There is some debate over whether driver education makes teenagers better drivers, but there is no doubt in my mind that it does. I have seen first-hand how a young person can transform from a truly bad driver into a skilled driver.
Does driver’s ed reduce your teen’s risk of a serious collision?
Yes, but … Was the student a willing and active learner during driver’s ed? Did he develop good habits? Does he make mature choices when adults aren’t around?
Driver education can’t make your teenager more mature and more likely to make good choices when you’re not around. Also, as with any course of study, students only get out of it as much as they want to learn. That being said, driver education teaches real skills that reduce risk -- using vision correctly, developing perception, controlling the vehicle, etc.
So, if your question is: Should I pay for my kid to take driver education? My answer, of course, is Yes. Local high schools have dropped driver’s ed from their curriculum, so that leaves parents solely responsible for teaching traffic safety to our community’s future drivers. Here’s why that’s a problem:
Are parents good drivers?
No offense, parents, but I’m sure you’ll agree that many of our community’s currently licensed drivers do not model safe and courteous driving. Also, many drivers are not fully versed in roadway rules and safe driving habits. Did you know the safe following time is 4 seconds, not 2 seconds? Did you know turning left at a red light is allowed when entering a one-way street? Can you parallel park?
Are parents good teachers?
Parents who are good drivers may not be able to teach their own teens, and that’s okay. Teaching anyone how to drive is stressful and fraught with communication errors. Seeing as that also describes most parent-teen relationships, the job gets even harder when a parent tries to teach their own teenager how to drive. Add to that challenge asking a parent to organize a comprehensive course of study so they approach the job from the correct basic skills and build up, and they don’t leave anything out. And then there’s time -- or rather, not enough of it.
Instructors help parents
A good driver education program helps parents teach their teens. We provide an organized course structure, and driving lessons are planned to focus on specific skills. It is still the parent’s responsibility to help teen drivers learn and practice, but the driver’s ed course makes that training easier and more effective.
P.S. Discounts are available to anyone who qualifies for some kind of low-income assistance (such as free/reduced lunch, LI housing, etc.) Discounts are also available to families putting siblings into driver's ed at the same time.