Driver’s Education: 5 Tips for Finding the Right SchoolJuly 2, 2014 | in Defensive Driving Tips
Parents are often on stress overload when their teen first starts to learn to drive. Between handling the nerves from the passenger seat to worrying about whether their teen is learning what he or she needs to be safe on the road, many parents can become overwhelmed.
Finding the right driving school can go a long way to alleviate stress and ensure a teen’s safety. Here are some things to look for:
1. School’s Focus
A lot of driving schools will brag about the pass/fail rate of their student’s at the DMV driving test. If this is the school’s major selling point the red flags should go up. These types of schools will solely focus on the skills needed to pass the driver’s test and will often include the DMV test route as part of its hands-on instruction. A quality driving school will more closely resemble a defensive driving course that will teach students how to safely handle all driving situations.
2. Updated Curriculum
Ask to see the textbooks or other curriculum the school uses. A good school will have a curriculum that is less than four years old and should NOT rely solely on the DMV driver’s handbook. Traffic laws and highway systems have become much more complex than they were 20 years ago, and new issues like road rage, cell phones and text messaging are important topics that won’t be covered in an older curriculum.
3. Good Reputation
It’s important to check with outside sources when selecting a quality driving school. First, ensure that the school is licensed as a Driver Education School, and check to see if it is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce. These organizations can also tell you if any complaints have been filed about the school. Talk with friends and family members about their experiences with driving schools and ask a potential school for references.
4. Tour the School
Ask to be given a tour of the classroom and to see the vehicles that students would be using. Ensure that the school is well maintained, and make sure that the cars meet safety standards. Driver’s education vehicles should be less than four years old, be clearly labeled as a “student driver” and have a dual-control brake for the instructor. Meet with the instructors and make sure that they will get along well with your child, just as you would when looking for a sports coach or music instructor.
5. Check the details
Before finalizing a driving school selection, look into the details of the program. Ask about cost, and make sure the school is insured. Also find out about the school’s refund and class make-up policies. Some schools will charge a fee if you don’t show up for a scheduled class or drive time. Finally, find out how the school handles any complaints. A good school will be completely upfront about this information, and remember that when comparing prices, a cheap price may indicate a school that will take shortcuts with your child’s education.
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