Guest Post by Azhar Mirza
It is no longer enough that teenagers take driving lessons from their parents. Nowadays, teens who intend to legally drive are required to enroll in a driving school and take formal driver education classes.
Taking driver education is mandatory in 32 states in the United States. This requirement is one of the solutions of state governments to the worrisome number of car crashes involving teen drivers. As supported by several studies, requiring teens to take formal classes enables them to observe safe driving practices, thereby reducing their chances of getting in auto accidents.
If your child intends to get a license and driver education is mandatory in your state, then you need to research driving schools. Keep in mind, not all driver education providers are top-caliber institutions. Hence, you have to be meticulous in your selection process if you want your child to obtain the needed knowledge and skills to pass a licensing test and, more importantly, to become a responsible and safe driver.
So, how do you determine if a driver education provider is worth your money and your teen’s time and effort? Make sure that the driving school satisfies all the three criteria listed below:
This is one of the most important things you should look for in a driver ed provider. First, a DMV or state recognition signifies that the school is a legitimate company that offers driving lessons.
Just as it has made it simpler for businesses to widen their reach, the internet has also made it easier for unscrupulous people to set up bogus companies. In your search for a driving school, you may come across some of them. These enterprises masquerade as driver education providers but are actually just out there to get your money. Your child won’t get quality education from them or worse, won’t get any driving lessons at all.
Steer clear of these fake driving schools. Always check if the company you are eyeing is a legitimate business. More importantly, verify if it is a state-recognized or DMV-recognized driving school.
Furthermore, when a school is DMV-approved, you are guaranteed that its driver education course covers all the topics the DMV or state deems essential for one to become a licensed driver. Hence, you can be certain that, after finishing his lessons, your teenager is going to pass the licensing exam.
It is also imperative that the school offers a comprehensive driver education course. Remember, as a parent, your concern should not just be for your child to get a driver’s license. You should also ensure that he or she becomes a safe driver.
Do not settle for a driver education course that only covers the basics — handling a vehicle, knowing signs and road markings, driving on highways, parking, etc. Make sure that you pick one that inculcates the importance of observing safe driving practices and avoiding risky behaviors like texting while driving.
Studies have shown that texting while behind the wheel is the riskiest type of distracted driving behavior. A driver’s crash risk increases up to nine times when texting and driving. This shouldn’t be surprising since using a cellphone when one is behind the wheel occupies almost 40 percent of brain activity from driving. Aside from the cognitive disruption, this act also causes visual and manual distractions.
Yet, despite the dangers of texting while driving, many teenagers engage in this risky behavior. In a 2015 study, over 40 percent of teenagers admitted to using cellphones to text or send an email while they were behind the wheel.
Creating awareness about the hazards of texting while driving and other risky driving behaviors is essential in reducing accidents due to distracted teenage drivers. It is important that the driver education course your child will be taking tackles this topic. Make sure you check the curriculum of the driving school you are considering.
A good driving school is one that is known for delivering high quality education and first-rate customer service. It is recognized for consistently helping students pass their licensing exams the first time. Furthermore, it has a reputation for providing exceptional assistance to its customers. This is very important especially if you are going for an online driving school.
One of the primary reasons why parents choose online driving schools is to make things more convenient for their children. This can be impossible to achieve if your child encounters problems with the website and the school does not provide immediate support. Instead of making the entire learning experience hassle-free, poor customer service can make things more stressful for your child.
Check the driving school’s reputation. However, do not just solely rely on what’s stated on the company’s website description or what its sales specialist says. Look for feedback from previous students or clients. Remember, a truly good driving school won’t have a shortage of good reviews online and offline.
Finding the right driving school for your child can be challenging, but it’s not impossible to successfully accomplish this task. All you need to do is to research and use the above mentioned criteria and you are certain to find a driver education provider that’s going to help your child get a license and become a responsible driver.
Azhar Mirza is the General Manager of DMVEdu, an online driving school offering top-notch drivers education in California, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
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