OMG, please stop the insanity! We are in that time of year when parents are in a frenzy about checking off the driver’s ed box on their to do list because their kids are back to school. I’m sorry but getting your teen through their program may be what you want to make your life easier, but it may not be in the best interest of your child. I have said this a few million times, but it bears repeating, learning to drive is a process. It is not an event, or a class, or a program to complete and abracadabra they are license ready. It just doesn’t work that way! Every student is different. Every student learns differently and there is not a magic number of days or hours that must be completed before they get their license. They are ready to be a solo driver when they develop a good skill base and a mature attitude towards driving.
There are guidelines. The state of Arizona’s guidelines are 30 hours of practice, 10 hours at night. Those of you that know DrivingMBA, have kids in our school, you know what our recommendation is – 100 hours of practice. We want you to get at least 20 to 30 hours in between each of their lessons so that we can get them to another level of driving experience each time we have them here for a lesson. These kids need to be exposed to all kinds of situations and driving environments. Going back and forth to the same location day after day does not make a safe driver. What that does is create a false sense of “they’re doing well, they’re ready.” OF COURSE they’re doing well they’ve been doing that same drive and they “got it!” The question is, can they handle all the rest of the crazy that they will encounter on the road?
So when you call and you need to get them in yesterday, don’t be surprised when we tell you no. First of all because it is a busy time of year and second, we want you to get the practice in between their lessons before you bring them back. If you’re having difficulty and you need help, then yes, bring them in and we’ll work with them until they are comfortable and ready to get their practice in with you. If you do decide to accelerate their program and they fail their test it is because they didn’t perform to the necessary standards. My instructors know the difference between a student with 20 or 30 hours of practice and one with 80 to 100 hours of practice. Their skill base is different. Please keep in mind, we’re in this together with the goal of doing all that we can to put a safe driver on the road.
If you’ve been in our Parent Class, you know that I make it very clear that this process is not about you, or about your schedule, or what you need. It is about your child, what they need and how they learn and they’ll be ready for their license when they’re ready. PLEASE, I implore you, do not set arbitrary goals when it comes to driving. Be realistic and talk to your children about expectations that make sense and remember the goal is to put a safe and competent driver on the road. The goal is not to get their license as soon as possible or on their 16th birthday.