Driver Training Program Questions
When should a student begin their driver training?
- A student is eligible for their permit when they are 15 ½ in the state of Arizona and are required to hold a permit for a minimum of six months from the date of issue.
- We recommend that a student begin driving fundamentals simulation lab a few weeks before they are eligible for their permit.
- Our objective is to introduce more advanced skill sets as a student progresses through their program. Their lessons will be spread over the period of time they hold their permit.
- If your student comes to us with 30+ hours of driving experience, they are usually eligible for our Defensive Driving package.
- When starting in our Defensive Driving packages we recommend scheduling a student’s first on-road lesson to receive feedback on their skills and a plan to ready them for the defensive driving lab.
What are your driving instructors credentials?
DrivingMBA trainers come from diverse backgrounds. We look for specialists that have the skills and passion for teaching. Several of our trainers have backgrounds in education and training.
- MVD certified trainers (pass an MVD test to be certified by the state)
- Fingerprinted and required to have a background check done
- Fullfill DrivingMBA’s 100+ training hours that consist of observations, co-training and evaluations
- Must pass a drug test
- Our trainers meet both state requirements and rigid DrivingMBA requirements based on National Standards.
- We also look for individuals that can empathize with a student and cater to a student’s specific learning style.
Trainers are evaluated several times a year by a DrivingMBA lead trainer to ensure they are meeting curriculum objectives and DrivingMBA’s standards of excellence.
Do you have Police Officers as driving instructors?
DrivingMBA hires individuals who have a teaching background or have a strong propensity for teaching. In order to work with a student an individual must be able to develop a rapport and have the ability to recognize and adjust to a student’s specific needs.
We have hired retired law enforcement personnel who are also excellent teachers. However, keep in mind that police officers are taught to be aggressive drivers in high-stress situations, so they are not always the best candidates to teach novice drivers. Our objective is to find well-rounded individuals who love working with students and can foster a productive learning environment.
How do you schedule appointments?
We are open on Saturdays and some Sundays, depending on demand. Our Coaching Class and Car Maintenance classes are offered at least once a month, during the week, in the evening and some Saturday’s.*
Our Rules of the Road permit prep course, Responsibilities of Driving Class and Defensive Driving Orientation class are all available on-line.
*Our Coaching Class is currently completely on line due to COVID-19.
*Our Car Maintenance class is currently suspended due to COVID-19.
Is the classroom instruction mandatory for everyone?
Our on-line Rules of the Road Permit Prep Course is available for any student that needs help preparing for the written test. It is a comprehensive, interactive review of the Rules of the Road with quizzes in every level.
The Responsibilities of Driving Class is designed to help students understand the magnitude of responsibility they take on when they operate a motor vehicle. This class is mandatory for students to complete before they begin their defensive driving lab.
The Coaching Class is highly recommended for any parent or guardian that has a student at DrivingMBA. It helps us level expectations and work together to prepare your teenager to become a safe and responsible driver. This class is mandatory if DrivingMBA is providing a waiver for the test at the MVD for license skills test.
The Online Orientation to Defensive Driving Class is a precursor to our Defensive Driving Simulation lab. It provides students with the framework of concepts in Hazard Recognition, Vehicle Handling, Space and Speed Management. These are the four key areas we’ve used to develop the scenarios in the Defensive Driving Lab. This class is mandatory before they begin their defensive driving.
The Car Maintenance Class is optional and available in several of our packages.
Why do you use driving simulator labs?
Getting a driver’s license is a major milestone in a teen’s life, but it also marks the deadliest period they will ever spend, statistically, on the highway. How do we prepare them for the crowded roads and aggressive drivers who can make driving dangerous and deadly?
DrivingMBA’s unique instruction model utilizes state-of-the-art driving simulators where a student can experience the impact of split-second decisions while behind the wheel, and the consequences of delayed reactions or responses, in a safe and controlled environment. In a virtual vehicle, a teen can drive in rain, sleet, snow or dead of night, on winding mountain roads and frenetic superhighways. Mistakes can and will frequently result in crashes, but the effect is a learning experience, not a tragedy
The Learning Pyramid tells us that students retain only a small percentage of information while being lectured to or while reading to themselves. The average learning retention goes up when a skill is being demonstrated to them, and it jumps even higher when students discuss information that they have learned. However, the greatest retention occurs when a student is actually practicing a skill, in this case the average learning retention is 75%.
Simulation is used in all types of industries to train employees, and is a critical step in pilot and often in military and police training.
Why wouldn’t simulation be a useful tool in learning how to drive? An instructor can have their full attention on a student while on a simulator. On the road, the instructor’s focus is split between the student and the road ahead in order to keep the student and themselves out of harms way.
What’s the point of driving simulation?
The point of simulation is to give students hands-on instruction, without the risk of actually being on the road. Our equipment is state of the art technology, they are not video games. Think of it as the same principle that is used in teaching pilots how to fly an airplane. While our competitors will make a point to tell you they “don’t use simulation,” the question I would ask is why? A student can develop significant skill before ever being on the road. Why wouldn’t you start there? I have had instructors that have worked for other schools and they are always amazed at how much more skilled and prepared a student coming out of the Driving Fundamentals lab is vs. a student that is going on the road for the first time or if they have driven with their parent. You can put students in all types of situations that simply cannot be duplicated on a closed course and certainly not on the road. Pilots learn to fly a plane in simulators before they ever get into a cockpit, doctors and nurses are trained on simulators before working on real patients, truck drivers and many professional drivers learn on simulators, so why not for the novice driver? The use of simulation is a widely used form of training and a highly effective tool in the learning process. DrivingMBA utilizes a comprehensive approach to develop driving skills, good driving understanding and critical decision-making skills that are required to navigate today’s roadways. The simulation labs are at the core of our training model.
How long does a driver training program typically last?
This is a tough questions to answer because it depends on the student and many other variables. Our driver training programs are structured so that we have touch points with you and our student during the permit phase. Depending on when the student starts the program, and which program or package you choose, the entire program can take anywhere from a few weeks to one year or longer to complete.
It will also depend on how much practice the student is getting in between lessons and how a student is progressing through the program. We are not in the business of running students through our driving school and tossing them out on the road. Speed is not our goal or intention. If your main objective is to get it done quickly, then DrivingMBA is not the school for you.
With the cooperation of the student, parent, and our trainers, our goal is to develop competent, safe and defensive drivers, no matter how long it takes. We ask parents not to put an “arbitrary date” on when the course needs to be completed and we implore you not to put a lot of emphasis on a student’s 16th birthday. Your student may or may not be ready to be a solo driver when they turn 16.
DrivingMBA focuses on skill and readiness, not dates and eligibility. Recent research also indicates that many students feel pressured to get their license and the pressure is not coming from their peers, but from their parents. Do what is in the best interest of the safety of your child and provide them with training and practice that has the potential to keep them safe and alive.
If I am paying you to teach my student how to drive, why do I have to practice with them?
Even though your student is getting driver training, it is absolutely necessary that they are practicing what they are learning every day.
The state of Arizona requires 30 hours of practice, of which 10 hours must be nighttime hours. DrivingMBA recommends 100 hours of practice because studies have shown that students that spend a lot of time practicing their driving skills are LESS LIKELY to be part of the overwhelming number of novice drivers that are involved in car crashes in their first year of driving.
Studies by the CDC have shown that teens who drive with a parent in the car are less likely to take risks and engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel. So, driving with your student could save their lives, and the lives of others.
If you simply cannot practice with your student, we do have a Busy Parent Package that provides a student with 30 hours of on-road instruction/practice. However, even with this package, it is highly recommended that a student do practice driving with their parents during the permit phase.
How much does the DrivingMBA program cost?
DrivingMBA offers a lot of options because every student is different. We are not a one-size-fits-all school. To find out which program best fits your student and what the cost of tuition is, contact an Enrollment Counselor at 480-948-1648.
Our Enrollment Counselors will ask a series of questions to recommend the best program. Depending upon your student’s circumstances, and which program or package you choose, the tuition can vary anywhere from $540 to $2,990 or more. When you call our office, you can also ask the Enrollment Counselor for our “Comparison Document.” We have done our research and have put together a comparison document that will compare our training to other schools in the valley.
We encourage you to do your own research and ask questions about what schools offer. For example: What research is their program based on? What is the training methodology used for training instructors? What type of on-going training do you do for your trainers? Do you have a specified curriculum and objectives that you can share?
We also encourage you to visit schools and get a feel for their environment. Sometimes, you can walk into any type of business and get a feel for whether or not it is a good fit for you.
Can a novice driver purchase only on-road instruction from your school?
There are plenty of schools that offer only classroom and on-road instruction. We don’t believe in “good enough” and we offer more advanced training to keep safe and responsible drivers on the road.
We are passionate about the use of simulation technology to develop safer, more responsible drivers. The reason is simple: the national average of young drivers involved in a collision in their first year is above 50%. Based on an on-going survey we conduct of our graduate students, less than 12% of DrivingMBA graduates have been in any type of crash their first year. Those are GREAT odds and we believe that utilizing simulation in the training process plays a major role in this reduction.
I am looking for the cheapest program and fastest way to get my teenager licensed. Will you beat any competitor’price?
The answer is simple – you get what you pay for. How much is your teenage driver’s life – or the life of others – worth to you? There are no competitors that offer the type of training that we offer. If cost is the only factor that you are basing your decision on, then we are not the school for you.
Learning how to drive is a life skill. You are putting your teenager behind the wheel of a nearly two-ton machine! This is not one of those decisions that should be made based on cheap, easy and fast. If those are the ONLY factors you are considering, then we recommend trying other schools. At the end of the day, this is your child. Consider the costs of insurance, hospitalization and long-term care, or worst of all, funeral costs, when making this very important, life-changing decision.
Drivers License and Permit Questions
Does DrivingMBA test students for their drivers license or do we have to test at ADOT?
If a student completes 10 hours of on-road instruction, DrivingMBA will administer the skills evaluation. If the student passes the evaluation their instructor will indicate that the student passed in their MVDNow Account while the student and parent are still in our office. This will waive the test at the MVD.
DrivingMBA, however, does not offer on-road lessons without accompanying simulation labs. It is our overarching philosophy that students are able to develop skills in the simulation labs in a safe and controlled environment first, before heading out on the road.
Can my teen get their drivers permit through DrivingMBA?
Since Arizona now allows teens to take their written test for the permit exam at home, there has not been a demand for permit classes. Anyone under the age of 18 can take the test at home. You can find out more by visiting ADOT Permit Tests @ Home webpage.
We have developed an on-line course to provide students with information to help them form the necessary habits to prepare for the written test, either at home or at the MVD.
Does my child have to hold his/her drivers permit for six months, even if he goes to DrivingMBA?
How long must a person who is 18 years or older hold a drivers permit before obtaining a license?
There are no time restrictions for adults 18 and older. But to drive with a DrivingMBA instructor you must have a current permit. We also recommend that ANY novice driver, no matter what their age, spend a minimum of six months to develop the necessary skills to navigate today’s roadways.
What if I got a ticket? Can I clear it through you?
DrivingMBA offers programs for novice drivers, both teens and adults, commercial drivers, and senior citizens. We offer an on-line option for Defensive Driving for ticket dismissal. Click here.
What is a class G license and what are the restrictions?
A class G license is a restricted license issued to anyone under the age of 18. In July 2008, the Teenage Driver Safety Act was passed and the basic components of the law are:
- Anyone under the age of 18 must hold their permit for six months.
- While driving with their instruction permit, they must drive with a licensed driver that is 21 years or older.
License Restrictions: For the first six months of licensure a newly licensed driver is:
- Restricted from driving between the hours of 12:00am and 5:00am unless coming from work or a school or church function.
- Allowed to have only one non-family member teen in their vehicle.
- In 2019 a hands-free law went into effect that bans all hand-held devices while driving. This superseded the “no texting and driving” law to include all potentially dangerous distracted driving devices and items.
How long does my child have to hold his/her drivers permit before obtaining a Class G license?
An applicant for a class G license must have held an Arizona instruction permit for at least six months, or have a driver’s license from another state. The permit must be valid at the time of application. An applicant must also have satisfactorily completed a driver education program that is approved by MVD, or the parent or guardian must certify in writing that the applicant has completed at least 30 hours of supervised driving practice, including at least 10 nighttime driving hours.
Parent Specific Questions
Will this lower my insurance rate? How much?
Most insurance agencies do accept our program certification. However, the discounted rate is at the discretion of each individual company. Other schools indicate that “you will” get an insurance break, and that may or may not be true. Our recommendation is that you contact your insurance agent to find out what they require in order to receive a discount.
At the completion of our driving program, your teen will receive a certificate that you can send into your insurance company to verify they have been through the driving program. If your insurance company requires any additional information, please have them contact us directly.
What is the Coaching Class and do I have to attend?
We highly recommend this class for ALL of our parents, guardians or anyone that will be practicing with the novice driver. no matter if your student is receiving a waiver or not. When parents take the time to attend this class, the entire experience for the student is much more effective.
The parent/coach plays a critical role in the process of learning how to drive. Our coaching class is a critical component of our program and is an opportunity for the parent/coach to learn how they can support their new driver throughout the process.
Research shows that teenagers are safer drivers when parents are more involved in their driver education and the CDC has recently issued new research that teenagers take less risks and are safer drivers when a parent is in the car. The Coaching Class is mandatory if a student is testing with DrivingMBA to waive the MVD test.We have been running parent classes for years and the feedback is always extremely positive. Yes, it is a time commitment, but it is an investment in your child’s safety.
What if my teen is an exceptional learner or has learning challenges?
DrivingMBA’s unique blend of classroom, simulation and on-road instruction can be customized to meet an individual’s learning needs.
DrivingMBA is the only driving school in the valley with full-time specialists on staff with extensive experience working with Exceptional Learners in the classroom.
Exceptional Learners who come to DrivingMBA begin the program with individual, 1:1 lessons in the Driving Fundamentals Simulation Lab. This format helps the student begin the process of learning to drive in a safe and controlled environment, and allows our instructors to assess the best course of action and curriculum for the student’s success. In some cases the student may not have reached the necessary level of maturity to begin the driving education process. In those cases, we will provide parents with preparation and pre-work that can be used to help better prepare the student for the process of learning how to drive. It is our practice to work closely with the parents of all of our students, and it is of paramount importance that parents of students with learning challenges come into this process knowing they play a significant role.
There is a great deal of research about students with challenges like ADD and ADHD and driving. These students are much more likely to be involved in a crash than “typical” teen students. We have experience working with students with all types of disorders and diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, Bi-polar, OCD, Dyslexia and many others. Our instructors and staff are continually researching and learning about mental health challenges and exceptional learners in order to best meet the needs of these students. There are a lot of schools that purport they “work with students with special needs.” That doesn’t mean they know how to differentiate instruction and adapt to the student’s learning style. Only trained Specialists know how to truly work with these students.
Do you recommend driver training programs that offer closed course work and uses a skid car?
Closed course programs can complement our training, however, new research has indicated they might not be a good option for a novice driver. Even on a closed course, you cannot put students in situations such as head-on collision or a tire blow out at 65+ mph. This is why we include simulation driving in our curriculum.
Studies show that these closed course lessons give young drivers a false sense of confidence, which can be dangerous. They may come away thinking “I can handle higher speeds because I learned how to maneuver at faster speeds.”
Closed course is all about high performance. Those courses are better suited for adult drivers that have been driving for many years.
There is nothing like a simulated environment where you can face the unimaginable and live to learn from it. Driving on a freeway at 65 mph, having a student text the instructor and all of a sudden the vehicle in front of them comes to a screeching halt, is a teachable moment that does not present itself in any other medium.
Do I have to pick up my student from your school?
Yes, all of our appointments, simulation labs and on-road instruction are pick up and drop off at our office. It is very important that you come in after each of your student’s lessons and debrief with our trainer after your student’s lesson.
All of the research on novice driver training indicates that the parent and/or guardian play the most significant role in the process.
At DrivingMBA we are your partner in this process. We also have designed a variety of routes that start from our office. If we were to pick up students anywhere in the valley, we would not be able to adhere to a specific curriculum and objectives because the routes would be random based on where you live vs. mapped out to teach specific skills and reach specific objectives.
- Recommendations on what the student needs to work on, how much time they should practice/number of hours they should get before the next lesson
Can a parent ride along for the on-road driving lesson?
Yes, and we encourage parents to do so! It is beneficial because it allows parents to see and hear our trainers coaching methods. The more paralleled a parent’s instruction is to our instruction, the easier it is for a student to learn how to drive. We recommend that a parent come on the second lesson.
Often a student is really nervous on their first lesson and having their parent in the back may increase their nervousness and affect their performance. We also recommend parents take our Coaching Class to learn more about teenagers and driving and how to work with your teen during the practice phase of the process.