Choosing A Driving School

by

Driver Education

“You get what you pay for” couldn’t be a more appropriate statement than when it comes to the quality of training your teen will receive when choosing a driving school. Do you really want to be shopping by price or convenience to your schedule? OR, are you going to take into consideration that the school you choose and the type of training your teen is going to receive could be the difference between life and death?

High-quality driver education and effective parent-supervised driving practice are key to preventing teen crashes, the number one cause of death for adolescents in the US. So how will you choose a driving school? With care and armed with knowledge. 

Visit the facility. Request a tour, chat with parents and students who are at the facility and actively enrolled in a program. Ask about the program and what it includes. 

Credentials of the instructors. How does the school choose and train their instructors?  

Is the school asking questions about your teen? Before enrolling your teen, are you being asked if they have any diagnoses that would possibly affect their training? ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, etc. These should all be considered prior to a school accepting a student. Some people learn differently, and if a school is not equipped with information to properly match the student to instructor, or adapt their approach to meet that student’s needs, the process will not be successful. 

Does the school involve parents in the process? Learning to drive takes hundreds of hours of practice. The school is required to provide high-quality training, and the parents are to provide supervised practice that reinforces the training. Communication is key and if it’s not part of the plan, the process will not be successful. 

Does the school have a plan for the on-road hours? Are they simply logging time to meet the state and their minimum standards of 30 hours (yes you read that correctly), or are they going to take the student on all types of roads, including freeways, congested areas, complex driving situations and more? This goes hand in hand with whether the student is ready to advance to more challenging situations. Did they get the proper practice between drives to raise the skills learned on the previous drive? These all need to be considered. 

What’s the length of the program; how long will it take? Parents, you cannot rush this process. If you are told it will take a few weeks, or even a couple of months, that is not enough time for proper instruction and parental practice. It simply is not. Each student is different, and some may require more time and training. There should never be a timeframe put on it. Training must be about readiness and skill. 

Check the reviews and Better Business Bureau to make sure that the school is in good standing. 

DrivingMBA’s program is the most comprehensive driving training you can get. Its use of simulation as part of the curriculum has been ahead of the curve on what it takes to create a competent driver since its inception more than 20 years ago. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention is using simulation to show that many newly licensed drivers don’t know how to drive. The research shows critical errors leading to simulated crashes, including speeding, inadequate braking in hazardous situations, and not scanning for hazards at intersections. ALL of these could have been avoided if the teens had the skills needed to navigate complex driving situations. 

At DrivingMBA, we see this happening with a record number of inquiries from parents that enrolled their teen into a driving school and the school gave their teen a license, Yet the parents are not comfortable with their child’s basic driving skills. Their kids don’t even know the rules of the road. They still can’t make uncontrolled left-hand turns, and they’ve never been on the freeway. It’s amazing to see that many times they list hours driven on our enrollment application as less than the state’s mandatory 30 even though the student already has a license. 

The takeaway here is this… 

It is possible for teens to gain critical driving skills BEFORE getting licensed. You just need to choose the right school. You need to treat the process of teaching your teen to drive as one of the most (if not the single most) important skills they will learn. You need to make safety the only concern, not cost, not convenience.  

author avatar
Mary Albanese
Mary manages enrollment and marketing for DrivingMBA. Mary lost a 20-year-old stepson as a passenger in an accident in 2005. Her passion for being part of a program whose sole goal is to create safe, competent drivers comes through in everything she does for DrivingMBA.

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