Congratulations! You are soon to be the parent of a teen driver. Yes, it’s scary to think that you’ll be handing the car keys to your child who is ready to drive away with friends while you’re at home worrying about everything that could go wrong. And rightfully so. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people ages 16 to 19 are more at risk for motor vehicle crashes than any other age group. Drivers in this age group are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
So how do you ensure that your child is a well-rounded driver who stays safe on the road? It starts with doing a little bit of research and choosing the best teen driving school available. Learning how to drive has changed significantly since we as parents learned to drive 20+ years ago. The technology has changed, there are more distractions and there are more drivers on the road. Consider the factors below as you are researching a driving school for your teen.
Factors to consider when choosing a teen driving school
Consider the course curriculum. Here in Ohio, new drivers are required to complete 24 hours of classroom education and eight hours of behind-the-wheel training. Teens have the option of completing driving school at their high school, through a private driver’s training programs or via online driver’s education courses. There are pros and cons to each. Here are some questions you should ask to ensure the course/school is top notch:
• Will my child have an understanding of the basics? (Traffic laws, operating a vehicle and emergency situations)
• Does this course go above and beyond state minimum requirements to ensure my child is safe?
• Will this course help my child develop safe driving habits and skills for life?
• Will the school work with my child if they need extra training in a particular area?
• Does the school train with up-to-date vehicles?
Consider the amount of parent involvement. When you learned to drive, it was a much simpler process and your parents may not have been heavily involved with your training, if at all. But learning to drive has changed, and taking an active role in this process can help ensure your teen stays safe. What role will you play in teaching your child how to drive? Will you get regular progress updates from the school? Reinforcing what your child has learned in class will go a long way in helping them become a safe driver.
Consider the driving instructors. Let’s be honest. Do you want your child to learn how to drive from someone who’s teaching simply to earn some extra cash? Or do you want a professional who is committed to helping your teen become a well-rounded driver? Ask about the instructors and be confident in their ability to train your child. If you’re not confident in the instruction, keep looking.
Consider feedback from other parents and teens . Talk to your friends and their children. Did they take a basic course at the driving school down the street? If so, how confident are the parents in their teen’s driving skills? The feedback you receive can help decided if that school is the best option for your child.
Our take on teen driving schools
Not all driving schools are created equal. Some merely get the job done, while others excel at training. We believe driving is a skill that must be practiced and learned. Our four-level, state-licensed program far exceeds Ohio’s minimum requirements for driver education. Students advance through each level of our 46-hour program at their own pace. They are required to demonstrate proficiency at each level before progressing to the next. We believe these increased standards develop safer teen drivers.
Have more questions about choosing a teen driving school? Leave a question below or contact us directly by clicking here.