How to Choose a Driving School for Your Teen

8 Oct 2018

Vehicle accidents are the cause of more teen deaths than homicide, cancer and suicide combined. According to the Automobile Association of America (AAA), while teens only make up seven percent of the licensed population, nearly 20 percent of all deadly vehicle crashes involve teen drivers. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose a quality driving school for your teen.

The AAA also says learning how to drive and navigating the roads in the U.S. successfully is similar to building a house. It requires:

  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Plans

When your teen doesn’t have a solid foundation like this, they’re taking a huge risk every time they get behind the wheel. Driving practice supervised by a parent and high-quality driver education are important to preventing teen driver accidents — the leading cause of death in the U.S. for adolescents.

So, how do you choose a driving school for your teen?

  1. Ask for Recommendations.

Chances are you’re probably not the first individual in your neighborhood who’s had to choose a driver’s education class. Seek recommendations from your friends, neighbors, child’s friends’ parents and people you know at the local community center the schools they recommend.

  1. Visit a Few Driving Schools.

Request that you sit in the classrooms and observe the day. Check out the curriculum and if the classrooms are orderly and clean. Does each student have a desk?

  1. Choose a School that has a Comprehensive, Paced Learning Process.

An ideal course should be part classroom education and part behind-the-wheel training. And, since no teen driver is the same, some teens may require a little extra practice. Ensure the school accommodates these types of needs.

  1. Find a School that Involves the Parents in the Driving Practice.

It takes many hours of learning to drive at an adequate level of mastery. Ideally, the school should include a partnership between the parents/adults and the school so the parents can supervise the practice and reinforce the training. Also important is two-way communication. Students and parents should let the school know about driving progress made and challenges and the school should provide parents and students with areas requiring deliberate practice.

  1. Check behind-the-wheel vs. classroom sessions.

The best course will integrate behind-the-wheel and classroom training. Classroom training should incorporate a structured lesson plan, including the fundamentals of defensive driving and risk prevention practices.

The behind-the-wheel sessions should correlate with the classroom’s lesson plan to demonstrate and reinforce classroom concepts. Additionally:

  • Practice sessions should support behind-the-wheel and classroom sessions.
  • Sessions should provide beginners with two in-car lessons every week.
  • Schools should provide parents with interactive educational tools so they can provide their teen drivers a minimum of 50 hours of supplemental, supervised driving experience.
  • Driving atmospheres should include city traffic, residential streets, rural roads, limited-access freeways and highways.

Your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can provide you with state regulation information for driving schools, however, they can’t recommend an actual driving school. Each state’s standards vary and a state license doesn’t necessarily guarantee a driving school is of high-quality. Some AAA clubs might be able to suggest a school or offer their own driving instruction. For additional information, contact your local AAA club.

Once you teen begins driving on their own, be sure to utilize GPS teen tracking to help to keep your teenage safe.


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