the dangers of driving. Most of us were terrified at the end of each class, but the redeeming thing about the course was that it helped us to truly understand that driving was serious business.
Every state has different requirements for driver’s ed courses for teen drivers. I live in Washington State where one of the requirements to get your license is that you have to pass a traffic safety education course. This type of course consists of classroom instruction, behind-the-wheel training and also behind-the-wheel observation. You must have your instruction permit to participate in the driving portion of the class.
It’s important to choose a quality driver’s ed course. Most high schools offer courses for a reasonable fee. These courses are managed locally through the school districts and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) oversees and certifies the instructors and curriculum for these programs.
There are licensed driving schools if your high school doesn’t offer a course or you want to go outside of your school for instruction. They also offer more one-on-one instruction and are less time consuming than school-based courses. Make sure to check a driving school’s licensing, curriculum, ratio of instructors to students, record keeping and if they’ve received any disciplinary actions for violating licensing laws or rules.
There is also a rise in popularity in online driving courses (of course this is only for the classroom instruction component). These courses may include interactive instruction on freeway driving, the basics of turning and parking, and a discussion about the need for auto insurance. They also offer pre-test instruction to help your teen pass your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles drivers’ examination. Every state has different requirements for courses, so make sure you check into yours before you start a course.
If you can’t afford to take a course these organizations may have scholarships available for traffic safety education:
Email: email@example.com Phone: 1-866-976-8279
Taking a driver’s ed course can help teens better understand the importance of safe driving. It also helps reduce insurance costs, helps make better and more responsible drivers, and most of all, helps save lives.